You can’t be serious! Not with this type face, anyway. Smiley may rate a “WTF” or two, but it’s for real. (One of our regular customers, when this project was leaked on social media, declared he would buy a font just so he could smash it up!) The face was acquired in Skyline’s 2010 buyout of Barcotype, Chicago’s last operating type foundry. So rare it’s not listed in McGrew’s American Metal Type Faces. The matrices are a peculiar style, and the type casts nicks-down. It has been identified as a 1975 design by French artist Claude Mayet; an exclusive face for the French company Mecanorma, which was a major producer of dry-transfer lettering. How and why it was cut in metal (presumably) for Barco is not known, but the owner had connections in India and it may well have been done there.
While producing Smiley, it occurred to our casterman that a type face this goofy needs a companion border just as ridiculous. So we pulled out the cap O, which is simply a smiley-face, threw in some hippie flowers for corners, and backed it all up with solid dots for a two-color design. We’re calling it Border No. U-28, in 24 point.
Smiley and U-28 are shown in combination in the second photo above. Are you brave enough??