Font for DEC indicator panels

Guy Dunphy guykd at
Mon Nov 12 19:59:23 CST 2018

Hi Noel,

That site is a fine project.
Here's another front panel image, of a PDP-8/S, from my restoration work on one (just starting.)


Feel free to use it.
That image is a rushed stitch of two scan images, and has some flaws. I'll be doing a better job
sometime (after a few other urgent chores), ending up with a nice clean image with posterized colors.

As for the fonts, do you know about 'font identifier' sites online?

For eg:
Seen a font in use and want to know what it is?
Submit an image to WhatTheFont to find the closest matches in our database. Or, let cloak-draped font enthusiasts lend a hand in the WhatTheFont Forum  (req creative cloud subscription)   see

On my scan of the PDP-8/S panel, I see at least 3, probably 4 different fonts.
The registers text looks a bit like Futura, but isn't quite.

Using these B&W samples:
looking them up on  I get
font_2  "CORPORATION"  lots of close ones, maybe
font_3  "digital"      urrgh, fails. I need to clean up the image more.
font_4  "PDP-8/S"      maybe

I suppose the people from DEC's art department are passed away by now, and all the records are gone?

If you want to be precise, the best way to do it is to learn to use a font design utility, scan the panels,
and construct a new font exactly matching the character outlines. But this is a somewhat steep learning curve.

By the way, I'm looking for the full schematics sheets for the PDP-8/S (serial #700, backplane "LOGIC 770-P")
with the circuit of the front panel lights board. Also photos of the front and back of the lights PCB, since I
have to make a new one. (But with LEDs.)


At 03:04 PM 12/11/2018 -0500, you wrote:
>So, anyone happen to know the font used in DEC's indicator panels:
>or, at least, a very close match?
>For mockups we're doing, Dave B is using 'DejaVu Sans', but that's not a
>really close match: the vertical bars are wider than in the DEC font, where
>the verticals and horizontals are the same width.
>It would be nice to have a closer match when we go to turn out replicas.
>(We're just about settled on the format for the QSIC RKV11-F/RPV11-D panels.)
>       Noel

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