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Author Topic: Text and Fonts on Coins  (Read 38908 times)

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Galapagos

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Text and Fonts on Coins
« on: September 01, 2009, 02:29:32 PM »
As a coin collector, I like to see both text and image on a coin, otherwise for me it isn't a coin. However, as a thematic collector, I tend to focus on the image, but there are times when the style of the text, or the font, is at least as noteworthy as the the image. On rare occasions the design consists of text only and no image.


In 2005, the Royal Mint (UK) issued a 50p to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Samuel Johnson's "A Dictionary of the English Language". At first I was annoyed when I read that the design would be all text, but when I saw it, I fell in love with it. The designer, Tom Phillips, has used the various fonts to good effect, and obviously put a lot of thought into the design.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 08:38:52 PM by <k> »

Galapagos

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 02:34:01 PM »
Gothic script has been used to good effect on the coins of Danzig, as shown on this 1 Gulden coin of 1932.

And famously we see it on the aptly named "Gothic Florin" of Victoria. She is depicted in a style that matches the font perfectly. It has often been said that Britain's monarchs are more German than English - perhaps this classic coin was making that point.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 11:04:18 PM by <k> »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 06:13:25 PM »
Ah, but the fonts used in the first post are quite different from those in the second one. :)  When I got that Johnson Dictionary coin (like it too), I thought of the text as a partial "photo" of a dictionary entry. (Theoretically the designer could have used ultra-tiny font sizes and shown dozens on such entries, and the idea behind the design would still have been "met".) The other two use the Gothic and Fraktur fonts for the country or ruler name, thus it's text rather than an image ...

Fraktur was hardly ever used on German Empire coins. After all it is very hard to read in all caps, and the alternative (mix of uppercase and lowercase, thus different heights of characters) does not look very balanced. Just look at the nazi coinage. The Gothic script on that florin is different; works a little better with coins.

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 06:31:29 PM »
The Federal Republic of Germany has never used "Fraktur" on coins. Again I should say for informative text on coins - sometimes it is used as a background illustration. As on this collector coin from 1983:



Of course the GDR also issued a Luther coin (actually more than one) in that year. Three of them, which show important places in Luther's life, have Fraktur text:



(Larger image of the last one, obverse) http://picture.yatego.com/images/499ad797022f18.5/a7860.jpg

Christian

translateltd

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 08:34:52 PM »
You have to be careful with terminology, too - to a typesetter, "Gothic" is actually quite a plain form of font, and what we commonly call "Gothic" is known as "Black Letter".  "Fraktur" is the German form of Black Letter, and there are a number of minor differences between the two, as close comparison of individual letters on the Danzig Gulden and Luther commems on the one hand and the Victorian florin on the other should show.


Galapagos

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 10:07:30 PM »
Moving away from Gothic and Fraktur, I've always admired the interplay of text and image on the modern Indonesian coins. They're very confident and stylish in their use of different sizes of font, and in the way they overlay images with text or numerals. I also like the fonts used for the "Rp" abbreviation. Have a look at these examples below. I particularly like the font used for the year on the second image (Rp 100 rvs).

Unfortunately, many collectors may not look twice at Indonesian coins, because they are often made of aluminium.





« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 01:11:16 AM by Ice Torch »

Offline Prosit

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 11:21:00 PM »
Don't know the name of this font but it looks good.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 01:09:21 AM by Ice Torch »

Offline Prosit

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2009, 12:01:54 AM »
It is a 0.900 fine Silver token
It says Prosit Neujahr  (Happy New Year)
Looks German, but pretty confident it is Austrian.

Dale

Offline chrisild

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 12:29:00 AM »
Two from Germany that, on the issue specific side, are "text only" - a 10 mark coin commemorating 50 years of the Federal Republic, and a 10 euro coin commemorating the 2004 enlargement of the European Union. Images from Ritter.





So on the first piece we have a sans serif font, and the middle part of the text is a spiral. The other has a font with serifs, and several concentric circles.

Christian

Galapagos

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2009, 12:36:02 AM »
Those do nothing for me, I'm afraid, Christian. Here's a UK one that's almost as bad...

P.S. This is from "our" Tony Clayton's site.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 08:41:16 PM by <k> »

translateltd

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2009, 01:50:42 AM »
Those do nothing for me, I'm afraid, Christian. Here's a UK one that's almost as bad...

P.S. This is from "our" Tony Clayton's site.

I do like the calligraphy on this one, though the outline effigy of HM doesn't quite look right to me.


Offline bruce61813

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2009, 02:31:54 AM »
I enjoy th e type faces used in the various medallions I have collected. Here is an art Deco for the future Edward VIII, when he was invested Prince of Wales.

Bruce

« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 01:10:27 AM by Ice Torch »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2009, 10:48:35 AM »
Those do nothing for me, I'm afraid, Christian.

Fine with me. :)  I just wanted to show two coins from around here which (apart from the mandatory eagle) have text only. Whether the designs are magnificent, ho-hum or lousy is a different matter ... The royal effigy reminds me of this (later) Dutch commem by the way:


Christian
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 07:20:55 PM by Figleaf »

Galapagos

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2009, 03:36:32 AM »
Here's an Indonesian 50 rupiah coin dated 1999. What always interests me about the Indonesian designs is how boldly and stylishly they place the text. For me, it is the marriage of the text and picture that gives Indonesian coins their distinctive style. Look how boldly the denomination dominates this coin, taking up more than half the space, and yet it still looks good.


 
 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 08:42:54 PM by <k> »

Galapagos

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Re: Text and Fonts on Coins
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009, 03:53:44 AM »
As an Englishman, I feel at home with the so called Roman alphabet when I see it on coins - less so with the Cyrillic and Greek alphabets. However, there are other scripts and alphabets that I do not understand, but sometimes I find they look beautiful despite this. It's a purely aesthetic experience, as I can't read the meaning that the text is conveying. Here is a Chinese coin that has that effect on me. The positioning of the text happens to be just right.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 08:43:37 PM by <k> »