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OLD HOUSE LETTERING


DRAUDE
Go to solution Solved by Ralf Herrmann,

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DRAUDE

Hi, I need to restore the sign on the front of an old house in south Spain. The house was built in 1945, and the name of the house is VILLA CARMEN. The image attached comes from an old picture, but the sign is now destroyed. To redo the lettering, I would need to find the name of the font, or the closest one to it. 

Could you please help? 

Thanks a lot.

 

VILLA CARMEN black 2.jpg

VILLA CARMEN.jpg

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  • Solution
Ralf Herrmann

It’s not a font, but handmade. Rather poorly actually. I doubt an existing font will come close. It should rather be redrawn by someone who has experience with drawing type. 

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DRAUDE

It was done with a mould, as it has volume. This image is what it looks like now. I'm guessing they used a blackletter of some sort as inspiration to make the moulds. In the south of Spain, in 1945, after a Civil War, I'm pretty sure they were not creating new fonts, but using something already existing. 

IMG_7237.JPG

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Riccardo Sartori

As Ralf said.

However, if you can’t use the help of some experienced letterer, there have been (and still there are) numerous attempts to “latinise” blackletter and make it work in an all caps setting, from which you could take some inspiration.

Unfortunately, they tend to be much too ornate to be carved in plaster. I’m not qualified to suggest how much you can omit still preserving the integrity of the letters.

The less ornate designs I found tend to be more recent and seem to diverge in terms of shape of the letters (see, for example, Enzian, Lucida Blackletter, etc.).

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Riccardo Sartori
10 minutes ago, DRAUDE said:

I'm pretty sure they were not creating new fonts, but using something already existing

Which would be the skill of a sign painter or pre-made architectural lettering, not letters made to be printed in books. Hence Ralf’s comments about poor execution and the need of someone with experience.

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Ralf Herrmann
21 minutes ago, DRAUDE said:

 I'm pretty sure they were not creating new fonts …

Correct. They didn’t need a font. They only needed the specific letters and figures and so they created just these letters and figures for this one use. That’s called “lettering”. And that’s how this type of signage was almost always done back in the days. And I am absolutely certain in this specific case, since such poor letter drawings would not have been sold as font anyway. 

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DRAUDE

Ok, thanks all for your answers, and apologies for my ignorance. I'm not an expert, hence I'm here looking for advice. I see now that I'm not going to find a font that matches exactly this lettering, I've already gone through a few hundreds online :) So I am going to ask for some help to get these letters redrawn.  

Alternatively - as a homage to the year the house was built - I was thinking that maybe I could use a font that was created in 1945, or around that time. Do you have any suggestions? It doesn't need to be blackletter. I actually like Sans Serif fonts more than ornamented... So any suggestions are really welcome. 

Thanks again! 

Eduard

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