Mmm, how gothic
September 24, 2006 5:54 PM   Subscribe

Name that typeface: used on the Michelin road signs in France. I've tried all the usual Gothic suspects.
posted by avocet to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
From what I've been able to determine, the old Michelin signs were hand-painted enameled steel, or "lave". Being hand-painted, there wouldn't be any sort of actual font being used. Just the general "idea" of a gothic font.

And, before you scoff, let me assure you that the old-school sign painters of yore were absolutely capable of batting out signs with such precision that you would easily think the signs were machine-made.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:49 PM on September 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

Also, if you look at the two adjacent N characters in the bottom-right sign, you'll see that they're somewhat different.
posted by aye at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2006

Mmm, Frutiger.

Probably not the same... But definitely used in other French highway signage.
posted by disillusioned at 8:32 PM on September 24, 2006

I think Thorzdad is right about the old ones being hand-painted. Nevertheless, you might try identifont if you haven't already. Might not find an exact match, but could find an an acceptable approximation.
posted by thinman at 9:12 PM on September 24, 2006

Not Frutiger. Font Bureau's Interstate and the various styles of font that pop up in the DIN continuum come close but are not exact matches. As noted, it is probably more a general style than a font properly speaking.
posted by zadcat at 10:00 PM on September 24, 2006

Caracteres is used on some road signs in France.
posted by re.becca at 11:05 PM on September 24, 2006

Roadgeek Fonts has a collection of approved roadsign fonts from all over the place, downloadable for personal use. Their Highway Gothic looks as close as it gets.

I knew that info would come in handy at some point.
posted by nadise at 12:02 AM on September 25, 2006

There are a few characters in Avenir that match. I think if you distressed this font set you'd get pretty close.
posted by strawberryviagra at 3:44 AM on September 25, 2006

Caracteres is a decent after-the-fact recreation of the older handpainted signs, which actually vary quite a bit over time and place. Frutiger is the new face.
posted by holgate at 4:47 AM on September 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

Wow. holgate. Tasty.
posted by Dick Paris at 9:29 AM on September 25, 2006

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