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Hey everyone,

I'm making my first attempt at custom decals for my 1/1000 scale Trek kit, and I'm not sure what the correct font size is for things like the registry number , the ship name, the "united federation of planets" text on the engineering hull banner, stuff like that. Can anyone help me out?

Actually, maybe we could make a list or something of different font sizes for different scales; like 1/350 scale = the registration number should be font size X, 1/100 scale, the numbers on the nacelles should be font size Y, and so forth.
 

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Unfortunately typeface size is not constant - i.e. Helvetica 10pt is a different height from Times 10pt. Since there are many, many different versions of the various Star Trek typefaces floating around getting a typeface size based on one version is going to be of no help if you're using another.

Best thing is to measure the letter-height of the kit decals, then do a test print (on regular paper) of the text you want at various sizes, then fine-tune the one that's closest. (Best thing is to use a real graphics program that lets you tweak a point-size by 1/10 of a point.)
 

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Unfortunately typeface size is not constant - i.e. Helvetica 10pt is a different height from Times 10pt. Since there are many, many different versions of the various Star Trek typefaces floating around getting a typeface size based on one version is going to be of no help if you're using another.

Best thing is to measure the letter-height of the kit decals, then do a test print (on regular paper) of the text you want at various sizes, then fine-tune the one that's closest. (Best thing is to use a real graphics program that lets you tweak a point-size by 1/10 of a point.)
I agree about needing to "eyeball" things, but I'm not sure about the statement you make about point heights. It's true-ish, I guess, but not "100% true." (I'd bet that you already know this, but the OP likely doesn't, so I'm expanding on this to dispel any possible confusion!)

The concept of "point size" is based upon manual typesetting, not upon the actual character height. I may represent the last generation to actually get to work with this, as my Junior High School had a "print shop" where we actually had loose type, and printing presses, and that was part of the "industrial arts" curriculum we all took (along with woodworking, metal shop, and so forth... all male students had to take this stuff in Jr. High, while all females had to take "home economics" in Jr. High). And while I doubt I'd ever have chosen to take this stuff, it was actually fairly fun.

The idea is that you have these little metal rectangles, with the typeface embossed (or, in rare cases, engraved) on the front surfaces. All type of a certain "point size" could be stacked together, in a single row. If you wanted to mix point sizes, you had to do a lot of "shimming" to make it work.

To make a new, custom font, you had to choose the "point size... in other words, the height of the row of type. The new font would then be engraved (either removing the material around the character, as was typical, or more rarely removing the character itself) so that it would fit. There were typically several different "stock widths" for characters, as well, and you had to choose the one best suited to the character you were creating. And then you'd have to cut (or, potentially, photo-etch) the face of the bit of metal to make your character.

You'd NORMALLY create characters based upon a couple of basic standards. If you were creating a new font (which was very uncommon back then), you really needed to think it through up-front. The "point size" would be identified based mainly upon the distance from the tallest "ascender" to the tip of the longest "descender," with as little extra margin as possible, but always SOME margin.

Of course, beyond that, there are some standard rules of thumb regarding how much of the total "point height" can be devoted to ascenders and descenders. The idea is that you want the "base line" of the characters to be at the same height, even if you swap out different fonts on a single line.

Here's an interesting article on this:

http://www.fonts.com/content/learning/fyti/typographic-tips/type-sizes
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Me, I take an aftermarket sheet by JT or PNT and measure the font sizes off it.
 

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Hello Carl, there is no standard font size for custom decals, you can use any suitable font according to your need. It will be more good you can test with few fonts, choose one which will be more attractive for you and then get a final prints.
 
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