1972 U.S. election, CBS News
The iconic multiline typeface is probably best known for its use in the original Microsoft logo. While the design date of Aki Lines is often given as 1970, I haven’t found any evidence that it was generally available before 1973. It appears in an ITC ad from July 1973. Photo-Lettering (the company that produced many of ITC’s predigital fonts) included Aki Lines in their Advance Showing #20 from 1973. Mecanorma announced their adaptation for dry-transfer lettering for October 1973, and Chartpak’s version was patented in that year, too.
On Daylight Fonts, Shin Oka mentions an article about Akihiko Seki in IDEA magazine No. 141 from 1977. There, Seki is portrayed as a graphic designer who was active in New York at that time. From 1970 on, he worked for Lou Dorfsman of CBS for more than six years. It seems likely that Aki Lines evolved from design work that Seki did at CBS, and was subsequently picked up by ITC. The earliest Use of Aki Lines that we had documented on Fonts In Use so far is from 1973 – it’s the NBA intros by CBS.
The overlapping numerals “72” appear on the kit shown above as well as in the animated title sequence for the CBS News live coverage of Election Night ’72 hosted by Walter Cronkite. They feature multiple lines of increasing stroke width, just like Aki Lines. While they have eight lines, the typeface has seven. I’d assume that the pattern was slightly simplified once it had to be applied to a full character set. So maybe this isn’t Aki Lines yet, but a prototype. If you happen to know more about Akihiko Seki and his Aki Lines, I’d love to hear about it.
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5 Comments on “1972 U.S. election, CBS News”
Fritz says:Nov 4th, 2020 12:31 pm
I’d assume that the pattern was slightly simplified once it had to be applied to a full character set. So maybe this isn’t Aki Lines yet, but a prototype.
Aki Lines avant les lettres.
Hi Alex, that’s a wonderful addition, thank you! Just like the CBS graphics, this “72” is made of eight lines, and not seven like the Aki Lines typeface. Considering the nearly identical arrangement, I’m inclined to say that some designer at Rêde Globo watched CBS and really liked their “72”.