Jump to content

 
Photo

20th century topographic map typefaces

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1
hujev

hujev

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • No Country Selected

I like the look of ca. 1930-1970 topographic maps - not just the USGS ones but also foreign maps (esp. Soviet, Scandinavian, and German/Swiss/Austrian).

I'm having a hard time determining which types were used and what digital ones might be close.

I've looked at the threads here for cartographic type and the discovery there of 'Sublime' was a great result from that. Of course a lot of the old stuff was hand-lettered, and that one really fits the place.

So I'm wondering if anybody knows of a source, list, discussion, journal article, book, or whatever that might help me sort some of this out. Web searches have been useless (as most web searched these days). I know of a few Soviet books, and have found some very deeply-buried technical info on the USGS website, but seems like somewhere somebody would have a big website all about this very topic...

By the way, the USGS is putting a lot of old topographic maps up: http://nationalmap.gov/historical/ which is a great place to see how they used to do it... compare those to the awful (though admittedly functional and practical) modern PDF topo maps they make...

Speaking of nightmarish type, wow, it took me many hundreds of tries to get a set of characters I could actually read to sign up to this forum (had given up several times before, but this question is nagging me). Proof that machines can read bad typography bmuch better than I ever will...

/robert

#2
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,858 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Hi Robert, and welcome to Cartotalk.

Speaking of nightmarish type, wow, it took me many hundreds of tries to get a set of characters I could actually read to sign up to this forum (had given up several times before, but this question is nagging me). Proof that machines can read bad typography bmuch better than I ever will...


We've got an update to the board software planned for the summer, we'll look into the captcha. The thing is that we've been hit by a number of spam waves in the past years (in some cases hundreds of spammers signing up per week and posting stuff, forcing the admin to spend a lot of time getting rid of that), so unfortunately the captcha is necessary.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,080 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

Some of us are pretty good at identifying typefaces—though Cyrillic is beyond my ken—so if you post a little scan I can make a pretty good guess. Before the digital explosion, there were a limited number of workhorse typefaces that are pretty easy to identify. We won't always be able to tell exactly which foundry's Caslon or Futura/Sparta/Tempo we're looking at, but we can come close enough to pick a modern analogue.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
hujev

hujev

    Newbie

  • Validated Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • No Country Selected

Hi again - thanks. I'll scout out a few areas of interest and get some views to post.

As for the website spam, I can understand that, having tried to run a forum once... I guess that the method of those screwy letters was useful for a while, but the machines have outwitted us again.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->