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Door Sign Reference

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

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Theta Sigma


My attempt at Yardley Jones sign.

"I just put 1.795372 & 2.204628 together." - 4th Doctor


Thanks for that!
I've installed a link to it. If you have a higher resolution copy somewhere, or a PDF, that would be good...

We're not far from filling this table now, though rumour has it that the door sign has changed again for 2010...



Feb 06, 2010, 07:42 pm #32 Last Edit: Feb 06, 2010, 08:27 pm by starcross
I'm surprised an original Police box sign hasn't shown up in the list yet. Well I shall add it to the pool, although come to think of it there was another one from Ironageman that was a tracing of the Barnet Bypass Box sign?

Anyway while not used on the Tardis, this sign predates the show by a decade, it is most likely the inspiration for the Brachacki Original (1963).

DRG 90316 - Glass 67A
Drawn on March 7th 1953
10 1/8" Wide
11 3/8 Tall
Text is 5/8" and 1/2" mixed
Font is closest to PanRoman

The above linked photo is a scan of an original sign, cleaned up quite a bit by myself, but is full size non the less. It should be full size when printed on an A3 or 11x17" tabloid sheet. Although the height of the image is a little off so it prints at 11 7/16".

If anyone decides to get it printed into a sign let me know how it turns out!

Oh and if anyone wants to PDF the jpeg and re-upload it somewhere else, please feel free.




Quote from: Scarfwearer on Feb 06, 2010, 07:31 pm
Thanks for that!
I've installed a link to it. If you have a higher resolution copy somewhere, or a PDF, that would be good...

We're not far from filling this table now, though rumour has it that the door sign has changed again for 2010...


Here's the new sign:



Thanks again,
I've updated the table.



Feb 07, 2010, 02:35 am #35 Last Edit: Feb 07, 2010, 03:10 am by DoctorWho8
Those sneakies.  They have changed the bottom half text from VAG Rounded Thin to Gill San Regular just like the top signs.  I shall supply a new PDF.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff

Edit:  Seems there are now 3 fonts used on the new door sign.  Top half is Time Roman, like before.  Then next two groups of lines are Gill Sans Regular.  And "Pull To Open" is still VAG Rounded Thin.  The fonts sizes are slightly different than the previous door sign.  I've made a new PDF file to reflect the Series 5 changes.


Hi all,

Over the course of the Matt Smith series, I've noticed a couple of things in regards to the door sign which I think are really cool.  It seems as though the latest door sign is a far departure from the ones we've seen previously as it looks like it's not painted/stuck onto the door, but actually built as part of the door.

I'm sure we've all noticed that it's now backlit, but I haven't read anything else in regards to the construction, so here's what I've found...

It appears that the door panel is hollow and a light placed inside (sensible assumption I think)

The following images (sort of) show that the lettering is indeed raised, but, and I'll stress that this is a personal view based on my observations, it appears as though the whole panel and the letters are made up of either glass or some kind of perspex material (I'll explain this view in a moment), firstly, the raised lettering images.

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I think it's safe to say that these images illustrate that the lettering is in fact raised and not just printed/painted on.

Now, onto my theory of the construction.  If you look at this image.....

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You see that the light sort of shines through the whole assembly, an effect which can be achieved a number of ways, the simplest would be simply placing a couple of sheets of plain white paper behind a sheet of glass or perspex, diffusing the light behind it and creating a nice balanced light.  However, on close up shots such as the first 4 images in this post, you would be able to see that the glass sits above the paper, and on the above shots the panel looks solid white, which leads me to believe that the panel is actually made of a semi-opaque/translucent material.

As for the lettering itself, if you look at the below images....

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When the light inside the panel is turned on, the lettering is lit on the outside edges, leading me to believe that the letters are made of clear acrylic, with the top surface painted black.

