Sometimes we just need to put that text in the sky! Getting the message visible across the city may mean building a structure and elevating the words as high as possible. We will need a good strong structure of course.

If your building isn’t high enough, you’ll need to create the letters in 3 dimensions and attach to a stable scaffold.

Tesco store. Image from SkyNews

Tesco are fortunate, because they don’t need to construct holding mechanisms for punctuation. Not so their arch rival, Sainsbury’s. In the image below, you see some welded contraption to keep that apostrophe in place.

Sainsbury's in the sky

Check out the letter i, this also needs an appendage. Letters in the sky need a scaffold for support, and sometimes this can be quite elaborate.

Signs are UP in the USA

If you have ever been fortunate enough to visit the United States, you will notice that there are very many signs elevated on scaffolding; hotels, motels and stores advertise their presence with elaborate constructions. These signs are sometimes to be found atop the building but also separate structures have been built to hold the lettering.

Brady's market, U.S. 395, Inyokern, CA, USA

Photo by Joshua Lewis on Unsplash

I haven’t been able to identify the typeface used in the mini mart words, however, one interesting observation is that this is a mixed case font; notice the uppercase A and the lowercase n.

Type in Flight

The ultimate place to observe type in the sky is the graphic livery on aeroplanes in the clouds. Of course, the designs we see on the fuselage of these planes is dependant on the design schemes and branding of the companies that operate them. Here are some examples.

A320 Air Malta landing at Orly Airport

Photo by Daniel Eledut on Unsplash

The branding designed by FutureBrand uses a form of PT Sans Designed by ParaType. The name used a mixture of light and bold as in airmalta.

Boeing 777-300  Venizelos Airport

Photo by Fotis Christopoulos on Unsplash

The Emirates brand uses a bespoke font designed for them by their own design team. The font was designed in 2003 and the bold form can be found for download in various places on the web. The shape of the letters seems to be a subtle nod to Arabic letterforms with their elaborate curves.

Here is the Emirates font

Next time you make a journey by air, do take notice of the typefaces used.