Finding the right font

Logo for Identifont website

The Identifont website has come to the rescue this evening as I’ve been retyping a few of the documents I lost when I accidentally trashed my hard drive in September of last year.

The idea is simple. You answer a number of questions about the font you’re looking for based on what the various glyphs (characters) look like and it will attempt to identify the font for you.

So, for example, the first question is “What type of tail does the upper-case ‘Q’ have? (Ignore the shape of the tail.)”:

  • Crosses the circle.
  • Touches the circle.
  • Below and separated from the circle.
  • Tail extends or lies inside circle.
  • Circle is open, tail part of same stroke.
  • Not sure.

As you progress through the questionnaire Identifont gives an update on how close it is to finding a possible match, eg “2441 candidates. Approximately eleven more questions.”

The documents I’ve been re-typing are for our holiday cottage in Cellardyke. Foolishly I’d not taken a back-up, but thankfully I did have a hard-copy of the Booking Form and Prices Summary Sheet and after trawling three times through my list of installed fonts I gave up and called on the help of Identifont, which after about 12 questions — and my squinting closely at the print-out — suggested that it might be one of

  • Gill Display Compressed
  • Gill Sans Condensed
  • Jigsaw Light
  • EF Lucida Casual T
  • Tantalus

“Ahhh … Gill Sans!” I exclaimed. “That’s it!”

It wasn’t.

But it was GillSans Light, a Type 1 Adobe font. Identifont had correctly identified the font family, which was a great help.

Thanks go to James Frost who first showed me the Identifont website.

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