Which typeface is suitable for marking of wires?

I work as technician in company engaged in industrial automation. Our company need to find suitable typeface for marking of wires in electric switchboard. (Fig. 1) I also like a typography, so I try to combine in useful way my work and hobby together.

Requirement parameters for needed typeface:

  • good legibility of small size and condensed typeface
  • “Industrial look” (Helvetica with fancy “1” is not right)
  • Free for commercial usage or included in windows.
  • Sans-serif and bold

We need CAPS and numbers only. (1F1, +RM1-28KM3:2, FAN, etc.) Our print resolution is 300 DPI.

The typeface should be neutral. We are using Arial Bold so far. Is there any better typeface? Disadvantage of Arial Bold is bad readability when is condensed.

I wasn’t sure where to place my question and I find this site as relevant.

Edit 6.1-1:

IMHO is the most suitable typeface for labeling (from point of view size+length/legibility) Alte DIN 1451 Bold from category of proportional fonts, and Consolas/Hack from category of monospaced fonts

Here is a comparison considered typefaces:

Edit 6.1-2:

Here is extended comparison with glyphs of “zero” and “o” –


I would suggest some standardized font such as German DIN 1451. This means you find many vendors for the same font and can even implement it on your own if needed for some proprietary system. Its also available in many different forms.

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Image 1: One of the available Din fonts

Taking the same thinking further you can chose to use some other standardized font such as a IS0 3098 based lettering font or one based on the American counterpart ASME Y14.5M. Many implementations available.

Source : Link , Question Author : vrabec1330 , Answer Author : joojaa

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