It's time to delve into the nerdcore world of typeface and logotype and see how just a few letters spelled out in chrome can define how you feel about a car. According to Jalopnik readers, these are the ten greatest fonts used in or on cars.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Speedin'
Suggested By: Gamecat235
Why it's classic: French super sports car makers from before WWII, Delahaye, used this beautiful, standout art deco font.
It just captures the feel of the 1920s and ‘30s and their absurdly expensive, somehow refined ultra-luxury cars.
Photo Credit: Michael Smith
9.) Pontiac's "The Judge"
Suggested By: DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane
Why it's classic: From 1969 to 1971 you could order up a single performance package for your Pontiac GTO, dubbed simply "The Judge." The name came from the popular comedy variety show of the day "Laugh-In" and the font was equally as hip.
Sadly, few car companies are willing to so openly pander to what the kids are doing, especially right in the name of a car. For instance, why isn't the badge on every Chevy Sonic written in twisting, utterly illegible graffiti?
Photo Credit: GmanViz
Suggested By: stöke/
Why it's classic: Another Art Deco font, only this time from Fiat's earlier days. Super tall and extremely narrow, the font also has the feel of something small, refined, and too light for its size.
Photo Credit: datenhamster.org
7.) Corvette cursive
Suggested By: nibbyS500
Why it's classic: There are plenty of fantastically chromed cursive fonts from American cars of the ‘50s and ‘60s, like the underscored text on Chevrolet Bel Airs and the completely illegible font on DeSoto Fireflites.
The freewheeling typeface of the Corvette is just a perfect example from a great pool of old American car fonts.
Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove
6.) 911 Porsche
Suggested By: BoxerFanatic
Why it's classic: Porsche has two iconic fonts. It has the "Carrera" script, which adorns the side of their faster cars and spells out their "Turbo" logos.
That's a great font, but we should not forget the completely recognizable modern script that helped define the brand as the Teutonic Wundercar to beat.
Photo Credit: matt Zwilling
5.) Mustang font
Suggested By: Is that a rain coat?
Why it's classic: Like Porsche, the Mustang has picked up a few iconic fonts in its many years as a popular sporty car. There's the Mach 1 font, there's the double-line font, and there's this, the classic blocky Mustang type.
You see it on things like this Shelby GT 500 and it just screams ‘60s sports car.
Photo Credit: Romain DECKER
Suggested By: pa5599
Why it's classic: In the 1970s, cars went from having extremely elaborate, intricate, fairly hard to read cursive fonts like the ones on the Corvette to extremely blocky, modern fonts like the one for the failed sports car project, the DeLorean DMC-12.
Like the best fonts on this list, it's very much of its time, but it's still a classic. Totally ‘80s, totally rad.
Photo Credit: DeLorean
Suggested By: Gamecat235
Why it's classic: It's like the great American fonts from the ‘50s and ‘60s, only with some Italian refinement and a whole lot of added legibility.
Of all the great styles to come on vintage Italia sports cars like Maserati, Lancia, Touring of Milan, and Alfa Romeo, it's the typeface for the styling house Pininfarina that remains the most enduring and recognizable.
Photo Credit: Christian Parreira
2.) Rounded VAG
Suggested By: seanjordan
Why it's classic: This is Volkswagen's font. That's not to say that it's only VW's, because you'll find it on every Apple keyboard.
The font is clean, simple, friendly, and it was amazingly alternative compared to the elaborate fonts used by the Americans, British, French, and Italians. It fit perfectly with Volkswagen's voice as a brand here in America and it's all part of VW's resounding success as a brand.
Photo Credit: Alden Jewell
1.) Ferro Rosso
Suggested By: RaveyMayveySlurpeeMan
Why it's classic: As 2011 rolls into 2012, there is no more iconic brand in the world of cars than Ferrari. Their logo, written in their own unique font, is completely tied to the image of the Ferrari race and road cars.
That means that of all the fonts, it is Ferrari's that is the most revered, the most recognized, and perhaps even the greatest.
Photo Credit: Jed Bouscal