Vintage Television Typeface Corner

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Among your favorite television shows of the past, do you know which typeface they used for the main titles and the titles credits?

As an example, Universal Television used to set the late Sixties and Early Seventies shows with Folio (Folio Bold Extented and Folio Light Italic):

The Name of the Game
McMillan & Wife
The Rockford Files

But Universal Television also used Eurostile:
It Takes a Thief
Rod Serling’s Night Gallery
The Six Million Dollar Man

The Rockford Files set in Folio Bold Extended.

Published by

Kevin Collins



  1. JohnHopper

    For your information, QM's The Streets of San Francisco was set in Advertisers Gothic. Gothic/


    I was just about to ask about that one, but was beaten to it!

    Does anyone know what font this is, from NBC's classic daytime serial Another World (on its 1981-87 titles)?

    View attachment 53424

  2. Interesting thread idea…must confess to not ever thinking about investigating which exact font is being used on classic shows I watch, but it's nice to learn about it from others who have done the work to find out!

  3. While the base for THE PRISONER is Albertus, the actual font had a variation where the lower case "e" had an open top end. (See the title screen above.) Online I've found a specialized font called "Village.ttf" that has the open-ended "e" along with a special capital "P" for the titling.

  4. Dan McW

    Isn't Murder, She Wrote's special font called "Lansbury"? I read that somewhere–don't know if it's accurate.

    It certainly is– confirmation from a site called Famous Fonts:

    And from that same site, the discovery that the Knight Rider title font (from that 1982-86 NBC adventure series w/David Hasselhoff, and not its abortive 2008 remake) is Ruben:

    Examples from Universal's first-season (1982-83) DVD:

    –Title in Ruben
    View attachment 53468
    –David Hasselhoff's title credit (Slicker for "Starring," and Ruben for his name)
    View attachment 53469

  5. Harry-N

    I could never find this font for 12 o'clock HIGH:


    It's a stencil font of some kind. Anyone know?

    That's a good question– I'm stumped too; you're as much wanting to know about that as I've been about the font on the 1981-87 titles of Another World on NBC (title card of that posted earlier in this thread)!

  6. Harry-N

    While the base for THE PRISONER is Albertus, the actual font had a variation where the lower case "e" had an open top end. (See the title screen above.) Online I've found a specialized font called "Village.ttf" that has the open-ended "e" along with a special capital "P" for the titling.

    Indeed. They modify the design of Albertus and add some special letters to fit in Patrick McGoohan's medieval leaning:
    see the capital G which is a reference to the Uncial Script of the early Middle Age.


  7. The first episodes of S1 of Star Trek (The Original Series) (Desilu/Paramount) used the Folio (light) font, while all the rest used the Eurostile Bold font. For seasons 2-3, it used the signature Star Trek font.

    S1 episodes of ST:TOS that used the Folio (?) font:
    The Man Trap
    Charlie X
    Where No Man Has Gone Before
    The Naked Time
    The Enemy Within
    Miri (also italicized)
    The Corbomite Maneuver
    The Menagerie (parts I and II)
    Balance of Terror
    The Galileo Seven
    Court Martial


  8. JohnHopper

    The logo is a customized Bodoni (lower case with a grainy texture) and the title credits is set in City with a bold weight.
    City was used later for Mannix.

    The City font was also used on the TV movie pilot of The Magician (1973) (end titles).


  9. darkrock17

    What font belong to this creepy, kooky bunch?

    I double-checked that series and featured three typefaces:
    the logo which looks like a customized decorative typeface made for that series
    the title credits which had two typefaces: Dom Bold combined with Alternate Gothic.

    PS: Dom Bold was used for Green Acres.

  10. If I may take this off on a tangent as Flashgear did w/the Mounties on that Novak thread: I'd like to bring up a couple of typefaces that are not from actual series (but are from television as it was when I was a boy)– first, the NBC Sports font as it was w/the Proud N; that one was ITC Serif Gothic (here captured from a YouTube clip of a 1984 NFL broadcast between the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers from the old Candlestick Park in San Francisco [NBC Sports banner in the background])…

    View attachment 53571

    And another, this from CBS Sports in 1986: Jim Nantz on The Prudential College Football Report from Studio 43 at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York (Jim's ID credit and the game score on the background monitor are in Radiant EF, but the College Football titling is in an unknown font; that one captured from YouTube clip of Arizona/UCLA 1986 broadcast from former user Stephen Barnett)…
    View attachment 53572

  11. oldtvshowbuff

    Oh yes, one more w/the clarendon, The Deputy

    Actually, The Deputy has the end credits with Clarendon.
    The Main Titles is set with two wood types: a Tuscanian Slab Serif followed by an Italian Slab Serif.

  12. oldtvshowbuff

    Three Revue/Universal westerns had their end credits in Clarendon.
    Cimarron City
    Overland Trail
    Frontier Circus

    Cimarron City (Italian Slab Serif)
    Overland Trail (Tuscanian Slab Serif for the opening and Clarendon for the ending)

  13. The first slab serif fonts appeared at the beginning of industrialization in Great Britain. Clarendon and Ionic became the names for this new development in England, known as English Egyptienne elsewhere in Europe. Clarendon is also the name of a particular font of this style, which, thanks to its clear, objective and timeless forms, never lost its contemporary feel. In small point sizes Clarendon is still a legible font and in larger print, its individual style attracts attention.

    The classical Clarendon form originating in England in 1845 by Robert Bersley as polished by Edouard Hoffmann and Hermann Eidenbenz at Haas a little over a century later. Haas’ revival of this typeface in 1953 precipitated the revivals that follow.


  14. ClassicTVMan1981X

    As was Mission: Impossible (both the original 1966-73 series and the revived 1988-90 series, though the latter has it modernized).


    Both Mission: Impossible and Kolchak: The Night Stalker were set in Bulletin Typewriter (1933)
    designed by Morris Fuller Benton.

  15. JohnHopper

    The espionage series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has a logo set in Decorated 035 and the title credits in Clarendon.

    The U.N.C.L.E. theme was originally written in 5/4 by Jerry Goldsmith, who was fit to be tied when it was redone as a 4/4 piece for season two by Lalo Schifrin. Fast forward to Mission: Impossible, whose theme was in 5/4, by Schifrin. He was less than happy when the movie version redid it as 4/4. What goes around . . .

  16. Wiseguy

    On my computer the Murder, She Wrote font is called ToulouseLautrec. Calling it Lansbury seems suspiciously phony to me no matter what the site says.

    It is also known as "Art Gothic" depending on the foundry …

  17. JohnHopper

    But Universal Television also used Eurostile:
    It Takes a Thief
    Rod Serling's Night Gallery
    The Six Million Dollar Man

    Witness if you will how the typeface Eurostile was used on Ironside.

    The pilot for Ironside set in Eurostile and displayed in orange.
    View attachment 53845 View attachment 53846 View attachment 53847

    The first regular episode of Ironside set in Eurostile and displayed in white.
    View attachment 53848 View attachment 53849 View attachment 53850

  18. Bumping this up: this was a syndie movie package that was on when I was a boy called Columbia Night at the Movies; this particular instance of it was from 1993 (when I was 12 years old), and had a neon 80s Torch Lady.

    The parts of it that said "Columbia Night at the" were in Columbia's classic Souvenir font; the other parts ("Movies" and "Presents") were in fonts that I do not recognize (of course, it's been 2.5 decades since I saw this for the first time).

    Here is that opening (from YouTube user Pepsi9072):

    And here are screenshots of that title from that same clip:
    View attachment 54031 View attachment 54032

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