I need to find a font that looks like the lettering on a movie sign. I will be using a background to give the lines in the background. Now I need to find a font that looks like the text on the sign. Are there any fonts that give the diagonal "and" and "the" like in the first two pictures? Does that diagonal type have a proper name to Google?

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2 Answers 2


The "diagonal words" are called 'catchwords'. An example from the wood type era:

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For simple geometric sans such as the ones in the photos, you can certainly make your own. There are fonts that have them built in, however:


  • 2
    And something like Gordon Black which includes them may be suitably "1950s" as well. +1 May 2, 2012 at 6:31

That's almost monospaced which means that many fonts will have U and N too wide. Try TW Cen MT Condensed Bold or Extra Bold.

TW Cen MT Condensed example

Free versions are available (but if you run Windows software you may already have them).

The rounder style on the older photos is almost Highway Gothic — this example is only a fairly good match but it's free. You may need Highway Gothic E(M).

Highway Gothic example

The "diagonal" text isn't diagonal; the letters are placed on a stepped baseline.

  • thanks for the answer. It is very helpful. Is there a way to get a font that does a stepped up baseline automatically for short words?
    – Alexis K
    May 1, 2012 at 22:11
  • I don't know of one (but that's not "No"!) In the physical signs they would probably have been three letters arranged on a single piece of clear plastic or linked with thin wire. You could make a single similar graphic. May 1, 2012 at 22:16

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