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intvnut

Intellivision hand controller font

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I was looking around for the Commodore logo font from the late 70s/early 80s, and found Microgamma D Bold Extended.

 

Not only does this appear to be the font CBM used back in those days, but also it appears to be the font Mattel chose for the digits on the Intellivision hand controllers. Take a look! (The 'clear' and 'enter' buttons appear to be straight Helvetica or a similar font, in contrast.)

 

It's also apparently the Geico logo font, and the font they used on the cover for Numerical Recipes in C.

post-14113-0-56521700-1341934316_thumb.png

Edited by intvnut
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I take it no owns the rights to this font. But can someone own the rights to ANY font?

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I take it no owns the rights to this font. But can someone own the rights to ANY font?

 

Fonts are an interesting space in IP law. In the US, you can copyright a scalable font file if it contains rendering instructions (such as the hinting rules in TrueType and Postscript fonts). However, you can't copyright the actual typeface itself, so if you draw the same glyphs as someone else's typeface, you're generally in the clear. In any case, a font name can generally be trademarked, so even if you copy a font's typeface curve for curve, you may not be able to call it the same name. I'm pretty sure there's a gazillion pixel-for-pixel Helvetica clones out there by now, none of them named Helvetica. (That's not counting the Helvetica work-alikes such as the terminally ugly Arial.)

 

Other jurisdictions do recognize different rights. Read the linked page for more -- I won't reproduce it all here.

 

Here's more on the Microgramma font family. It looks like URW still sells an official version of this typeface. I don't know all the details on the OTF I found above, actually. For example, I don't know if it was redrawn.

 

More on Microgramma... Apparently this font really gets around!

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And correcting my error in my very original post above, it's Microgramma, not Microgamma....

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BTW, the font Waukegan font family seems to be a related clone. It doesn't render quite as cleanly on my display, but it seems to work reasonably well at high point sizes. It's not exactly the same as Microgramma (it seems to have slightly squarer edges on the insides of the letters and numbers) but is still somewhat close.

Edited by intvnut

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