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60s guitar Hiwatt amp faceplate font

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I am going to do reproductions of a few rare guitar amps from the late 60s/early 70s originally made by the Hiwatt Company from the UK. They made some custom amps for certain high profile groups like The Who and Led Zeppelin. The other amps in Hiwatt's line typically used fonts from the Eurostile family for the lettering, but the customer's name used a different font which I have not been able to accurately identify. I am not 100% sure it is the same font on both these types of amps, but they seem very close in style. So this could be two different fonts or the same font, not sure.  

The amps in question were made in 1969 ('Jimmy Page') and 1969-71 ("The Who") respectively. The faceplates were made in Traffolyte, a very well-known style/brand of laminate material which was engraved with the appropriate text.


I have tried to use online font identifiers, both automatic ones and Identifont, but have come up short so far. Some that are somewhat close are P22 Johnston Underground and Verdana, but none that are exact. Looking at the 'Jimmy Page' text in particular, there are some very characteristic traits, like the very rounded m's with no stems, the upper-case J sitting on the baseline and the double-storey lower case g. Any hints are greatly appreciated!







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Riccardo Sartori

Those stemless |m|s are quite at odds with the other letters. My hunch is that it is a proprietary typeface specifically for the router/engraving machine, thus with no digital (or pre-digital) equivalent.

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Thanks for your input! If this font is impossible to accurately reproduce, which one would you recommend as the closest? We might digitally edit the layout file to remove the stems, so maybe go for the font that is closest in other respects?

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Riccardo Sartori

As far as letter shapes go, a Gill Sans derivative with a non-descending |J|, like Astoria Sans or Tschichold, should bring you close (straight leg on |y|, left leaning |a| with tail, high-waisted |P|).

For a more general feeling, looking for keywords like "template", "router", etc., could give you some workable results. Also something like Adesso has the wrong |y|, but a better |e|.

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Thanks for your replies, Gentlemen! As you have probably guessed, I am not a designer, so I have to look everything up. Microgramma has some similarities, but the lower case g is not a double-storey style, so that can't be it. Some other differences too. 

If nothing else comes up, I'll choose the one that is closest from the Johnston Underground family and have the designer modify what doesn't match (remove stems on the m, straighten the y tail). The Underground font does have a classic "English" feel to it which sits well with these amps.

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Riccardo Sartori


15 hours ago, Gecko said:

Looks like Micogramma to my old eyes. Modern day eurostyle.

For the main, uppercase, writings, yes. But not for "Jimmy Page" and "The Who", as already noted in the initial post:

On 3/5/2019 at 10:58 AM, shakti said:

The other amps in Hiwatt's line typically used fonts from the Eurostile family for the lettering, but the customer's name used a different font

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Actually that was really helpful - I had not accurately identified the font used for the "Custom Hiwatt 100" text, but it does look like Microgramma!

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