The typography of Doug Engelbart and the nls

Friday, 30 January, 2015

The typography of Doug Engelbart and the nls

Have you seen the works of Douglas Engelbart and his team at the Augmentation Research Center (arc) at the Stanford Research Institute? In 1968 they presented the «oN-Line System» (nls), a computer system that had collaborative writing, networked computers, hypertext links, video conferencing, a unique gui, mouse and the chording keyboard. The presentation has become the Mother of all Demos and if you haven’t seen it I have embedded it at the end of this article.

The typography of the nls

One of the things that caught my eye was the typography of the nls: all uppercase letters with a horizontal overline to indicate capitalized letters.

I’ve screenshoted a few examples and quickly recreated them as well. I’ve used Menlo as the typeface as it kind of resembles the nls typeface but the arc was also located in Menlo Park, California.

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The Mother of all demos - Doug Engelbarts 1968 demo