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meadowsboy

CWGC What kind of font?

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meadowsboy

As per the title!

Which font was used?

cheers

David

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Andrew Upton

Which font was used?

I presume you mean on the headstones? If so, I recall reading here somewhere that the font they use is one specially designed for the CWGC to be easily read in passing, or some similar thing, and so might not be available elsewhere.

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Terry Denham

It was a special font designed by Eric Gill and was never given a name.

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Tims

Rather than Eric, the font was actually designed by his brother Macdonald Gill. Interestingly Gill (Macdonald, not Eric) was one of a committee of three people, with Sutherland MacColl and Charles Holmes, that designed the cemetery headstone - a rare case of a committee that did not design a camel!

Tim

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BillyH

I'm not saying that there are different fonts used, but I have noticed 2 different varieties.

Most headstones are as the example shown for Private J.Dawber, but occasionally you see them with what I can only describe as a narrower type of font as shown on the example for Pte J.Harding.

Perhaps the same font but narrower style, just compare the J's and H's for example.

BillyH

post-41657-0-92944600-1331027774.jpg

post-41657-0-07196900-1331027789.jpg

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Michelle Young

Billy, I might be wrong but I think that is the difference between the hand cut and the machine cut stones, the narrower being the modern machine cut.

Michelle

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BillyH

Billy, I might be wrong but I think that is the difference between the hand cut and the machine cut stones, the narrower being the modern machine cut.

Michelle

Michelle,

I take your point about machine cut stones (I wasn't aware of that)

Does anyone know how long have they been using the machines?

Because the example I used for Pte J.Harding seems to be an original WW1 headstone, certainly not a replacement.

BillyH

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Hedley Malloch

The font was specially designed and it was used in all the IWGC furnishings and fittings - registers, signs, stone of remembrance. This was important - memory is a disparate concept and design is one of the ideas which binds it together

Bit by bit this has been lost. The original signs - you can still see a selection on the Lille Gate at Ypres - were replaced by the green and white signs we see today. Functional is the kindest word that can be used to describe the modern versions. This change passed unremarked many years ago, because there was not then the interest then in WW1.

The most recent casualty has, of course, been the cemetery registers. The originals issued in the 1920s were works of art. Not just the fonts, but the maps, cemetery plans, coat-of-arms, covers. Graphically a delight, but more than that. The care and attention to detail, so evident in the beauty of the document is, in its own way, a tribute to the men commemorated inside. They even list the graves of the unidentified soldiers.

These have been replaced by the inferior red or green plastic backed, 12-point Times New Roman laser-printed jobs we find waiting for us in the majority of cemetery register boxes. I know the reasons: theft and cost-control. But surely it should have been within the CWGC's technical abilities to recreate the original font, maps, plans, and to incorporate them into the software package they now use to print the replacement registers.

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meadowsboy

Thank you all very much for the information, very interesting!

cheers

David

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NigelS

The font was specially designed and it was used in all the IWGC furnishings and fittings - registers, signs, stone of remembrance. This was important - memory is a disparate concept and design is one of the ideas which binds it together

In the modern world large companies and organizations have corporate style manuals which dictate the fonts, colour schemes, logos, signage etc, etc, to be used at all levels of a business's public appearance. (It is not unheard of for large quantities of stationery, brochures etc to be pulped because changes to corporate style have dictated that it can no longer be used.) The reasoning behind this, although commercially orientated, would be the same as the for original style adopted by the IWGC as given in Hedley's post. I don't know when such all encompassing corporate styles first came into fashion, but I wonder if the IWGC might have been one of the earliest organizations to have adopted such a policy.

NigelS

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Frank_East

An exception to the norm?

Some years ago,I noticed that the font used on the headstone of B.G Sir J E Gough in the Estaires Communal Cemetery was exceptionally large.The font is so large that it covers virtually the whole of the headstone.

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PaulC78

Decided to bump this rather than start a new topic...

I understand from the above that the CWGC use their own unnamed font, but I was wondering if anyone knows of any similar commercial fonts (preferably free)?

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squirrel

Contact a local memorial mason - they will tell you what fonts can be used and will probably have something very similar to a CWGC font.

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Hedley Malloch

Get a copy of a IWGC register, scan a couple of pages and then go to work with a font creation package. See

http://www.high-logic.com/font-editor/fontcreator.html

For an example.

You can buy old registers on ABE; the font was the same for registers, headstones etc. But you need an old register. If you want to use the modern register font it's called Times New Roman and it's sitting on your computer.

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stephen binks

The attached image was taken at Lille Southern Cemetery last year. I was surprised to find the original Second World register and a 1929 copy of the First World War Register!

Stevepost-3307-0-28217100-1386775150_thumb.jp

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NigelS
On ‎06‎/‎03‎/‎2012 at 09:57, BillyH said:

I'm not saying that there are different fonts used, but I have noticed 2 different varieties.

