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Supercoollimp

What's your favorite custom made number font?

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Vikings Reebok era. Why? Because it's nearly block.

I like the above Red Sox font. But for the most part, I prefer block fonts. I'd rather see 90% of teams use block font with a few exceptions like the Red Sox and Bears. I even prefer UCLA football in block.

I wasn't a fan of the Vikings previous font, but in general, I agree that a custom font that is a close variation of a standard block can be nice.

Here are two;

Houston2013Numbers.png

Screen-Shot-2013-06-04-at-9.48.54-PM.png

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Minnesota's is probably my favorite. maybe the best font Nike has ever created. love the long cuts and serifs that reflect the primary logo

01-20%2003%20Gopher%20Uniforms%20mj.JPG

i was never too crazy about Belotti Bold, but what Oregon replaced it with is very nice. just looks like its built for speed.

OREGON-articleLarge.jpg

im not sure if this is a proprietary font or not but ill say it is for now

cropBig_12_TCU_Football_Bell_t650.jpg?ee

my favorite NFL number font. love how the cuts and curves reflect their logo too.

WeeklyCover.jpg

love everything about the Falcons unis

135992632_crop_north.jpg?w=630&h=420&q=7

a great font for the Bengals. the rounded shapes pair perfectly with the organic stripes flowing shapes in the jersey and pants

76020661.jpg

a great modern block

Arizona-Cardinals.jpg

overall my favorite MLB uniform. largely because of the numbers

Rob-Leifheit-USA-TODAY-Sports-2.jpg

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Great topic.

I'll sum it up this way: to me, the best ones look like they're part of an actual real typeface rather than something obviously hackneyed i.e. the recent cut/snip-a-corner/add-a-random-spike phenomenon that's been going on. When done correctly, a custom font can help further reinforce a team's brand and enhance a team's visual identity.

To that point, Exhibit A, and probably one of my two favorite major pro sports identities of all-time.

597.gif

610.gif

226053_display_image.jpg

EPSON208_20140127745.jpg

On merit, nothing was wrong with this set. Due to the then-unique colorway the Jaguars already had a distinct visual identity--without any extra special uniform treatment. (Side note: this and the Miami Dolphins' uniforms from the same era is a perfect example of how popping unique colors into an otherwise traditional template can create a great look without going crazy.) Now, I posted all that just to post this:

ca87a6d16e1390f40c61276e72226e2d.jpg

683954981.jpg

Jeff-Lageman-NFL.jpg

683954819.jpg

jacksonville-jaguars-black-uniforms.jpg

Not only did they further refine an already fine uniform, they also took the quality time to finely craft those numbers. Looks like they started with Dharma/Dharma Slab as the base (same with the Philadelphia Eagles FWIW). Those subtle semi-serifs on the descender and base of some of the numbers add a touch of class (in particular, check out the top bar of the "5"). But my favorite little detail of the set involves those curves on the "1", "6", and "9", which to me evoke, ever so slightly, the idea of a cat's tail. Its one of those things that you may not notice directly right away, until someone points it out to you and then you realize why you somehow thought though something about those numbers seemed "cat-ish". (And if THAT'S not "reinforcing the brand", I don't know what is.)

That, in my mind, is the way to go if you're gonna go the proprietary route. And i still sigh to myself each time I look back at those old photos--that was a contemporary classic brand identity they had there, and since about '02 or so everything they've done since has been a downgrade from that. (But I guess that's a discussion for another thread. B) )

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I completely understand what you said about wanting teams to have their own unique number fonts. I believe almost half of the MLB franchises use the generic font and I think some of them would be better off with a different font. However, some of those franchises look fantastic using the generic font.

Anyway, I personally love the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds number font.

Completely agree there's a handful of teams I can only see in block fonts. Examples would be the Celtics, the Colts, and the Yankees. It wouldn't be as bad if only one or two teams were designated to have the basic block. I honesty enjoy it and think it's a classic look, but just not when every other team has it or a modified version aka the NBA right now.

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Great topic.

I'll sum it up this way: to me, the best ones look like they're part of an actual real typeface rather than something obviously hackneyed i.e. the recent cut/snip-a-corner/add-a-random-spike phenomenon that's been going on. When done correctly, a custom font can help further reinforce a team's brand and enhance a team's visual identity.

To that point, Exhibit A, and probably one of my two favorite major pro sports identities of all-time.

