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Well, the ongoing Alf R. Becker project has another font installment to its credit-- yet another Becker alphabet has climbed out of the pages of history and onto the web! Now, if you don't remember who Becker is, let me remind you. Starting in Signs of the Times magazine in 1932, Becker and then-editor E. Thomas Kelley schemed a plan to print monthly lettering displays of sign-painterly quality for the new Art and Design section of the magazine. And so they did, all the way to 1959!
This time around, though, before spending a lot of effort on a font that the public might see more as a curiosity than a beneficial addition to their already bloated font libraries, I spent a little time thinking about what sort of font would serve the average signmaker best. I know that in my own shop (yes I do own an actual sign shop) I'm always trying to lay out a sign that needs a font that is both bold and yet somewhat condensed, tight spaces and lots of letters being the most common culprit in these situations.

So get ready to add a new bold, block font to your font folders! ARB-66 not only caught my eye for its heavy yet legible shape, it also features a nice inline feature that punches right through the letters to let whatever background you put it on shine right through. In 1937, Becker called this a "neonline" effect. Almost 70 years later, I'm learning it can be a money-making sales tool. Already it has steered some of the most indecisive customers toward the thing us sign guys like the most: artwork that is signed and approved and headed for the cutter! I don't recommend using the "neonline" version of the font every time you use this face, so I've included the "non" neonline version of it with the download.

Anyway, I think you'll get a lot of real-world use out of this new font, because a lot of hard work has gone into it, especially in fleshing out the characters Becker didn't provide. But actually, it was still pretty easy. This style of font has been around apparently for quite awhile, and there's even a font already on this site that is very similar to it. So I plagiarized my own work, borrowing heavily from the RACE1 Eternals font in our chiseled font collection,
Race Pak #1.

Feel free to let me know what you think of this Becker tribute font, and as usual, I like to finish up these Becker reflections with the somewhat austere descriptions of his alphabet, exactly as it appeared in the original pages of Signs of Times magazine, some 7 decades back.

NEONLINE BLOCK, alphabet No. 66 in Alf R. Becker's SIGNS of the Times series, is a very bold, modern style for feature display lettering.  Care should be taken in the laying out of this alphabet, and every letter should be made as bold as possible.  Next month--Modern Roman Thick-and-Thin. JUNE, 1937
click to see ARB-66 as it appeared in June, 1937
click the pic to see ARB-66 hard at work on some very simple layouts.
click the pic to see how ARB-66 looks today

Visit our
SITE INDEX for an overview of this website
or click one of the links below:

Fontry Home Page
Clippies Volume One
Atkinson Volume 1 / Have a Nice Collection!
Race Pak #1BWild Bunch Pak #1
Wild Bunch Pak #2 / Greek Pak #1A
ARB Pak #1 / Narrow Block #1Script Pak #1

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Click the graphic link above to download a Zip file full of ARB-66 goodies! When you're  installing the font, you may notice there are two fonts called ARB-66: Neonline Block & Neon Block. This will enable you to use the inline effect when you want it, and lose it when you don't.