Most headstones are as the example shown for Private J.Dawber, but occasionally you see them with what I can only describe as a narrower type of font as shown on the example for Pte J.Harding.

Perhaps the same font but narrower style, just compare the J's and H's for example.

BillyH

post-41657-0-92944600-1331027774.jpg

post-41657-0-07196900-1331027789.jpg

 

Came across this article  'Memorial Type' which might explain the two varieties:

Latin capitals were still the state of the memorial art when World War I came to an end in 1918, even as the typographic world was on the cusp of a new, sans-serif era. Johnston Sans, the inescapable symbol of the London Underground, had first appeared in 1916, and Gill Sans, the work of carver and type designer Eric Gill, would be created in the mid-1920s. But when it was time for the Imperial (later Commonwealth) War Graves Commission to pick a lettering design for the tens of thousands of tombstones it would be engraving it went with a traditional, measured approach. MacDonald (or Max) Gill, Eric Gill’s brother, designed a well-balanced set of serif letters that matched the spirit of the Commission’s other work: modern but classical.

That was, in many ways, where things stood for many years, even after World War II (for the graves of which Max Gill revised his lettering.) Then, in the 1980s, Maya Lin chose Optima in which to engrave the 58,000 names on the US Vietnam Veterans Memorial. That typeface, designed by a sans-serif whose letters do homage to Latin capitals with their flared ends but whose lines are far more humane. Dignified and measured, Optima was created in the 1950s by German designer Herman Zapf (responsible for many iconic fonts, but probably best known to computer users for Zapf Dingbats). Under the circumstances, it’s a little cringe-inducing that type designer Jonathan Hoefler wrote about it that “after three decades of signifying a very down-market notion of luxe [a dig at the Estée Lauder brands], this particular sans-serif has settled into being the font of choice for the hygiene aisle.”

Original GW headstones would - obviously - have the original font style, but any that have been replaced or re-engraved post WWII might have the 'tweeked' WWII version.  For purely practical reasons - not to mention avoiding headaches for the engravers - it would make sense for the CWGC to standardise on just one font style regardless of whether  a WW1 or WWII headstone was involved.

 

NigelS

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chaz

not really answering the original question but more from a machining point of view. we engrave in Aluminium, these are standard font packages but they never come out as design , designed them to. we have had to go back through to design to accept what we produced in order to get the jobs through incoming inspection.

todays machines engraving use standard cutting tools, off the shelf, as opposed to 'specials; so getting hand tooled , complete with chisel marks, and mistakes, are a thing of the past.

years ago (10+) we had a tool grinder who would grind specially designed tools, 2 hours grinding plus the programmers time designing and drawing up, probably equates to £100, two 'off the shelf' cutting tools, one milling cutter and a chamfer /deburr tool equates to £20, also the bonus , they can be used on other work and don't need complicated regrinding when blunt.

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Jim Strawbridge

My mother's headstone I had made in the design of a CWGC headstone and by coincidence the monumental mason had, earlier in his career, worked on CWGC headstones. I recall that he said that the font was particular to the CWGC (ie designed specifically for them) and that the angle of the cut into the stone was also unusual and different to normal incision.

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chaz

was it not done in the design that could enable it to be read from various angles? I seem to remember having read somewhere, which is a bit of a strange idea as anyone visiting would be stood in front of it anyway.

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Simon J. Horne

I'm designing an upgrade to my village WWII memorial, as the names of the 8 men lost in WWI, were not recorded.

Its going to be formed of 'raking ' water jet cut letters , cut out of Admiralty brass plate.

I need a font my CAD friend can 'tweak' to a raking angle and provide small 'sprues' for the closed letters like O and R etc.

This info has to resemble the monument font described above AND be on a CAD type format.

Free would be good as this is not for profit.

Any suggestions please ?

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BillyH

Sorry to pour cold water on this plan, but I must confess that i'm not keen on the idea of using small 'sprues' for closed letters!

 

BillyH.

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nigelcave
On 14/05/2017 at 14:26, chaz said:

was it not done in the design that could enable it to be read from various angles? I seem to remember having read somewhere, which is a bit of a strange idea as anyone visiting would be stood in front of it anyway.

I agree - on the other hand, it probably makes it easier when you are scanning rows of headstones, as one often does (well, at least I do!) in a CWG cemetery. And maybe there might be several people wanting to stand in front of (or as near to)  a particular headstone at the same time - e.g. a small family group?

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Ron Clifton

Photographing a stone so that the image is clear wherever the sun is might also be a relevant factor.

 

Ron

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chaz
1 minute ago, Ron Clifton said:

Photographing a stone so that the image is clear wherever the sun is might also be a relevant factor.

 

Ron

 

Not so sure of this one, as a few we have visited last year are facing the wrong way or have eroded badly that we could not get good pictures, even reading some was difficult.

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