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DIN1451, 1 Stroke (defacto typeface for 5U/MU)?
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Author DIN1451, 1 Stroke (defacto typeface for 5U/MU)?
Rex Coil 7
I've been glomming on to as many Front Panel Express/Front Panel Designer files in MU as I can in an effort to learn more about typefaces (incorrectly AKA "fonts") used, as well as spacing, character size (points), and line spacing to have my lettering readable, inexpensive, and good looking.

So far as I can tell, it seems that DIN1451, 1 Stroke seems to be the more common typeface used, with a line spacing of 1.2 and x-scaled at 90% for the most part. The point sizes seem to be sortof odd, however. Many don't seem to use any "rounded to zero" numbers of anything (whether it be "point size" or "millimeters" or "Inches"). For example, I see a lot of 4.7mm - 0.1800 inches - 12.96 points ... (all three of which are the exact same size) .... see what I mean? No matter if I use inches, millimeters, or points the numbers are all some odd value. So is it about resizing the lettering until it fits the situation, or is it that those sizes are some sort of convention used these days? I'm still learning what all of this actually means, but little by bits I'm getting there.

"1 stroke" typeface selections appear to cost less in the end. As a small time machinist, I can understand why that is (every cut costs money, as does every moment that the mill is NOT cutting which is part of why "tool changes" cost money and are actually line items on an invoice).

I've been using FAR TOO LARGE typefaces on my panel designs so far. I see that now. I did that because on the edit screen of the panels (in FPD) the lettering looked small (tiny!) if I used anything less than 18 points (6.35mm ... or ... 0.250"). But it seems I've been mistaken about that. 1/4" tall lettering looks HUGE on a synth panel control (knob, switch, jack) label. Here's an example of what I tried out so far (top letters are 22 point/7.76mm/0.3056" .... bottom two rows are 18 point/6.35mm/0.250"). On all of the panels I've designed so far, i've been sticking with 18 point. To give that some perspective, the panel in the picture (below) is a 2 inch by 4 inch panel. So imagine how GIANT those characters would look on a 1sp 5U panel that is 2 inches wide ... they'd overwhelm the panel!



The large characters at the top of that panel are ... Stencil, 1 Stroke - 22 point - 1.0 X-Scaling - 1.2 Line spacing.

The smaller characters everywhere else are ... Stencil, 1 Stroke - 18 point - 1.0 X-scaling - 1.2 line spacing.

I used 18 point and 22 point since both sizes use the same cutting tool (no $10.00 tool change charges!) which is "Cutter 0.6mm". I wanted a "bold" look to the letters, and I wanted the characters to resemble metal hammer stamps (like the lettering done with a hammer and metalstamps). That said, each character requires the same space used for each one. Meaning that an upper case "I" uses the same horizontal space as an upper case "M" or "K" or "T" (etc..). But that exact typeface isn't within the menu of selections, so I had to fake it.

I can see that 22 points is friggin HUGE when it comes to labeling knobs and switches, as is 18 points (using the typeface I selected at least). Especially when I see other modules offered by makers that are using point sizes that are less than 13 points. I can probably reduce the lettering size and maybe even save a few bucks along the way.

In my favor, I haven't actually ordered any synth panels other than a silly little name placard I made up, which was essentially a test to see what different point sizes look like relative to one another. Once the test panel arrived it was clear that I can reduce the point size ... significantly ... and still be plenty readable on a 5U synth panel.

So the question is, is there actually a defacto typeface that those of us that use FPD actually fall back on when designing our 5U/MU module panels?

I'm aware that certain typefaces are copyright protected. (Side note: There is no such thing as "copywritten" since that utterance is not actually a word .... the proper expression for that notion is "copyright protected" or "copyrighted" ... as in only one person/entity has the Rights To Make Copies ... Copy Rights .... rights to copy .... not "copy written" .... the phrase simply means that someone has the legal and sole "right" to produce, make, create, distribute copies of said materials ... lecture over).

Anyhow, so what's the scoop on which typeface to use on a given pedestrian 5U module that I might design a panel for? Same with point size, line spacing, and x-scaling. Regarding point size, I've seen some odd sizes that don't seem to be used for any reason other than "cuz reasons".

