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Author Topic: Luftwaffe lettering and it's sources  (Read 1374 times)

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  • Flying Ass Clown #10
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Luftwaffe lettering and it's sources
« on: February 07, 2022, 07:27:56 AM »

DIN Norm specifications, purpose, for industry, readabillity,
easy to reproduce. A good range of such Typos existed.
DIN 1451 is just one contempary, but well reknown example.

As I had acces to some of the 20s, 30s Schriftmusterb├╝cher (so called Specimen catalogues of Printworkshops and
publishing companies, dealing with lettering) during my Studies.

Okay, I studied Typography, but I think it's no deal sharing my knowledge to Folks who don't had such acess.
There are simple Tricks to deal with our skinning, daily work of hunting down as best as we could source Footage and reproduce accuratery as possible. Without wandering on studies.

First the source

the most obvious decision

Does it fit?
Answer: Yes and No. Classfamilly is right, DIN1451, but the specimen obviously wrong.

Okay, that doesn't work, no panic. The reason is simple, DIN1451 is just one of a plethora of Norm Types,
it's harder to reproduce, as it takes exact measures and more time.
It's the most famous and kinda like Top of the possibles Typos of that Familly.
Therefore if we read the DIN1451 norm fully, we'll see that you have ways to reproduce
even looking Specimens, in the case you must deal with less time, sort of
automation spreading. A certain workload can't be hold tightly, it was defined to be
elastic, with ways to be fitted as needed. A norm that can't be adopted, is for the bin.
i.e. on behalf of German Railways, plenty existed, each used derived Specimen, that differs.
Why? Their rule of thumb was the easy readabillity, not the Design per se.
If the Design was crap and hard to read on moving objects, why use it?

For English lang, simply use Google and read up the Mittelschrift history.

Here you find a wide range of important free Fonts I use for my LW Skins, as a beginning,
so to say you have these 1946 Fontset of Military range, Stencil Fonts and now need to expand
into more detailed. Look up there, he has plenty of usefull Fonts.

What all these share, is their geometric, measurement, the minimalistic style.
Remember it was a fact that in Germany a Norm is not quite the same as a rule.
You have as a Designer plenty space of room for changes. The only thing you keep
an eye on, is to be within a certain range and not go Dada all the way.
So it came that this Familly is litarlly large, you can't estimate. In our studies my Prof said,
at the end of the 20s you could imagine a number going into the 1000s. Not counting small Masters workshops, all the custom Typo specimen. Advertising, Typo, at that time was far advanced, common, needed, than 20 Years before. It was a Typo Revolution ongoing.

What you see on the Zerst├Ârer is a DIN based on Type, a derivation. But if you ever came around studying the deposits of that Unit, you'll see slight and sometimes heavy changes. That conformal in LW outlook. Having a say up to 10 different Typos based on DIN1451 idea.
But being specific to their own regards. Now add the random and frequent personal abillity of the Staffelpainter.
On some BF109 you even find Bauhaus Typo not regular DIN Lettering. Here a Staffelpainter had a great deal of contemporary knowledge
and interest in Typo than doing rather his job.
It's a rather funny topic.

How to solve, easy go to PS cut out the Typo and use the Help of Online Font search Type Tools.
These Sites will generate and scan specimen, close looking free, published, expensive Fonts,
sometimes matching, sometimes slightly derived.
but always, with enough sources, Examples to reproduce in 5 Minutes within PS.


This has the best target rate

Use either cutout Tool, or redraw the Vectors as solid Objects. The time is worth, as such Details make out our work.

Here's an overview of Free DIN Mittelschrift Types. Below a 5 min rendering of a LW Numeral.
This a showcase of a widely adopted LW specimen Types, common in the Fighterunits.
Handpainted, and not present in their actual outlook on digital Fonts.
This sucks, but that's how it is.

Basicly from the Typographer point of view,
the Norm deriveres from a Geometric, Sans Serif, as I mentioned earlier, the Norm is
quite weak, some Bauhaus, italian Futuristic advertising Types Types fit the specifications as well.
Be creative as where to find stuff, you'll be surprised what pops up.
Wiseman : "Did you speak the exact words?" Ash : "Look, maybe I didn't say every single little tiny syllable, no. But basically I said them, yeah."


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Re: Luftwaffe lettering and it's sources
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2022, 03:12:06 PM »

Very generous post. Plenty of useful and necessary information. Although I'm used to solve these font-questions my way, WhatTheFont is much more elegant and most importantly more comfortable.
Thank you very much...


  • Flying Ass Clown #10
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Re: Luftwaffe lettering and it's sources
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2022, 03:53:59 AM »

I forgot, when you want easier Search on

Luftwaffe (DIN inspired specimens)
Royal Hungarian airforce (uses a mix of italian inspired and LW specimens)
Regia Aeronautica (ital. futurism inspired specimens)

Typography holds some classifications that we can use when searching such Fonts.
The results will be more matching, than any wild search can be.

In typography, the Vox-ATypI classification makes it possible to classify typefaces into general classes. Devised by Maximilien Vox in 1954, it was adopted in 1962 by the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) and in 1967 as a British Standard, as British Standards Classification of Typefaces (BS 2961:1967), which is a very basic interpretation and adaptation/modification of the earlier Vox-ATypI classification.

Code: [Select]
Vox-ATypI classification > Modern > Lineal > Grotesque
or a simpler classification

Code: [Select]
Sans Serif > Grotesque
Makes searching and Filtering Fonts easier.

Sans serif as you may find is an over class, having a lot stuff that for our querry useless stuff.
Hence the Grotesque is a even more specified style. Still, Typography was ever creativity, there's no must,
everything can.

Handling larger Font collections

If your Font collections grows to unmanagable sizes, it may help to use
Font Managment Tools. There are free versions, but also payware like
Serif Fontmanager or Suitcase, which I use myself at work and as a Type Designer.
You can use good Font Managers to Filter Type Families, as some good Fonts are
specificly tagged, cheap Free Fonts lack this feature.
That is like MP-3 Tagging as simply as it is.

i.e. searching a matching Font in PS direct at work with large Font collections
is click intensive, awkward, time consuming.

Wiseman : "Did you speak the exact words?" Ash : "Look, maybe I didn't say every single little tiny syllable, no. But basically I said them, yeah."
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