Fonts of the Apollo 11 Flight Plan

I’m working on a ground-up rebuild of the Apollo 11 Flight Plan. There have been low-quality reissues in the past, but something this important deserves a complete restoration. If you’re going to reproduce a historical document, it’s absolutely critical to get the fonts right. My goal is a pixel-perfect rebuild, so just picking the closest font in Word won’t do.

It’s usually a good idea to start at the beginning, so lets look at the fonts on the cover.

A lot of these are still in wide use today, so identification went quickly.

Futura Medium
futura_medium

Times New Roman Std. Bold

Looking inside, I found three more fonts.

Letter Gothic Regular

Pica

However, this one stumped me.

futura_semibold

It’s not a bolded Futura. You can tell because the points on the A and N are too sharp. A friend recommeded using Futura, but manually fixing the mismatching letters. It did seem to work, but I doubted that’s how the folks at NASA did it.

I had resigned myself to hacking the Futura font, but then I stubled on this discussion on StackExchange. Someone posted a page from the 1968 NASA Standards and Guidelines for Visual Information and Graphic Presentations manual. And there it was: Futura Semibold.

At this point, I thought we had all the fonts figured. Until this oddball popped up on page 2-33 that is.

page-2-33

What’s going on with that 3? WhatTheFont didn’t come up with anything, so I turned to the font nerds on /r/identifythisfont. Within 5 minutes one of the resident geniuses identified it as Bell Gothic. I did a quick search and sure enough that’s what it was.

So there we have it. The many fonts of the Apollo 11 Flight Plan have been identified. Think I got one wrong? Please leave a comment below. I’d love to be proven wrong.