Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
Interesting question! I doubt that it'd be something that we still have today, unless someone was inspired by it enough to redraw it. But I don't know a lot about the really old systems; that's why this is a comment and not an answer. – Brendan Aug 21 '13 at 4:10
I dont think its a font since we are basically looking at the birth of the GUI here. Probably a bitmapped typewriter "font"!? – tim human Aug 21 '13 at 11:03
I'd suggest researching this by 1) finding out what type of computer was used here 2) finding out what its system font was, if it had one - or if (perhaps more likely) it was hard-baked bitmaps, looking to see if some enthusiast has tried to re-create it as a modern font. I'd suspect this pre-dates modern font formats. – user568458 Aug 21 '13 at 12:35

Man, that's a cool font. However I don't think it's actually a FONT, given that this is from 1958. The closest thing I can think of is Courier New in CAPS, but with the letters staggered. I think you would have to painstakingly rearrange each letter to achieve that effect. It would be worth it for a banner or something, but not for an entire website, unless you're a very patient person! There also seem to be some highlights and soft focus effects... yes, try Courier New, all CAPS, and then play with the highlights and shadows, and focus. That's what I'd do in the sandbox, anyhow!

share|improve this answer
Curious why it's a "cool font"? Because it's highly illegible and difficult to read? – Scott Sep 3 '13 at 9:14

I think that demo was 1968, and the background is that the people involved with its development worked on optical (and magnetic) character recognition (OCR) with respect to banking.

The CRT screens and controller used appear to have been custom-made for the purpose, but earlier experiments were done with Control Data Corporation (CDC) display terminals. CDC was an OCR pioneer: they thought it would be an improvement over punch cards to have people type up their programs using a custom typeface and scan it in (they were not aware what a how difficult the problem really was).

The typeface itself is all over the place with respect to baseline, kerning, tracking etc. Also, it has no lower case letters. The closest you will find probably is OCR-B which originally hails from the early 70s I think.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.