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Delta "Widget" Scheme Typeface/Font  
User currently offlineTugpilot From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 31 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 9256 times:

Does anyone know what typeface/font Delta used on their "Widget" livery? I noticed after travelling to ATL over the weekend (including seeing the recently retired/repainted/museum bound Spirit of Delta), that the old typeface is still everywhere with Delta, yet to be updated. Does anyone know just what the name of this font/typeface is?


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Photo © Dave Johnson


[Edited 2006-03-08 23:12:42]

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9208 times:

Excellent question...I look forward to some responses in this thread. I'd love to know TWA's as well.

User currently offlineUAalltheway From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9080 times:

Quoting Tugpilot (Thread starter):
Does anyone know what typeface/font Delta used on their "Widget" livery?

I believe Delta created their own font.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 1):
I'd love to know TWA's as well.

I'm pretty sure TWA did the same thing. Tons of companies do.


User currently offlineB4real From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2629 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9059 times:

Agreed with UAAlltheWay. Companies make their own fonts, and now a google of delta.ttf won't let you find it (or at least what you are looking for).

What I thought is peculiar related to N102DA, is that the current livery is not exactly like the original livery in 1982!



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 753 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9026 times:

Quoting B4real (Reply 3):
What I thought is peculiar related to N102DA, is that the current livery is not exactly like the original livery in 1982!

I'll bite, how so?


User currently offlineDL Widget Head From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2084 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9016 times:

Quoting DualQual (Reply 4):
Quoting B4real (Reply 3):
What I thought is peculiar related to N102DA, is that the current livery is not exactly like the original livery in 1982!

I'll bite, how so?

I'll bite too...what difference did you notice?


User currently offlineTugpilot From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8948 times:

One thing I am certain on is that the "DELTA" on the left side of the tail is noticeably higher than it is on the right. I also think the typeface for the N number may be different than the original.

This is actually the third time this aircraft has worn this paintjob. The first, obviously, was when it entered service in 1982 to about 1994-95 when it was painted in those ghastly Atlanta 1996 Olympic colors that they also put an MD-11 in, then back to the original paintjob in 1996 until about 2000 or 2001 when it was put into the wavy gravy colors with little more than "The Spirit of" in front of the "Delta" on the fuselage. It was then painted into the 75th anniversary colors in 2004 (I still can't understand why they opted for gray paint over a chrome finish), and back into the original colors again last month prior to retirement.

[Edited 2006-03-09 06:53:46]

User currently offlineDL Widget Head From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2084 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8940 times:

I found a photo in the ANET database from 1985:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



and compared it to one taken a few days ago:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John E. Jauchler



I really don't see a difference other than the 2006
livery doesn't have a P/W decal on the engine and
the lettering for the N number looks a liitle different.

[Edited 2006-03-09 07:03:34]

User currently offlineDalb777 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8934 times:

Quoting DL Widget Head (Reply 7):
I really don't see a difference other than the 2006
livery doesn't have a P/W decal on the engine.

DL 762's had GE engines.



Geaux Tigers! Geaux Hornets! Geaux Saints! WHO DAT!!!
User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8909 times:

Quoting Tugpilot (Reply 6):
One thing I am certain on is that the "DELTA" on the left side of the tail is noticeably higher than it is on the right. I also think the typeface for the N number may be different than the original.

He's right, check it out:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Michael C. Sikoutris
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John E. Jauchler



Look at the distance between the "Delta" and the point of the white space in the widget. The left side has much more space.

Somebody in the paintshop should be drawn and quartered for that.



I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8878 times:

Semi related but it doesn't answer your question. I emailed a lady at DL when they migrated to the wavy gravy livery wondering what the font used was called. Here is her response...

The font for our corporate signature is customized. There is nothing that
equates to it. Master artwork must be used to reproduce it. The typestyle
that is used as body copy in our advertising/printed pieces is Sabon. The
font we use for signage (san-serif) is Akzidenz.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineAntoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1555 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8875 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 10):
Akzidenz.

Makes me think someone came up with it by Accident.  Big grin

Still, good info DG. The CURRENT Font looks a heck of a lot like Times New Roman, and Continental uses the same or very similar.



Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
User currently offlineB4real From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2629 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8762 times:

The other difference that is pointed out well by JBo's two photos. The observations/differences I noted are:

-Thre registration text 'N102DA' is in italics on the retirement livery. The first version had the registration in italics, though middle repaints of this version had it not in italics and then again with italics. Inconclusive. I also think different fonts have been used through the years.

-The placement of the word "DELTA" is more centered on the retirement livery, but more left oriented on the original livery on the tail.

-The blue cheatline goes the entire length of the fuselage and stops at the outlet of the APU on the retirement livery. The delivery livery stops at the center of the tail on the fuselage.

-On the current retirement livery, the "DELTA" text above what is approximately the first class cabin, the spacing between the letters is larger and the degree of italics is less than the delivery livery.

-On the turbine casings, the angle of the widget is more obtuse on the delivery livery compared to the retirement livery.

-Also, I think, but can't confirm that the black nose is darker or the blue cheatline is lighter. The old photos don't really let me know this so much.




