For that past several weeks I’ve been trying to figure out what the heck typeface this is below. And it’s has been bothering me quite a bit.
The signs were from a bakery that I always walk by on my way to the WCC extension center in Peekskill. I could already tell they were a transitional type, but my eyes were taken immediately to what seemed to look like upside down S’s on “Desserts”. For a long time, I was distracted by the thought that these upside down looking S’s might not actually be upside down, but might actually be the correct way. This is because somewhere, somewhere, somewhere! way back, I could remember an article had made a note of pointing out that some common type had a uniquely upside down looking S. And for a long time I was searching for that S.
I could not remember where I saw it. I went back to the book Just My Type by Simon Garfield to see if it might be there. I had been reading the book several weeks back and had enjoyed it a lot. I had read good reviews about the book online and had found that my town library had serendipitously just acquired it. Garfield made learning about the spread of typefaces and it’s designers fun and easy. A very entertaining book.
However after looking over several chapters again, I could not find the article I was looking for. So I finally went online hoping that I might come across the place I had seen it. I looked through my history and hoped it might pop out at me somehow. Looking through the articles however I just could not find the one line I was looking for. I know it’s out there somewhere, and I hate thinking that it’s on the tip of my tongue.
But anyway, I decided to just try figuring it out manually. I went to Identifont.com and put in all the transitional fonts I at this point knew: Baskerville, Caslon, Garamond, Didot, and Imprint. It was after comparing several of the letters and FINALLY taking a look at the rest of the words in the photographs that I realized the S’s were undoubtedly upside down. During my research I had become pretty convinced that it was Didot (the hair thin lines were most telling) however I kept coming across the contrast of the A and the M, which did not match up. I was thrown off for a while thinking it might be Imprint when I had a second revelation that I might be wrong all together. Could it be possible that if the S’s were wrongly placed, then so too could the others? The M, A, and Y looked so closely to resemble Bodoni and Didot, yet the thin lines on M and A were on the wrong side. The R already tells me I’m wrong about both Bodoni and Didot, but supposing I did find the typeface? If one letter was backwards, how could I really confirm it? For all I know the M and A and Y are backwards and so to look for them as is would be a wild goose chase. I’m not yet knowledgeable enough to know where to spend my time looking. But if the owners of that bakery are to figure out what I’ve just thought of and seen (which if they take a real careful look at, is not that hard) then someone will be getting an angry phone call. You can’t always expect plasterers to know which way some darn letters are supposed to go, but you might expect some quality control person around. If you’re going to be stuck with backwards letters and upside down S’s, then you’d want a refund. Now I know what those font snobs are all about. They want want to satisfaction of saying I told you so!
So for now, I will just have to submit my pictures to Myfonts.com (as recommeded by Mr.Garfield)and see if one of the “experts” can figure it out. I will return when that S is found though.