DEC Logo

Toby Thain toby at
Mon Jun 29 14:19:17 CDT 2015

On 2015-06-29 1:26 PM, Paul Koning wrote:
>> On Jun 29, 2015, at 11:26 AM, Toby Thain <toby at> wrote:
>> On 2015-06-29 10:59 AM, Paul Koning wrote:
>>>> On Jun 28, 2015, at 6:34 PM, simon <simski at> wrote:
>>>> It seems to me that pdp8 is written in futura bold
>>> Where? In the picture that Bill posted, you can see what I think is
>>> a
>> dec custom font in labels like “industrial 11” and “power supply".
>> That’s the same font that was used on the covers of pdp-11 handbooks,
>> and as far as I know it’s something DEC made up. I traced it and turned
>> it into a TrueType font some years ago. Here it is. Some of the letters
>> are guesses because I have no samples.
>> There's reason to believe it's "Chalet". See my previous mail for a link to one revival of that family.
> I looked at that.  There are plenty of variations, but none of them match at all.  Take a look at the 11/45 processor handbook, or the peripherals handbook (for example the 1976 edition).  The inside cover page is particularly helpful because it shows the company name for an additional bunch of characters.
> If you mix & match letters from all the different variants of Chalet
(like the a from Paris 1980 but the k from Paris 1970) you can get
closer. But that’s not plausible,

I worked in graphic design for a long time. Modifications and 
substitutions of any kind are not unusual in a logo. So yes, it's 
plausible, but just annoying when reverse engineering it later, of course.

and in any case it’s still not the
same. The k in Paris 1970 is somewhat like the one in the DEC font, but
it is clearly not a match: the DEC k has arcs starting at the vertical
line, while in Paris 1970 there’s a bit of a horizontal line first. And
none of the variants have the r in “processor” or either of the two
version of the t in “digital equipment corporation”.

This *could* be due to differences betwen the House revival and the 
original Chalet font. The next research step could be to find specimens 
of the latter.

Or perhaps it was indeed a "custom font" as you said earlier, "based on" 
Chalet or something like it, with variant letters cherry picked. That 
explanation might satisfy everyone. :) I think it's pretty unlikely that 
a font will be discovered that is a better match than Chalet out of the 
box, though.


> 	paul

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