Any help on this? Thank you!

cool
hsosdrum
If you're looking for a guide, here's what Roger uses for Dotcom modules (taken straight from the Dotcom site's tech info page):

Font for Module Part Number: Arial 10pt all-caps

Font for Module Title: Arial Bold 12pt All-caps

Font for Control and Jack Titles: Arial 10pt All-caps
MrNezumi
MOTM used Alternate Gothic No. 2.
coyoteous
Rex Coil 7: TL;DR... but, 'splain brother, 'splain!
Rex Coil 7
hsosdrum wrote:
If you're looking for a guide, here's what Roger uses for Dotcom modules (taken straight from the Dotcom site's tech info page):

Font for Module Part Number: Arial 10pt all-caps

Font for Module Title: Arial Bold 12pt All-caps

Font for Control and Jack Titles: Arial 10pt All-caps
Front Panel Designer doesn't offer "Arial" as a choice. Ain't that a bitch!

This image (below) is a screenshot of one of my panels in Front Panel Designer. Take a look at the difference between what most folks seem to use (Oakley included). The graphics I've circled in red are DIN1451 1 Stroke at 4.00mm .... compared to the rest of the entire panel where I've used Stencil 1 Stroke at 6.35mm. The circled graphics are "typical" in typeface, and font size with so many 5U modules. The rest are my GIANT 1/4" tall lettering (haa!!) .....



Hmmm ... dunno ... maybe I'm bitchin' 'bout nuffin (?) ....

I suppose I figure it could be .... I don't friggin know ... better? ... somehow? ... with smaller typeface?

(ugh...) .... d'oh! hmmm.....
Rex Coil 7
MrNezumi wrote:
MOTM used Alternate Gothic No. 2.
Thank you! smile

Another unfortunate fact (yet another typeface FPD does not offer).

You can use graphics generated in more comprehensive programs, but they must be imported as something FPD calls "HPGL Engraving" .... that's a technical phrase that translates to layman's English as "Give us yo' munnay!" .... using HPGL imports can become quite costly. It's not hard for 1sp panels that use ~swoops~ ... ~swishes~ ... ~graduation ticks~ to hit nearly $100.00+ bucks. My EIGHT SPACE panel is $96.00 by carefully playing the game within careful understanding of cost adders.

coyoteous wrote:
Rex Coil 7: TL;DR... but, 'splain brother, 'splain!
Um ... ok ... uh .... that's a compliment (right?) ... er ... wait.

Oh well, either way I'm gonna say *Thanks! (even though I don't understand the remark). I got into trouble with another member because I miss read what he meant when he used "TL;DR" at the beginning of his post. That said I'm being careful this time 'round.

thumbs up
coyoteous
Sorry, I was on a roll last night... text for 'too long, didn't read,' I think.

Seemed funny at the time.

I used to do a lot of music related print stuff in the early to mid desktop publishing days and as a liaison to said beyond that.

Forgot what they're called (maybe more than one thing), but look for type equivalents... I think you'll find the same or really close to about anything you'd want under more than one name.

I was a big Emigre foundry user, but doubt I'd use theirs on a panel... actually, they'd probably have something that would work.

OK, watch your kerning and be careful out there.

(just remembered I have a friend that's an actual graphic designer that has used Shaefer/FPE... will inquire)
unrecordings
I used to go drinking with Designers Republic so I generally keep my typographic thoughts to myself even though I did a lot of type at college back in ye olde days before desktop publishing wrecked typography as a discipline...

...anyway, let me have a look and see if I can find an Arial equivalent


EDIT: Damn forget everything I said - I didn't realise they only had something like a dozen fonts. I'd use letraset if I were you...
megaohm
Rex Coil 7 wrote:

You can use graphics generated in more comprehensive programs, but they must be imported as something FPD calls "HPGL Engraving" .... that's a technical phrase that translates to layman's English as "Give us yo' munnay!" .... using HPGL imports can become quite costly. It's not hard for 1sp panels that use ~swoops~ ... ~swishes~ ... ~graduation ticks~ to hit nearly $100.00+ bucks. My EIGHT SPACE panel is $96.00 by carefully playing the game within careful understanding of cost adders.


HPGL is the key to making panels inexpensive.
You make one HPGL file (.plt) that contains the graphic elements of the entire panel.
That is far less expensive than creating dial ticks and graphic lines with the FPD tools. (.PLT file with 8 dials and graphics for a 2U MOTM panel is around $10)

I have not been able to create the text/font in this way. It always comes out as outlines of the front - which results in a weird look and huge expense.
So the text gets entered in using FPD, along with the drill holes.

