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albin1997536

Rainbow Quest font

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albin1997536

Hi, 

Id like to know the name of the font used for the titles in the 1960s television show rainbow quest. Does anyone recognize it?

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George Thomas

As much as I would like to think it is a font, I really think it is hand-lettered, based on what I perceive to be some irregularities in duplicated letters. That type of lettering was frequently used during that time period. A check through specimens of that era don't turn up the design, but there were other companies doing lettering fonts which I don't have references on.

If clearer images could be found that might be disproved but for now that is my opinion.

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Ralf Herrmann

It does look like (some kind of) typesetting. Otherwise why would they have left those large gaps after T and W for example. But that still doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a publicly available font with a name. It could as well be something made in-house for film/TV credits. 

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albin1997536

I suspected it being handwritten at first myself but the non-capital E's and L's look identical to me so it feels like its some kind of font.  I dont know if this is related or helpful in anyway but the show used this font and pedro-pro.

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Riccardo Sartori
11 hours ago, albin1997536 said:

pedro-pro

Better known as Dom (Casual).

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George Thomas

I agree with Ralf about the /T and /W non-kerns. My first thought was that it was done using the Filmotype machine which was current then but I could not find the font in that collection. Filmotype also allowed for basic kerning.

Since this was a low-budget show, more research indicates it could have been done using a Stripprinter which was very low-end and likely had no kerns at all. I doubt anyone has a catalog of their fonts.

Another argument against it being hand-lettering is that any lettering artist good enough to do the job would have known to do basic kerning.

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albin1997536

I suppose the only thing to do then is to recreate it myself. Anyway many thanks to you all for the help and information.

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George Thomas

Don't give up yet. I think it really is a pretty nice casual type even though it is a style I typically ignore. I like it well enough that if I can find enough material on it I will make a font of it.

My original comments about it being hand lettering were with some reserve (which I didn't express at the time) and when Ralf indicated he thought it was typesetting I looked at it closer. I did a bit of research on the show itself and I now think it could have been typesetting done on low-end obsolete equipment from the early days of photocomp which there is little surviving documentation on. I'm still doing research on that and I do believe I will find it eventually. When I set out to research something I rarely give up.

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albin1997536
8 hours ago, George Thomas said:

Don't give up yet. I think it really is a pretty nice casual type even though it is a style I typically ignore. I like it well enough that if I can find enough material on it I will make a font of it.

My original comments about it being hand lettering were with some reserve (which I didn't express at the time) and when Ralf indicated he thought it was typesetting I looked at it closer. I did a bit of research on the show itself and I now think it could have been typesetting done on low-end obsolete equipment from the early days of photocomp which there is little surviving documentation on. I'm still doing research on that and I do believe I will find it eventually. When I set out to research something I rarely give up.

Glad to hear.  It's nice to have a professional helping me out.

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George Thomas

Finally, enough information for an update on this very nice font.

I contacted the daughter of the producer of the show. She confirmed that it was a low-budget show and did not have money in the budget for typesetting the title cards, so it likely was done manually -- either rub-on or hand-lettering. Since her mother was involved in film-making and also worked on Rainbow Quest, she may have had personal resources in the film business to produce the cards.

I also contacted the studio where the show was filmed and lucked into contacting a production person who was there during that time and actually knew Pete Seeger. Their in-house artist used rub-on lettering almost exclusively, usually Helvetica Bold. He said since Rainbow Quest was not an in-house production the producers likely provided their own title cards.

The daughter of the producer gave me contact information for Pete Seeger's daughter since she had turned over all remaining papers and rights for the show to her. She thought there might be a slim chance of something in the papers that would be helpful. I attempted to contact Seeger's daughter via email and postal mail with my questions but never got a response.

I searched all of the old rub-on and phototype resources I own or could find hoping to find such a font, but no luck. So at this point the trail ends with the conclusion it likely was manually prepared rather than typeset.

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albin1997536
6 minutes ago, George Thomas said:

Finally, enough information for an update on this very nice font.

I contacted the daughter of the producer of the show. She confirmed that it was a low-budget show and did not have money in the budget for typesetting the title cards, so it likely was done manually -- either rub-on or hand-lettering. Since her mother was involved in film-making and also worked on Rainbow Quest, she may have had personal resources in the film business to produce the cards.

I also contacted the studio where the show was filmed and lucked into contacting a production person who was there during that time and actually knew Pete Seeger. Their in-house artist used rub-on lettering almost exclusively, usually Helvetica Bold. He said since Rainbow Quest was not an in-house production the producers likely provided their own title cards.

The daughter of the producer gave me contact information for Pete Seeger's daughter since she had turned over all remaining papers and rights for the show to her. She thought there might be a slim chance of something in the papers that would be helpful. I attempted to contact Seeger's daughter via email and postal mail with my questions but never got a response.

I searched all of the old rub-on and phototype resources I own or could find hoping to find such a font, but no luck. So at this point the trail ends with the conclusion it likely was manually prepared rather than typeset.

I really appreciate all the work you've put in. Many thanks for all the effort. I suppose the only thing to do then is to recreate the font myself. Ive got a really rough version of it made from cleaned up and adjusted screenshots but im far from a typography expert so it obviously wont look as pretty as the original. 

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George Thomas

@albin1997536, thank you. It was an interesting search, and worth the effort because it really is a nice face.

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