First time here? Maybe read the FAQ.
This is from a record label, vinyl pressing plants would ask you to choose form a limited selection (serif or san-serif) then have it typeset for you. It's almost Akzidenz Grotesk or News Gothic, but the "R" and the "K" are off... i know this must be something rather pedestrian, but having trouble getting an exact match... help!
asked by (103 points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

Text on vinyl record labels was often composed on an IBM Selectric.

“MacKaye” is indeed Univers, as Kevin wrote. It’s the special version made for the Selectric Composer. IBM’s engineers had come up with a system of nine units for all letter widths, which proved to be a challenge for Adrian Frutiger when he was asked to adapt his Univers to this coarse system:

[…] the biggest problem was that each letter of the alphabet was given a fixed unit, no matter which typeface was used. They had used Times as the basis, and texts that were typed using a classic typeface didn’t look like they were done on a typewriter – they printed well. With Egyptienne and grotesque typefaces, i.e. with all other styles, however, there was a problem.

There is a digitization of IBM Selectric Univers named Fluxisch Else. It’s deliberately coarse and free:

Both “Straight Edge” and all of the second sample use Classified News Bold, another font made for the Selectric Composer. This design also suffers from the restrictions of the unit system, see the wide caps compared to the narrow ‘a’. The closest digitally available option is indeed Trade Gothic Extended.


answered by Prodigy (406 points)
selected by
holy sh*t... insightful and amazing answer. I was convinced the baseline variance and general "off-ness" pointed to this being letterpress. Thank you. Now down a rabbit hole with the IBM selectric composer.
+2 votes

There seem to be several typefaces in your sample.


MacKaye appears to be Univers.


WARZONE etc. might be Trade Gothic Bold Extended / Trade Gothic Bold No. 2 (with Bold Extended caps on Garfield and Hampton).


Still trying to figure out what STRAIGHT EDGE might be.

answered by Expert (3.7k points)
edited by
thank you! so weird, my version of Univers has a different "K" (??) but got another and you were absolutely right. another issue I had was an "s" (elsewhere) that didn't match. I am now convinced thsi was a letterpressed label, and someone simply slipped in the wrong version (condensed) while locking it up in the chase.

(EDIT). just read the other answer (IBM Selectric Composeer) which may also answer the odd "s" letter I saw... amazing forum.