Alistair's search for the origin of the angled terminal

Alistair’s search for the origin of the angled terminal

Today I received an email from Alistair Hall, who had noticed our metal lettering stencils have a very particular feature of an angle at the end of the letter. He has been trying to discover the origin of this distinct lettering style and wondered if we could help.

Alistair highlights that the most notable features of this lettering are “angled terminals (the ends of each letter) on a few characters: C, G, J and S. In addition, the R tends to have a flared leg. The G sometimes has a bar, sometimes doesn’t. The central diagonals of the M tend to sit onto the baseline, but don’t always.”

This query forms part of Alistairs process of documenting and researching the street nameplates of London. The Instagram account Londonstreetnameplates has captured many of these signs and is well worth a look.

The above is a photo taken from Alistairs blog post about this letter face and is a good example of what makes it distinct. Alistair highlights the key points such as “the angles on the terminals of the G and S, as well as on the ends of the diagonals of the Z; and the flared leg of the R.”

Sadly, our stencils are based on Helvetica Medium and the supplier could not give me any more information about why they have an angled terminal.

If anyone happens to know a little bit about where this lettering may have originated please let me know, or tell Alistair through the Instagram.