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Font used on HP calculator keys - Printable Version

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Font used on HP calculator keys - DJSCaver - 08-22-2016 10:29 PM

Just wondering if anybody knows what type font is used on the HP calculator keys. Searching around I can find similar fonts but the 'g' and 'Q' etc are usually wrong.

RE: Font used on HP calculator keys - Accutron - 08-23-2016 12:12 AM

It's Helvetica.

RE: Font used on HP calculator keys - DJSCaver - 09-02-2016 05:36 AM

Thanks for that information.

RE: Font used on HP calculator keys - emece67 - 09-02-2016 11:22 AM

(08-23-2016 12:12 AM)Accutron Wrote:  It's Helvetica.

I think it depends on the machine. In the Voyager series the white & blue fonts in the keys are very similar to Helvetica Bold (perhaps they ARE Helvetica Bold). The orange font seems to be Helvetica Roman.

In the Pioneers, the fonts resembles Helvetica, but has some variations. Some glyphs seem condensed ("C", "R", "O", ...) but are different to the corresponding glyphs in Helvetica Condensed. Perhaps it is a customized Helvetica.

In the 50g, the "M" letter in the "SYMB" key has both of its "legs" slightly slanted, but Helvetica has them perfectly vertical. Letter "T" in "TOOL", "STO", "NXT", "HIST", "TAN" & "ENTER" is narrower than in Helvetica (although there is a condensed Helvetica with a narrower "T", but with all other letters also narrower). Numbers "1", "2", "5", "6", "7" & "9" are definitely different than in Helvetica. Definitely, the 50g font is not Helvetica, but resembles some variant of Futura (in fact some variants, as the font in the keys is different to that around the keys).

Finally, the serifed glyphs (those in the "\(\sqrt x\)", "\(e^x\)", "\(y^x\)" and the like keys) are not Helvetiva, as this is a sans serif font.


RE: Font used on HP calculator keys - emece67 - 09-02-2016 11:39 AM

A nice page to play with: http://www.identifont.com/

RE: Font used on HP calculator keys - Joe Horn - 09-02-2016 03:54 PM

(09-02-2016 11:22 AM)emece67 Wrote:  Perhaps it is a customized Helvetica.

That is correct. At HHC 2009, Tim Wessman said that the font used on older HP calculators was called "HP Helvetica". It had some decidedly non-Helvetica special characters, such as the stylized "x" and "y" on the [Image: X-SWAP-Y.gif] key. That font (especially those special characters) has not been used on the more recent models.

RE: Font used on HP calculator keys - Tim Wessman - 09-06-2016 04:41 PM

I only know it was called HP Helvetica because I read a reference to that somewhere in an old design document I found on a computer left in my care when I first started at HP. As far as I know, this font file has been lost over the years. Maybe it was too old to even have been a font file. I don't have any idea as to the accuracy of this information, but is definitely the best info I have.

In more recent years, it has been two fonts called "HP Futura" and then Gentium (http://software.sil.org/gentium/) for the "math type" characters like x^y and similar. The 20/30b (mostly) followed this, as did the 10bII+ and Prime.

I know because I did the artwork for the keys on the latter two. You can thank Pavneet Arora for helping me become so concerned with alignments, sizes, kerning, etc on key labels. He ruthlessly hounded me about those things until I made him happy with the 10bII+. =)

RE: Font used on HP calculator keys - Chris Dreher - 09-07-2016 04:07 AM

All I know is that it wasn't Comic Sans. :-)

RE: Font used on HP calculator keys - Eddie W. Shore - 09-10-2016 12:24 AM

Mostly Hevelitca (Arial is quite close) and Futura.