For text I'm using DIN1451, 1-stroke, X-Scale=1 and Font size=0.1642"
For Modcan A Series style panels I use DIN17 1-stroke, x-scale=1.5.
Rex Coil 7
unrecordings wrote:
... I'd use letraset if I were you...
I have two of these to do (below) plus the Filter panel I posted above.

So you were joking, right? lol



hihi Mr. Green razz
coyoteous
unrecordings wrote:
I used to go drinking with Designers Republic so I generally keep my typographic thoughts to myself even though I did a lot of type at college back in ye olde days before desktop publishing wrecked typography as a discipline...

...anyway, let me have a look and see if I can find an Arial equivalent


EDIT: Damn forget everything I said - I didn't realise they only had something like a dozen fonts. I'd use letraset if I were you...

I remember DR... anyway, guess I should have read the OP (though I did and I'm still confused).

Engraving is likely a whole different kettle of monkeys... I was involved in paper print and fine screen printing on CDs and DVDs.

If I were going down this path (which I wouldn't be), I'd compare actual work that others have done to the the files to generate it... but, that's just me.

I dig the ticks and gather they're expensive in this medium, so that would be game over right there.

Oops... this probably shoulda been directed to Rex a few lines back.
coyoteous
OK, I think megaohm has the tick fu... maybe that would be better to denote all the bi/uni stuff (just sayin').

Honestly, all this per word telegram/ala carte pricing would drive me crazy... good luck with it, though (I think 5U wants to be etched or at least screen printed).
Rex Coil 7
coyoteous wrote:
... I'd compare actual work that others have done to the the files to generate it... but, that's just me.
I have looked at the works of others ... it's how I discovered that DIN1451 1 Stroke is so prominent. Haahaa! lol

coyoteous wrote:
... I dig the ticks and gather they're expensive in this medium, so that would be game over right there.
I can totally live without them, I use the analog clock analogy when I describe (or write down) any settings.

If it were an issue of style for me, then I'd spend a lot of time working out the proper HPGL Engravings (or just use the same ones others have, it's no more difficult than *copy/paste* operations if you have access to the actual FPD file, which most kit builders very willingly supply.). But I suppose I don't need to have that level of fancy. I've got nothing against graduation ticks or other details of the sort, I just don't need them, which makes designing a panel a shitload simpler!

If anyone else is confused about what my end goal with this thread is, the title sums up the whole thing. Added to that main question are questions about why the typefaces some of the more prominent builders use seem to have ambiguous point sizes (in other words is there some unspoken standard so to speak). Same exact question but about type faces themselves, is there some unspoken ~thing~ dictating that DIN1451 1 Stroke be a sortof defacto typeface.

Then I went on describing what I have used to provide the reader with examples of what I've used and why.

So I was just wanting to know if there was some sort of convention regarding MU type face and point size when it comes to lettering a Moog Unit panel. Seems the answer is *no.

I suppose at the end of the day I was just very surprised at how LARGE my own lettering was on my own panel designs, especially when I discovered how small most builders make theirs. It kindof provides a comforting answer about how small one can make lettering before it becomes pretty much useless in real life. On the computer screen, when I make lettering as small as 4.00mm to 5.00mm the lettering looks friggin tiny and actually unusable. But when you see a picture of an actual panel made with 4mm typeface it actually looks just fine. Some of the oddball names I've been forced to use on various controls are due to the fact that I have been using 18 and 22 point sizes. Now that I know I can get away with smaller sized lettering, I can go back and redo some stuff to make the descriptors more meaningful.

I suppose there's no (ahem) *point* to this thread. meh
coyoteous
Right on... I was being overly critical, sorry.

There's a reason graphic artists are not called graphic engineers, or even technicians... I've seen some of the best dead-center stuff by eye, for example, and hit the mark down to the point/pixel.

I've tried shifting elements a little that were off by measurement (early on) from a particular GA who's all 'eyeball,' only to undo... not exactly what you're talking about here, but it's all about talent and saddle-time.

I'm a good recording engineer... I make stuff sound good to me, usually without thinking about it much (while I'm doing it, anyway).

When in doubt, hire a pro, or put in enough time and education (autodidactic or not) to become one... sorry, I'm hitting 'critical' mass, again:

I think you're expecting to be good at something you've only done once on a very small scale (I do understand the expense concern, though... honestly, I'd learn to screen print panels).

On the other hand, just make it look how you want it to look... easy, right?
sduck
I don't know - I used DIN17 1 stroke for almost everything on all the panels I designed.

Here's a file with a bunch of the hpgl stuff that I reuse (or not) frequently.
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