Observation Three

Last summer I noticed some new license plates driving around Abu Dhabi and liked the look of them. The first thing I noticed was the use of a new typeface for the numbers. It had a very distinctive gap in the 9 and 0 and a bent leg on the 7. I was curious about the typeface but didn’t do any research on it. Then last month I came across this post on kottke.org about the new typeface being used on German license plates and clicked on the link which led me to the answers to all of the questions I had about this new typeface.According to Erik Spiekerman (whom I am inclined to believe because he is both German and a Typomaniac) the type face is called FE Mittelschrift and was designed to thwart forged plates. I have to admit it does have an interesting look.The original typeface was designed by Karlgeorg Hoefer in 1970’s and has been in use for German plates since November of 2000. And thanks to the fine folks over at Fountain for only $49.00 you can have your very own version too.

On a side note, I wonder if the designer of the new Red 5 series of Abu Dhabi plates is a Star Wars fan?



  1. I forgot to submit the link to his website http://http://kghoefer.de/English/KgHoefer_Typefaces.html

  2. and here without the double Http:

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