Back To The Eighties With Justice’s DVNO
It’s a disease. No really, I mean it. Whenever we see faces – typefaces that is – we feel compelled to identify them. Whatever the situation or the context. I suspect it must be some obsessive compulsive need to bring order to the world, to register and classify and arrange. It’s far from a fatal disease, but it may sometimes impede on one’s social skills. And on one’s concentration while reading. I used the plural “we” because fortunately I am not alone.
It’s Stephen Coles – my partner in font geekery and type identifier extraordinaire – who planted the seed for this post. Two months ago I had a chat conversation with Stephen and mentioned I was doing some scouting for Punchcut for the next Typophile Film Fest.
23:47:37 Yves Peters: Now I’m trying to get the Frenchies who did D.A.N.C.E. and DVNO by Justice, and the Kanye West graffiti clip.
23:47:50 Stephen Coles: DVNO we should ID all those fonts.
23:48:08 Stephen Coles: Someone did the TV intros they mimicked, so we do the fonts now.
Yep, he said it. So I had to get to it sooner or later. Because he once devoted an amazing Typographica entry to the typefaces used in Shadowplay’s fabulous opening title credits for Thank You For Smoking. Because expatriate compatriot Steven Van Vaerenbergh already identified most of the eighties old-skool CGI television bumpers the video is based upon. And because it’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Above is the smashing video by So Me and Machine Molle; an insane collage of (seemingly) vintage animated eighties logos. If you want to find out more about its back story read the interview with Justice on Much Music. There’s also an article on So Me on the Mass Appeal website.
This – obviously – is the Ed Banger Records logo, the label that releases Justice. No real reference to any other known logo I know of, but it certainly looks the part. The sans is the original Kabel with a customised “g”, and the script underneath is a typical “baseball” script like Casey.
This type and its arrangement are very similar to The Gong Show logo, whose typeface is one of these extreme bold display faces. It reminds me of Milton Glaser’s classic geometric constructed Baby Teeth (interpreted by ParaType as Bebit), but it is quite possibly custom drawn.
FontFeed reader Mike pointed out the similarity with the Blade Runner logo, while fuldog recognised the ESPN logo. No matching typeface (both logos look custom designed), but Rian Hughes’ Interceptor is very similar in style.
Young & Old? Helvetica.
And Helvetica once more. I’m pretty sure the PBS inspired logo is custom drawn.
This is genuine classic eighties style. It has everything: the explosion, the flying 3D logo, the canyon mirrored in the macho letter shapes, and sparkling outlines. Although I couldn’t find an equivalent in type, ITC Pioneer No. 2 conveys the same feeling.
This one nicely displays the pros and cons of tightly spacing and stacking Eurostile Extended.
This complete sequence is a beautiful take on the HBO 1983 ident. The first logo could be anything, ranging from Helvetica to Futura. I don’t know which typeface the end logo is. FF Motel Gothic has most of the character shapes right but feels too Art Deco, while Borgstrand is too heavy.
Sweat is custom designed to look like the Sega logo…
Cool is designed to look like the Audi logo.
The original lettering in the Universal Studios Florida logo was replaced with Kaufmann, and Block Up, an outrageous 3D display face designed by Sally Ann Grover and released by Letraset in the late seventies.
I found a number of examples with an open “C” like this one in the Compact Sans Serifs FontList, but none of them has that characteristic bounce.
A similar type of slanted capitals designed for perfect fit in headlines are included in ITC Avant Garde Gothic Pro, the feature-rich OpenType version which has all the alternate characters and ligatures built in.
Not really type, yet the stripped down skeleton of the characters has a lot in common with FF Netto.
Casual caps written in lipstick. Smoochalicious…
This one is interesting – the characters are fearfully close to Space, a former member of the Star Trek pack that was discontinued by Bitstream. The typefaces however are still available as the single fonts Horizon, Galaxy, Millenium, and Sonic. Crillee Italic and Handel Gothic were also seen in the television series and movies.
This clearly is an homage to Twentieth Century Fox. There are similar extremely black display faces with linear counters available – for example FF Extra and Alpha Bloc Sculpture – however these characters look custom designed.
A faithful interpretation of the CBS/Fox Video ident, with custom striped Helvetica Inserat for the letters.
And last but not least, a very successful satire on the paper “C” in Stephen J. Cannell Productions which came at the end of the A-Team episodes. The multilinear character is custom designed of course.
This is about it. If you spot any mistake or are able to fill in a blank let me know.
The FontFeed is a daily dispatch of recommended fonts, typography techniques, and inspirational examples of digital type at work in the real world. Eat up.
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