597.gif

610.gif

226053_display_image.jpg

EPSON208_20140127745.jpg

On merit, nothing was wrong with this set. Due to the then-unique colorway the Jaguars already had a distinct visual identity--without any extra special uniform treatment. (Side note: this and the Miami Dolphins' uniforms from the same era is a perfect example of how popping unique colors into an otherwise traditional template can create a great look without going crazy.) Now, I posted all that just to post this:

ca87a6d16e1390f40c61276e72226e2d.jpg

683954981.jpg

Jeff-Lageman-NFL.jpg

683954819.jpg

jacksonville-jaguars-black-uniforms.jpg

Not only did they further refine an already fine uniform, they also took the quality time to finely craft those numbers. Looks like they started with Dharma/Dharma Slab as the base (same with the Philadelphia Eagles FWIW). Those subtle semi-serifs on the descender and base of some of the numbers add a touch of class (in particular, check out the top bar of the "5"). But my favorite little detail of the set involves those curves on the "1", "6", and "9", which to me evoke, ever so slightly, the idea of a cat's tail. Its one of those things that you may not notice directly right away, until someone points it out to you and then you realize why you somehow thought though something about those numbers seemed "cat-ish". (And if THAT'S not "reinforcing the brand", I don't know what is.)

That, in my mind, is the way to go if you're gonna go the proprietary route. And i still sigh to myself each time I look back at those old photos--that was a contemporary classic brand identity they had there, and since about '02 or so everything they've done since has been a downgrade from that. (But I guess that's a discussion for another thread. B) )

Having an all around handmade font type for numbers and wordmarks just give a team an entire personal identity of their own and that's why I love it. Like the original Tornoto Raptors when they had the giant dinosaur. One of the best all around brand identity looks hands down.

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I disagree about the Jaguars. I think their inaugural set was perfect in every way, and the changes that stuck (new font, altered pants stripes) were to the detriment of the uniforms.

In fact, while it doesn't qualify for this thread, the original font the Jaguars used is one of my favorite football fonts ever. It's classy and still a block font, but it's distinctively different from other block fonts and it's unique in that very few teams have used it recently. I'd love for teams to establish themselves by going the route of using a unique-but-standard block font (like the Twins in baseball) rather than coming up with some proprietary crap that attempts to match their wordmark or logos.

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Minnesota's is probably my favorite. maybe the best font Nike has ever created. love the long cuts and serifs that reflect the primary logo

01-20%2003%20Gopher%20Uniforms%20mj.JPG

i was never too crazy about Belotti Bold, but what Oregon replaced it with is very nice. just looks like its built for speed.

im not sure if this is a proprietary font or not but ill say it is for now

cropBig_12_TCU_Football_Bell_t650.jpg?ee

my favorite NFL number font. love how the cuts and curves reflect their logo too.

WeeklyCover.jpg

These are three of my favorites. Minnesota was also home to one more of mine...

Minnesota+Wild+v+New+York+Islanders+PZCe

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Umbro have had some corkers in recent years:

Forest still use this on their training garb despite signing up to Adidas two years ago...

UMBRO_2002-2004-FNT.png

...while the font in the most recent Umbro-made England kit was also very smart.

umbro_02-711-xxx.png

I also really liked this from Nike...

inter-milan-2007-font.jpg

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I disagree about the Jaguars. I think their inaugural set was perfect in every way, and the changes that stuck (new font, altered pants stripes) were to the detriment of the uniforms.

In fact, while it doesn't qualify for this thread, the original font the Jaguars used is one of my favorite football fonts ever. It's classy and still a block font, but it's distinctively different from other block fonts and it's unique in that very few teams have used it recently. I'd love for teams to establish themselves by going the route of using a unique-but-standard block font (like the Twins in baseball) rather than coming up with some proprietary crap that attempts to match their wordmark or logos.

I don't know for sure but I think that particular style of block is/was called bevel block--we know the pre-2000 Rams were the last holdouts of (a variant of) that style in the NFL; prior to all the Nike madness in CFB I remember both Minnesota and most notably Illinois being two of if not the only two major CFB teams to use it. And I also like that number style too.

That said...we just gon' have to agree to disagree 'bout them Jaguars, playa. B)

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I disagree about the Jaguars. I think their inaugural set was perfect in every way, and the changes that stuck (new font, altered pants stripes) were to the detriment of the uniforms.

