Jump to content
The latest typography links delivered straight to your inbox.

Identifying Font from 1941 FBI's Duquesne Spy Ring Poster

Recommended Posts

I've been trying to identify the typeface used on the FBI poster titled "33 convicted members of the duquesne spy ring" from 1941. You can see it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duquesne_Spy_Ring.

While I've struggled to find an exact match, certain characters like the quirky '3', as well as the 'E', 'R', 'C', and 'Q', are particularly distinctive. The closest matches I've found so far are the National Parks Typeface (https://nationalparktypeface.com) and National Forest Print (https://www.myfonts.com/products/print-regular-national-forest-20293). However, according to the descriptions of these typefaces, they aren't based on any original font. This puzzles me, as the similarities between them and the poster are striking. Could there be an original typeface that inspired them all?

Screenshot 2023-09-04 at 10.34.55.png

Link to comment

Not every example of type in the world corresponds to a typeface used for printing, especially when it predates the computer age.


The lettering was likely created with a draftsman's lettering template, like the kind shown here or here. A catalog for the Leroy Lettering Sets can be seen here.

The style is similar to the National Park and National Forest typefaces because those typefaces were based on lettering of a similar age and similar method of production—templates that were used to carve the letters into wood with a router (instead of drawing them with ink on paper).

There are digital recreations of the style out there, like Routed Gothic Font.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Watch our video course about font licensing.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We are placing functional cookies on your device to help make this website better.