Digital Logo [was: Re: PDP 11/03 vs. PDP 11/03-L]

From: Paul Williams <>
Date: Tue Aug 24 17:46:27 2004

Paul Koning wrote:
> The digital logo has changed over time, but I don't
> believe the officially approved logo ever was upper case. It's
> actually a drawn logo, not a standard font, even though it looks a bit
> like Helvetica.

It was even designed in the same year. When Ned Batchelder prepared a
PostScript version of the Digital logo in 1987, he also investigated its

The logo was designed in 1957 by Elliot Hendrickson, who was then
working as an independent designer. He was contracted by DEC to do a
brochure, and DEC wanted a logo to accompany it. The logo up to then had
been the letters DEC in blocks the shape of the plug-in cards that DEC
had been producing. Elliot re-worked the logo, incorporating letters
which were hand-drawn for the purpose by Arthur Hover(?). The logo has
been maintained since then in conventional technology, ie, film masters.
There was at least one reworking of the logo at some point.

The masters I received had a number of interesting features. The boxes
were not all the same width, and there seemed to be no logic to which
boxes were wider. The 'g' was the narrowest, and the 'i' and 'l' were
second widest. Also, the two 'i's were not exactly the same shape. On
ten-inch masters, (one box to an 8=x11 sheet), the boxes were not
rectangles, but were very slightly tapered in wierd ways. I assume that
the tapering is the result of too many reproductions, but the difference
in widths may have been deliberate at some time. Elliot reports that
when he drew it, all boxes were the same width. I have retained the
different widths in my version, since the experts I had at hand did not
seem to think I should make them uniform.

Received on Tue Aug 24 2004 - 17:46:27 BST

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