Home » Alpha-Numeric » TopHat – Alpha-Numeric Icons

TopHat – Alpha-Numeric Icons


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I’m old enough to remember the days before personal computers, when graphic artists turned to a family of products collectively known as “press-type” or “dry transfer type” as an alternative to hand-drawn lettering for advertising layouts and other printed materials. For $4.00-$7.00 you’d get an 8.5″x11″ sheet of waxed paper with as many letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and/or ding-bats that could fit on the page, depending on the type-size,type-face, and type-style. (note the difference in jargon as back then there were no “fonts”) To get them off the wax paper onto the mock-up, you’d place the sheet wrong-side up positioned exactly where you wanted it and use a metal or plastic burnishing tool and very firmly but gently rub each individual character off the wax and onto your paper. It was a real pain if you made a mistake either in placement or in execution as you’d have to gently scratch off the character with a razor blade without harming the paper below it. Believe it or not, when press-type was first invented, it was considered a real time saver! It also allowed the grunt-job of doing the “keylining” or “paste-up” to be done by lower-level employees so the graphic artists and art directors were freed up for more creative or skilled tasks.

With the advent of personal computers and particularly the Mac (which inspired the development of the first graphics application), press-type pretty-much went the way of the dinosaurs. There’s a plethora of fonts available now and they can be manipulated further in a wide variety of apps including word-processors, page-layout and graphics based. But the concept of having the digital equivalent of press-type available on your computer for quick and easy spot jobs where you only need a letter or two or a handful of words, is still compelling. Hence, I’ve created several icon series in a variety of styles which consist of each letter of the alphabet, cardinal numerals, punctuation marks, and a handful of coordinated decorative that could be used as ding-bats. Tonight’s offering is titled: TopHat. Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save all of the full-size images image(s) in a single zipped file to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

4 thoughts on “TopHat – Alpha-Numeric Icons

    • Sorry for any inconvenience. I’ve just checked the link and it’s fine now. Best I can figure is that the server that file is located on may have been busy at the time. I’ve been in the process of moving all of the files on my old iDisk over to either mediafire or wordpress just because of that type of problem. (server seems to be frequently down) Let me know if it works for you now, if not, I’ll send the file to you by e-mail.
      Thanks for the heads up on that!
      -Leslie

    • You are quite correct in that computer graphics have been in existence in one form or another since the late 1960′s. I remember quite vividly when my husband was sent out to California in the 1970′s to train on one of the first CAD (computer-aided drafting) applications for his job as an engineer in General Electric’s lighting division. But, of course, the graphics software applications in those early days not only required a football-stadium sized mainframe computer, all of the input by the user was single-line code and there was no monitor to view in real-time what you were actually trying to draw. In 1981, I had built my own first computer using parts from Franklin and Radio Shack, and ran either 86-DOS or alternatively CP/M. While that computer did have a monochrome monitor, the graphics I could produce on it were done pixel by pixel through a line-item interface. There was NO commercially available graphics software in those days for the average consumer. In my own experience, and as far as I’ve been able to find in my research, the very first commercially available application for either painting or drawing with a computer without having to deal intimately with code, was when the first MacIntosh came out in 1984 with the MacPaint© and MacDraw© applications already installed. And it was because of the possibilities presented by the ground-breaking minimalist design of the Mac and it’s GUI operating system, that Adobe got excited and plunged deep into development of font technology – something that was not otherwise of use to the individual consumer operator. This is what I was referring to in my post. But I do greatly appreciate your input and the link you’ve provided. For anyone of my readers who are interesting in learning more about the history of the personal computer and graphics applications, Wikipedia is always a great place to start.

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