Near the top of my personal list of typefaces never to be used is Bookman. (Also present: Souvenir, University Roman, Eurostile.) So it was with some pain that most weeks throughout the 1980s I sat through the opening credits in order to watch one of the best TV cop shows of all time. I refer, of course, to Hill Street Blues, whose creator Steven Bochco has recently died.
Great TV it might have been (as indeed was its successor, NYPD Blue) but I only just forgave the producers the use of (ugh) Bookman Bold Italic, with extra swashes, for the title sequences. Most episodes started with the day’s briefing, given by the desk sergeant, which always ended: ‘Let’s be careful out there.’ A good motto for life.
Westminster was a typeface designed by Leo Maggs in the 1960s, based on the typeface created for the Westminster Bank for cheque scanning in the early days of optical character recognition. See this article for more about its design. That’s why every single letterform is so different from the rest.
In 1970, Letraset released its own typeface called Data 70 which was ‘closely related’ to Westminster. (That’s the way things worked back then.) Westminster was released by Microsoft in various versions of Windows, such as Windows 98.
Photographed in Anstruther, Fife, on 1 May 2017. The shop was closed.
See Fonts in Use for more examples of Westminster and/or Data 70.
Back in 2015, I wrote an obituary of Adrian Frutiger for the Guardian. In it, I mentioned that his typeface Ondine had become oddly popular with the designers of Chinese restaurant menus. Today I spotted this awning over a Moroccan restaurant in Clarendon Street, Dublin.