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Font Used in "Apple-1 Operation Manual" Title Page


retroplace
Go to solution Solved by Member Kev…,

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Hello,

I am trying to "restore" the manual of the very first computer Apple built – the Apple-1. To do this, I am using high res scans of the original manual and try to re-build them from scratch with Indesign. Quite a task to say the least. Part of this task is to identify the fonts used and I am stuck with one on the cover of the manual that says: Apple-1 Operation Manual.

I have not managed to identify the typeface used. Although the "R" seems especially distinct, I can not identify this font.

Any help is highly appreciated.

Bonus question: I think I have identified the other typeface ("Apple Computer Company") as a standard "Helvetica" but it looks just a tiny bit more rounded than a Helvetica in the picture, but not rounded enough to be an Arial. Maybe it is just the scan … any insight is welcomed!)

Best,

Armin

 

Apple-1.thumb.png.ec34c70a2e84901bdb76911971ba1cad.png

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I found it. It's Volta.

Still, I am not sure about the typeface of the address info. It is close to Helvetica, but I have the feeling that it's only close but not the used one.

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There is another font used in the same manual which I fail to identify. I think the "g" is especially unique in that way that the serif on the top right of the letter is pointing upwards.

Any help is highly appreciated.

Bildschirmfoto 2021-04-25 um 10.05.43.png

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Unfortunately the sample is a bit too fuzzy. There are typefaces with an horn-shaped spur on |g|, but in this case it could be just an artefact due to reproduction/scanning.

Given certain characteristics, I suspect the text could have been set using a proportional typewriter, like the IBM Selectric, rather than typeset. Unfortunately few of those fonts (sometimes called “typestyles”) have been digitised, often just as “based on”.

I hope someone else can be more of help.

 

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39 minutes ago, Riccardo Sartori said:

Given certain characteristics, I suspect the text could have been set using a proportional typewriter like the IBM Selectric rather than typeset. Unfortunately few of those fonts (sometimes called “typestyles”) has been digitised, often just as “based on”.

Thanks for that – that already helps, I think. I would have not thought about proportional typewriters in the first place as the cover of the manual was done using typeset. I compared the typefaces used by the IBM but could not find a match.

I will attach a full page of the manual. Maybe that helps, too.

4.png

3.pdf

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3 hours ago, Kevin Thompson said:

For the body text, F25 Executive is quite similar.

Thanks so much, Kevin – that is the answer! Unfortunately, "Cutive" (mentioned by Fonts In Use as the digital equivalent) is not very similar as it is inspired by another typeface called "Smith-Premier". But your font indeed is very close. I have found another Executive Font here:

http://www.zinken.net/Fonts/Executive.htm

I will play with both and see what I can do. As the manual is set in justified print, it is very difficult to space out the characters in a way that resembles exactly the original kerning/spacing. But that's what I  want to achieve ultimately.

Again, thanks to all of you for your help – very much appreciated! 

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Retroplace, Cutive is referenced on Fonts in Use as a “digital interpretation” of Executive, not as an equivalent. As Riccardo pointed out in an earlier post, oftentimes the digital versions of typewriter styles are merely “based on” the originals, not exact matches.

As for the justification/spacing issue, I wouldn’t try to slavishly replicate the original—that will be nigh impossible using a digital typeface, and given that most software these days vastly improves the spacing and hyphenation of justified paragraphs.

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18 minutes ago, Kevin Thompson said:

Retroplace, Cutive is referenced on Fonts in Use as a “digital interpretation” of Executive, not as an equivalent. As Riccardo pointed out in an earlier post, oftentimes the digital versions of typewriter styles are merely “based on” the originals, not exact matches.

As for the justification/spacing issue, I wouldn’t try to slavishly replicate the original—that will be nigh impossible using a digital typeface, and given that most software these days vastly improves the spacing and hyphenation of justified paragraphs.

Kevin: Oh, I did not want to sound as a critique regarding Cutive. It is just too far away from what I wanted.

Regarding spacing: I know that probably nobody will ever appreciate it, but I really want it to be a slavishly replicate. I have started today with F25 Executive (which also has some differences, but they are really, really minor) and it turns out that I have to position almost each individual character manually. So it is a tedious process. But after half a page done (which took two hours), I have to say that the result just looks amazing, so I think it is worth the effort.

The picture shows how I do it: I have the original as a background (ghosted to 50 percent) and I have a text field on top. The left column is done and you can not really see the underlying original anymore shining through. The right column still needs to be done. You can see the different positions shining through.

Final question: Am I starting to get mad? Obviously. But I have to do something with this Corona time at hand … 😄

Bildschirmfoto 2021-04-26 um 16.30.15.png

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There is one more font in that manual that "drives me crazy". Here is a picture of a schematic with the font used all over the place. The "3" is especially interesting as it seems to be a rare shape for sans serif fonts. I have a few Gothic fonts that are close, but I can not find a perfect match, especially where characters and numbers would be a good match at the same time.

So I am hoping again for the expertise of the community to see whether someone came across this one.

BTW: I asume that the "1" that is seen a few times actually is typed as "I" or "l" as throughout the manual, "1" is replaced by a "l". I think this must have to do with the absence of the "1" key in IBM Typewriters like the electric. Whoever did this, probably was used to writing "l" instead of "1".

 

Bildschirmfoto 2021-04-27 um 14.10.54.png

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23 minutes ago, Riccardo Sartori said:

This last example could be from another typewriter (for example Dual Gothic has similar characteristics but unfortunately is not a match). Even worse (from an identification/reproduction standpoint) it could also be from some kind of template for technical writing.

If it was technical writing then it would be missing the typical gaps. But maybe a more sophisticated Leroy Set was used?

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1 hour ago, retroplace said:

maybe a more sophisticated Leroy Set was used?

That was what I had in mind. There are numerous typefaces that mimic the style. Perhaps there is one with a |3| like it.

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help at the moment.

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On 4/26/2021 at 4:31 PM, retroplace said:

I have to position almost each individual character manually.

Perhaps this technique could be useful:

 

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  • 1 month later...

Just as a follow up …

Today I have received the printed copies of my re-creation of the Apple-1 manual. Here is what it looks like – the last picture is a details of the schematics …

Hope you enjoy and thank you very much for helping making this possible!

Best

 

Armin

 

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