Okay, so I may have given this a little too much thought...  dopey 



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineTugpilot From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8762 times:

Interesting that such elaborate efforts are undertaken to customize a font already in wide circulation (ie. Times New Roman). As for the Widget-era font, I can't imagine Delta would've undertaken such drastic and elaborate measures to create their own font back in the mid-60s.

User currently offlineB4real From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2629 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8750 times:

Quoting Tugpilot (Reply 13):
I can't imagine Delta would've undertaken such drastic and elaborate measures to create their own font back in the mid-60s.

Oh, I disagree. Marketing/graphics people were doing this long before we used fonts. They called them typefaces back then. They may have only had five letters though, A, D, E, L, and T.



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineAntoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1555 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8746 times:

Quoting B4real (Reply 14):
Oh, I disagree. Marketing/graphics people were doing this long before we used fonts. They called them typefaces back then. They may have only had five letters though, A, D, E, L, and T.

and I, R, L, N, S. Some of their very OLD signage in the ramp breakroom in BNA has "Delta Air Lines" with the old widget and the same font as the planes had.



Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
User currently offlineB4real From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2629 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8729 times:

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 15):
and I, R, L, N, S. Some of their very OLD signage in the ramp breakroom in BNA has "Delta Air Lines" with the old widget and the same font as the planes had.

Good point.



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineAlitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4742 posts, RR: 45
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 8704 times:

Quoting B4real (Reply 14):
Oh, I disagree. Marketing/graphics people were doing this long before we used fonts. They called them typefaces back then. They may have only had five letters though, A, D, E, L, and T.



Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 15):
and I, R, L, N, S. Some of their very OLD signage in the ramp breakroom in BNA has "Delta Air Lines" with the old widget and the same font as the planes had.

Most likely the case. The brand I work on had four letters created within a unique font for the purpose of the brand name. No other letters currently exist in the brand created font...



Some see lines, others see between the lines.
User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 8595 times:

Quoting B4real (Reply 12):
-The blue cheatline goes the entire length of the fuselage and stops at the outlet of the APU on the retirement livery. The delivery livery stops at the center of the tail on the fuselage.

Actually, the delivery livery had much smaller stripes going to the APU outlet (they curl up at the end).

Other mistakes:

There are no "Widgets" painted on the inboard engine cowlings.

The "767" on the stripe is not correct Boeing "Stratotype" (i.e. the original "6" looks like an "8").

The ship #102 is painted too high on the tail.

Quoting JBo (Reply 9):
Somebody in the paintshop should be drawn and quartered for that.

Funny. The person who painted the rudder gets the blame (it is painted off of the aircraft). The paintshop only matched the "DEL" to the "TA" already painted on the balanced rudder.

Sure, the livery is not perfect, but I think Delta's paintshop did a fantastic job considering the short timeframe that they had to work with.

[Edited 2006-03-10 03:47:39]

[Edited 2006-03-10 03:56:17]


This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlineUAalltheway From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8552 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 10):

The font for our corporate signature is customized. There is nothing that
equates to it. Master artwork must be used to reproduce it. The typestyle
that is used as body copy in our advertising/printed pieces is Sabon. The
font we use for signage (san-serif) is Akzidenz.

Hah.. it's really not that hard to create your own font. If I had an official paper of DL's from back than lieing around it wouldn't be that hard to scan it in and to vectorize or retrace it, than begin creating my own font set.

Quoting B4real (Reply 14):
Marketing/graphics people were doing this long before we used fonts. They called them typefaces back then.

To the first part, yes, that's correct. But as for the "they called them typefaces", you have to remember we still use both terms. Typefaces and fonts are two different things, though.

"Typefaces" are pretty much the name, as far as we're concerned today: example: Helvetica, Ariel, Verdana, etc.

"Fonts" are a specific character (kind of like a description): example: "Helvetica size 12, bold"


User currently offlineSafetyDude From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3795 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8448 times:

Regarding the Widget:
-"Delta" is Microgramma or Eurostile
-the N-number is plain Helvetica

Continental and Delta do not use Times New Roman.

Delta's current headline font (http://www.delta.com/home/index.jsp look at "Great Deals that Won't Last") is FF Din. JetBlue also uses FF Din, as well as Futura, which is an odd combination.

Thanks to kind folks at Typophile.

-Will

[Edited 2006-03-12 00:53:08]


"She Flew For What We Stand For"
User currently offlineTugpilot From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 8400 times:

Checked 'em both out, and while not exact, Microgramma looks pretty close. Thanks Will!

User currently offlineJBo From Sweden, joined Jan 2005, 2312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 8265 times:

Even if typefaces are very similar, companies like to maintain their own unique identity. You'd be surprised how much a subtle difference can make a typeface completely different.

And as someone said before, "typeface" refers to the particular family of type: Garamond, Times New Roman, Helvetica, etc.

"Font" refers to the specific application, including italics, boldface, kerning, spacing, point size, etc.



I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 8197 times:

Quoting UAalltheway (Reply 2):
I believe Delta created their own font

Agreed... It is easy to create a font... All you have to do is draw it out.

Valujet used Willow.ttf

Does anyone know what AirTran uses?


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