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Top Sign Reference

Started by Scarfwearer, May 14, 2009, 03:40 pm

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Nov 02, 2016, 06:07 am #90 Last Edit: Nov 02, 2016, 06:11 am by galacticprobe
Welcome back, grimusaur! (I remember you as Pepsiman98.) Something went amiss with your images; they didn't post (just "noimg", some parameters, and the images' Tumblr links), but the links aren't clickable. I did manage to get to the images, and I hope you don't mind me posting them:



And am I doing something wrong with the links? The Yardley-Jones PDF downloaded just fine when I clicked on the link, but when I click on the link for the Newbery I get to a screen that wants me to create an account.

After seeing how great the full-size Yardley-Jones PDF is, I'd love to see how you improved on the full-size Newbery!

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Nov 02, 2016, 06:44 am #91 Last Edit: Nov 02, 2016, 06:52 am by grimusaur
I don't mind at all, seems I'm a bit rusty with my formatting. :-[

I accidentally left out an R in Newbery in the link, try it now.

EDIT: It's seriously not letting me post the word Newbery with two Rs??? I don't know what's going on, it's letting me TYPE it with two R's but whenever I hit Save or Preview it changes to one R???


Nov 02, 2016, 07:18 am #92 Last Edit: Nov 02, 2016, 07:44 am by galacticprobe
Well, it sort of worked. I had to click on the Yardley-Jones link, and then once I got to that page I had to replace Yardley-Jones with "Newbery" (two Rs), and then it let me download the PDF (which does look amazing). And strangely, even just trying to type "Newbery" with two Rs in it in this post - even without it being in a link - it "auto-changes" to a single-R Newbery. (Does the Forum have that sort of auto-correct feature?)

You may have to rename the PDF file to "Newbery"; Barry Newbery did only have one R in his surname. What normally works in cases like that is to put your link between URL brackets so it would look like this (without spaces): [ url ] <link goes here> [ /url ].

(And actually, that doesn't help either; I just tried it for giggles. Even using those URL brackets, for some reason, the spelling keeps "auto-changing" to the single R "Newbery", so maybe just renaming the file might be the easier way to go? That is the correct spelling of his name after all. Just a suggestion and trying to help.)

P. S. I just looked in my folder at the previous version that you'd created and that file has only one R in Newbery.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Something odd happens when I try to edit that message.  I'll update the table in the next couple of days with your contributions.  Thanks!


Huh, my apologies to Barry Newbery then! Seems I'm more rusty than I thought.


Nov 03, 2016, 04:37 pm #95 Last Edit: Nov 03, 2016, 08:19 pm by grimusaur
Minor update just for post convenience, the links should all work this time.

[noimg width=540 height=61]https://65.media.tumblr.com/bbd80094abce9a8b4c6ef76608fb7979/tumblr_inline_ofzk2101io1tu3jhq_540.png[/img]

[noimg width=540 height=61]https://67.media.tumblr.com/4e5689ca1f044cb3361f981b9d2fe911/tumblr_inline_ofzk2hLQgw1tu3jhq_540.png[/img]

And two new ones I whipped up:

[noimg width=540 height=61]https://65.media.tumblr.com/93fd01f17651221d52721bd1f58e91c9/tumblr_og2r810wxW1uv46ueo2_540.png[/img]
Edited the TYJ sign slightly, I'm unsure which of the two I've made is more accurate.

[noimg width=540 height=61]https://66.media.tumblr.com/4a439383fe4017a94a30aaa8cd6f22cd/tumblr_og2r810wxW1uv46ueo1_540.png[/img]
I'm pretty confident the later Brachacki sign used Grotesque as well, so it was simple enough to change the colors for this one. (and I could be wrong, but judging from the character size and spacing in pictures it seems like this sign was the basis of all top signs until the show's end!)

EDIT: Well, in my defense the images showed up just fine in the preview. I've seriously gotta get a better handle on this...


Nov 04, 2016, 05:54 am #96 Last Edit: Nov 04, 2016, 06:17 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: grimusaur on Nov 03, 2016, 04:37 pm
Minor update just for post convenience, the links should all work this time.

Indeed they do. All of the links work just fine and the PDFs look beautiful!

Quote from: grimusaur on Nov 03, 2016, 04:37 pm
EDIT: Well, in my defense the images showed up just fine in the preview. I've seriously gotta get a better handle on this...

