12 July 2010

[type] What Is The Font In The "Made In Oregon" Sign?

Recently I responded to a reader who was playing around with the Made In Oregon sign that City Councilor Leonard just went up against the U of O over notice my image here in the blog header and asked me, essentially, what font that was.

The answer is, of course, it's no font at all ... at least not part of a designed font set.

The following is a riff based on the highly-informal self-study in graphic design history I've undertaken for most of my life.

When the original version of the sign was built ... somtime in the former half of the 20th Century, I forget the year ... signs like this were designed of a piece, I get the feeling. Before it was Made In Oregon, it was White Stag, designed with a flowing script treatment which I'm guessing was inspired by scripts of the day but not necessarily drawn from any of them.

When the sign went from White Stag to Made in Oregon, it was probably a conceptually-simple trick to design a font design for the sign that resonated with the White Stag design.

When I designed the "Unicorns" version of it I, in Photoshop, clipped out the letterforms that the word Unicorns shared with Made In Oregon ... specifically, the miniscule o, r, and n ... and created new letterforms using paths and filling with the fuzzy light texture ... letting the visual characteristics of the letterforms I did have inform the new ones I created. In a way, I let the old letters design the new ones, so they all kind of go together.

It does occur the me that an entire font based on the Made In Oregon script font would be a happy thing indeed. I need to get designing on that.

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