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Help needed to identify sandblasted monument lettering

Mike Koppa

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I am in the cemetery lettering business. The monument industry, as some of you know, I'm sure, uses CAD-based software, and the primary lettering styles historically found on cemetery markers often have no companion or likeness to the typefaces we see in print. Within the past couple decades, since the computer entered the industry, that has begun to change. This is an older monument in Madison, Wisconsin, and I have been asked to add a name and dates to match the existing. It appears to be similar to a Cochin typeface, but the numerals and the J don't match. And upon inspection of the entire monument, the lowercase a's in "March" are not the same, either, so it's already a botched situation. My intention is the do the best I can to match up with the existing lettering, knowing it is likely not going to be something for which a digital version is available for purchase. Exact recognition or close approximation, other than Linotype Cochin, requested and appreciated. Thank you.



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Oh, and, uh...you'll note that even the most grand of monuments, such as this one, seem to have been laid out and cut by artisans who struggled with kerning. I try not to let it bother me.

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Took the time to modify Cochin in Illustrator to match the existing on the monument. Sharing here because it took a lot of time, turned out pretty good, and I don't know anyone else who might appreciate it!

The existing lettering has the same full justification on the names and dates...maybe shouldn't have been critical of the previous letterer, because I can see now that I also had a hard time with the kerning. Hard to do when all three lines begin with CO, the bottom two lines have the same number of characters, and OLLI thing kind of makes me nuts if I look at it too long!



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  • very interesting! 1
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  • 1 year later...

We appreciate it and you did a great job!! We spend a lot of time too, matching existing inscriptions here in the UK. I don't think people realise how long it takes, as sometimes you have to modify nearly a whole alphabet.

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