Maybe if you try posting the smaller images directly on the Forum rather than trying to hot-link to Tumblr, and also leaving out the  "width=" and "height=" parameters the images will post. Just make a JPG copy of the original image, resize it on your computer, and then post it with the "Choose File" button. (Make sure to use the "Save Draft and Continue >>" button after choosing the file, and then add a line return before choosing the next. That way things don't get bogged down trying to upload more than one image at a time. It's the easiest way I've found to post multiple images.)

And to give you a little help with these for now:


Yardley-Jones (first link above)

Yardley-Jones (second link above)

Brachacki-Altered (the front and rear signs; side signs were still the white letters on black; see http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=4489.25 and scroll down about half way for more on that.)

One minor tweak, if I may suggest: the Brachacki-Altered sign actually had blue lettering, which you can clearly see in "Spearheads From Space", and also still barely visible in her last cameo appearance in the final scene of "Seeds of Doom". In fact, the lettering was almost the same blue as the TARDIS.

I hope some if this is helpful.

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


Hi all

I meant to share this a while back. For my models I recently knocked up a version of the Altered Brachacki front and rear top signs, using the correct Universe Lt Std Bold font (Thanks to Clayton Hickman and Tony Farrell for pointing me in the right direction with the font identification).

Here's a small version; however if we want a full sized pdf version for the reference chart I can pass it on to Crispin to host.



I have a use for this at the moment, so would be grateful!
Clay is thinking Helvetica Bold at the moment - possibly they're close enough to be indistinguishable?

It's actually Deck5 who's graciously hosting the PDFs and managing the table, so he's the one to PM.



Jun 13, 2017, 08:33 am #99 Last Edit: Jun 13, 2017, 08:35 am by fivefingeredstyre

Before I get anything uploaded, lets do some comparisons...

Shots of the front sign at a decent resolution are as rare as chairs on Skaro, so the best version I could find would be a full-sized screen grab from the lovely blu-ray of Spearhead from Space part 3.


I adjusted the signage part for perspective (not 100% accurate, but about as good as I could get...)


Here's the lettering in Universe


And again in Helvetica Bold...


Both are very similar, but it might well be Helvetica...

I've made full sized versions of each, so I can upload whichever one people prefer...

Davros Skaro

Gee, I can't tell the difference between the two.  :o ??? ??? ???



It's the "C" and the "B" that have very subtle differences, with the "C" clinching it for me.


Jun 13, 2017, 10:12 am #102 Last Edit: Jun 13, 2017, 10:57 am by Scarfwearer
I find it helps to look at the 'holes' in the letters - the shapes of the enclosed space rather than the 'black'.
The 'B' looks more like Univers (the holes in the Helvetica 'B' are much wider than Univers), the 'C' looks more like Helvetica, the 'O' looks more elliptical than either: I'm not seeing that 'squared off' look in the original - but it is pretty fuzzy.
Both are reasonably close, but to be honest I'm not sure either really nails it (but the images are fuzzy enough that either may well have).
The difficulty is that the sign predates digital typography by decades, so there may not actually be a digital font that matches them perfectly. We have the same issue with the door signs.
We may get the best match by drawing vectors over a straightened image - but that would take some serious dedication, and I would only want to do that if we're sure we can't find a perfect font match.

Angelus Lupus

Jun 13, 2017, 11:34 am #103 Last Edit: Jun 13, 2017, 11:34 am by Angelus Lupus
To my eye it's the "P" that is the tell. It's a little more 'top-heavy' in Helvetica i.e. the curve looks larger and the stem looks shorter.
So, yeah, add my voice as another for the consensus. Looks like we can put Helvetica in the reference table.
A mixed-up non-conformist, trying to fit in.


Jun 14, 2017, 05:33 am #104 Last Edit: Jun 14, 2017, 05:35 am by galacticprobe
Another voice for Helvetica, here. When looking at the original Top Sign from "Spearheads" and the other two fonts for comparison, I looked at the shape of the rounded letters, namely the O and C. On the original prop the thickness of the letter is pretty uniform on all sides (if a round letter can have sides, but I think you know what I mean).

The O and C in Univers (yes, without that last "e" on it... took me forever to search for that one until Google finally offered up "Would you like to search for 'Univers' font instead...?") are thinner on the tops and bottoms of the letters than they are on the sides. Helvetica's O and C are the same thickness all the way round, just like on the prop.

So while Crispin is right and these were made before digital typography and digital fonts (not to mention the wear on that original prop's sign!), and we're not likely to find a 100 percent perfect match, at the moment Helvetica looks at least a 95 percent match (maybe higher) against Univers' no-higher-than-90 percent.

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"