In fact, while it doesn't qualify for this thread, the original font the Jaguars used is one of my favorite football fonts ever. It's classy and still a block font, but it's distinctively different from other block fonts and it's unique in that very few teams have used it recently. I'd love for teams to establish themselves by going the route of using a unique-but-standard block font (like the Twins in baseball) rather than coming up with some proprietary crap that attempts to match their wordmark or logos.

I don't know for sure but I think that particular style of block is/was called bevel block--we know the pre-2000 Rams were the last holdouts of (a variant of) that style in the NFL; prior to all the Nike madness in CFB I remember both Minnesota and most notably Illinois being two of if not the only two major CFB teams to use it. And I also like that number style too.

That said...we just gon' have to agree to disagree 'bout them Jaguars, playa. B)

I agree with you Buc those Jags unis were awesome with the second font.. Great look...

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I don't know for sure but I think that particular style of block is/was called bevel block--we know the pre-2000 Rams were the last holdouts of (a variant of) that style in the NFL; prior to all the Nike madness in CFB I remember both Minnesota and most notably Illinois being two of if not the only two major CFB teams to use it. And I also like that number style too.

That said...we just gon' have to agree to disagree 'bout them Jaguars, playa. B)

I don't know if I'd consider the blue-and-yellow Rams' font a variant of that style, but the Rams did use that font the first year of navy and gold, when the replicas carried their proprietary font but the field jerseys didn't for some reason.

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^ And I never understood what that was about.

I actually bought one of those replica jerseys the first year they came out--they went on sale prior to the 2000 preseason, had the then-new numbers (Marshall Faulk in case anyone cares). Then the preseason started and I was just waiting to see the new uniforms on TV. I seen them--but with the older numbers on them. Had me all throwed off--I think I actually might've been a wee bit pissed. :P

And actually, since we're discussing "proprietary" block fonts, I just remembered two teams that used to use it, and one that looks like it might kinda sorta use them now but they're not entirely the same. If I had to pick a favorite, it'd have probably been these....

628x471.jpg

SappLynch.jpg

derrick-brooks-pic.jpg

I'm pretty certain these were the only two teams to use that style--I believe they introduced them about the same time. (The funny thing is prior to that the Niners for a short while also used the bevel block numbers--I think it only lasted a season or two though.) Little hard to tell at a glance but the (base number anyway) was a little thinner, the bar on the "4" was dang near stacked right on top of the base serif, and though it's a little hard to see on John Lynch's photo, the stem of the "7" had a little vertical section before angling down. The Bills kinda use something like this now but it really don't look much the same to me.

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The Niners/Bucs font is another great example of teams using a unique block font and keeping it classy, although I wouldn't recommend two teams with similar color schemes using the same font when their jerseys have the same outlines in corresponding colors.

You're also correct that the 49ers originally used the bevel block font when they darkened the colors. However, I'm not sure if there was a rhyme or reason for it. I want to say they either wore the thick font for half a season or they spent a year with some players having that font while others had the font they'd eventually all wear. I know a lot of retail authentics were produced for the Niners in the bevel block font.

As for the Rams, I believe someone has mentioned here that the Rams actually wore their proprietary font for one preseason game in 2000, but then returned to the block numbers. I'm not certain.

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I doodle number fonts when I'm bored (usually 2's and 3's), and for some reason I always try to draw the Avalanche number font and both the new and old Timberwolves fonts. So subconciously, I guess those are my favorite.

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I always loved the Manitoba Moose numbers.

Cynon_Manitoba_Moose_Numbers.jpg

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shaq_penny.jpg

It's probably just nostalgia for junior high, but I LOVE that font. If someone were to make a true type font of those numbers, I'd find ways to use it on a daily basis.

That's easily my favorite as well. I just wish they'd bring that set back full time already.

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Always liked this font for the USA national team. Don't like the new one (a modified block) nearly as much.

us-cuba.jpg

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Protype numbers for the San Francisco Spiders were interesting (they decided not to go with webbing in the numbers):

spiders_black2.JPG

3rd jersey of the Lake Charles Ice Pirates was interesting - bone numbers likely better in idea that in execution:

il_570xN.517544566_l4tk.jpg

Houston Astros 1975:


14_16704a_lg.jpeg

Toronto Blue Jays:

B97398499Z.120141129091201000G057KAND.11

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