So, why do the letters appear solid black when the light is off some of you may ask.  Well, I have thought about this, and I'll be honest, the only explanation that I have that supports my view of how it is made is that when the light is off the hollow section of the panel would be in complete darkness, so if you looked at the transparent material you'd only see black.  But what about the semi-opaque/transparent material of the panel?  Wouldn't that let enough light in to cause a problem?  The simple answer is, it could, but if you look at the image of the 'glowy' panel again, you can see that the letters are 'halo'd' in a very bright light, while the panel is still a little dull.  So with that I have to assume that the light inside the panel is very strong to 'punch through' the panel, which appears to be quite opaque until a light is shone through it, giving it that lovely glowy quality.

Other notes on the Phone Door assembly.

It seems to sit quite a bit further forward than the previous TARDIS Prop, actually overlapping the bevel on the panel frames (as seen in the first picture), and also, the panel itself seems to sit at an angle within the little door, almost as if it's falling forwards (this I didn't notice until I began writing this post, so without further investigation, it's possible it could be the angle of the screenshot)

As for evidence, all I have is the images, and as ever, any and all my findings are freely available for discussion and disagreement :)



Well MIGHTYSPUD, I think you are on to something. Very nice screen captures.


Jun 19, 2010, 03:36 pm #38 Last Edit: Jun 19, 2010, 03:38 pm by pmc
I've been thinking about this too and the way I thought they may have done this is by creating a reverse white vinyl sticker where the letters are cut out so your left with the full door sign minus the words. This is then stuck to the back of a sheet of perspex. then a black vinyl sticker is made just of the words and stuck on the front. this means that there would be a small gap between the back or white part of the panel and the front or black letters. When this is then back lit you would be able to see light around the edges of the words. This would also give the words a 3D effect.

Hope this makes sense ???


Very nice work on the screen captures and thoughts about this.

To me, when lit the overall look comes from edge lit acrylic or glass. What I can't make out is why it looks completely opaque when not lit and translucent green tint when lit. The two seem completely at odds with each other. I've never seen opaque white acrylic, turn transluscent under any kind of lighting. It's like they used two different signs for the shots.


Jun 19, 2010, 04:03 pm #40 Last Edit: Jun 19, 2010, 04:05 pm by mordrogyn
Quote from: pete d on May 16, 2009, 03:20 pm
I think the Hudolin panel font is Della Robia BT or very similar - the 'U' in Public is different for example.



Yes I am trolling an old post but i just found this thread (don't know why I haven't before) and obviously I need to investigate.
I beleive there are 2 fonts at work here, though I have no idea what they are.
See how the O's in POLICE TELEPHONE are narrow where as in the PULL TO OPEN they are more rounded.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Also on the 2010 NST anyone else notice how sometimes the panel is recessed and sometimes it isn't?



You might want to see if Bill (Doctorwho8) could help. I think he is the resident Graphics and Font expert. He might even be able to provide a PDF with the correct font and tell you what is used so you can make your sign correctly.


Oh I guess that's me.  The problem with the TVM Prop is the door sign had hand painted lettering, I believe.  This explains some of the font variations.  So the font referenced is fine for the skinnier type.  The wider type is another font.  I can't remember what font has the capital U with the stem on the right.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff

Rassilons Rod

Is it a "different font" or simply a modification of the one thats in use?

I'm sure,for example with the 80's titles, they used VAG ROUNDED (outline) but they changed a couple of letters. And also, I saw in a copy of Computer Arts (I think it was that one) yesterday, where they have a tutorial on doing just that.

In the cities in the streets there's a tension you can feel,
The breaking strain is fast approaching, guns and riots.
Politicians gamble and lie to save their skins,
And the press get fed the scapegoats,
Public Enema Number One.


I just remember something said by Philip Segal, the producer, years ago saying the sign door was hand painted, but was based on real fonts.  It is possible they used the same font, but used a different U.  WHat is the font used on the Hartnell TARDIS?  Doesn't it also have a straight right sides U?  Perpetua?
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff