Font ID forum rules and FAQ
It might be convenient to just throw an image at us and then let us do all the work and research to identify the font, but that is neither fair nor very efficient. You need to help us help you. That’s why we enforce certain rules for all requests, independent from the specific circumstances. Please get familiar with these rules and follow them when starting a font ID request. It doesn’t take much time and effort to provide proper post titles and tell us everything you know about the font use shown on the image your are providing. Deliberately ignoring our rules means we will have to delete your requests.
I will pick a telling/specific title
- example: “Looking for the font of this McDonald’s menu board from the 1990s”
- clearly identifying the user of the font – in this case McDonald’s
- generic titles are not acceptable, e.g.: “What’s this font?” “Does anyone know this typeface?” “Help me please”
I will give as much background information as I can. For example:
- name source of the images (e.g. the company which uses the font)
- link the source if possible
- (e.g. “it’s from the company’s website to be found at http://…”)
- describe the item (old book, web screenshot, plaque on an building …)
- estimate the time of the creation (e.g. the decade)
I will try to explain, what exactly I look for. For example:
- looking for a digital version. Commercial fonts are fine.
- I need a free alternative if possible
- need the name for a research paper
1. Why do I have to choose a specific title?
Because many requests in our font ID forum can be useful for other users too. You are looking for the font used by a certain company or magazine? Well, others might look for that too and find your topic and the answers of our community members. But if you don’t name that company or magazine in the title, no one might ever find that topic again. Certainly not if it’s called “What’s this font?” The same is true for more general descriptions. You are looking for the font of a certain “Yoga studio” or the font used in a specific “scientific paper”. Those too are useful keywords which might help others later who are looking for a font for such uses.
So as a rule of thumb: Use a title that would allow anyone with the same request to find your forum topic with a simple Google search.
2. Why do I have to give so many background information? Why can’t I just show a picture?
Some very common fonts can be recognized instantly by our community members. But most of the time, we have to do some work to clearly identify a font use. And for that every little piece of background information can be helpful …
- If it’s a screenshot of a website, link that URL so we can inspect the website to identify the font.
- If its a book or magazine or company brochure, tell us the title of that book or magazine or the name of the company. We can follow that lead and find the fonts much easier this way.
- If it’s from a full page, show that full page as well and don’t just cut out a tiny piece and of course don’t disguise the origin by deliberately cutting off letters, e.g. of a logo or movie title.
- If you know the time of the creation, that narrows down the range of possible fonts from certain eras, e.g. metal type, phototypesetting, digital type. So tell us what you know about that, even if it’s just a guess.
- If you know the country where the print was made, that narrows down the range of possible fonts.
- If you explain the context of the sample, we might also rule out the use of fonts, e.g. because it might actually be done with lettering or calligraphy.
3. What we don’t need: describing the design
You don’t have to describe the type design in any way if you provide a sample. You don’t need to classify it. You don’t need to say to which fonts it might look similar to. However, if applicable, you can tell us the steps you already took to identify the font, so we don’t have to repeat them, e.g. “I already contacted the designer but got no reply.”
4. “… but I don’t want to reveal publicly who the client is.”
Sorry, then you need to find another website to help you with the font identification. As explained above, it just doesn’t make sense to ask us to help you for free, when you deliberately hide information from us, which usually make a font identification much easier.
- If you start a font request that clearly ignores our rules, the post will be deleted without warning.
- If it looks like you tried to follow our rules, but the information given is still not sufficient, you will get a canned reply, telling you which area needs improvement. You can then either go back to your post to change it, or if the edit time has already expired, you might start a new font id request.
- If you try multiple times to start font id requests, which don’t follow our rules, we might deactivate your account.
Our rules and sanctions are the result of running such typography forums for 20 years. Our rules and sanctions are therefore non-negotiable. If your font ID request was deleted, all your questions about that will be answered on this FAQ page. There is no point in trying to contact us or trying to debate the validity of the sanctions. We will probably not answer, since everything we could say is already written here. The same goes for bans. If you broke our rules multiple times, we will protect us from further violations by banning your account. There is no point in trying to register with a new account or trying to contact us. All sanctions are final.
6. It’s all your fault! Let me insult you for your silly rules!
Keep in mind: you are coming to us for free help. We are actually happy to help and ask very little in return: you just need to follow our site rules and font ID forum rules. The latter are explained to you upfront and you have to acknowledge them. Many users are also getting a second chance with a canned reply explaining what needs correction. If you break our rules and still expect free help you are not getting, don’t blame us. It’s like deliberately going too fast on the road and then yelling at the cops when they stop you and give you a ticket.
We are one of the best places on the internet for quick font identifications. Not despite our strict rules, but because of them. It prevents our volunteers from wasting time by asking tens of thousands of times “But where does the image come from? Can you provide some context?”.
Remember: Just because we are a publicly available online forum, doesn’t mean we owe you free service. So, as the one wanting something from us, the least you can do is treat us with respect, even if there are moderator actions you don’t like. Even if a post could not be published right away, there is always a path to a resolution. Some people just say “sorry” and ask us nicely how they can improve their posts. In such a case, we will always find a solution. The ones who get angry, blame us or insult us will only digging a hole for themselves. They miss their (second or third) chance to have the post published after corrections, they wasted their time creating a post that will never be published and they will quickly have their account banned, because we are a community and members with disrespectful behaviour are of course not welcome. The choice to be in the “friendly community member” or “banned angry/disrespectful member” group is yours, not ours.
- I will pick a telling/specific title