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Typeface design inspired by 1989 LEGO Space Police

Space Police typeface design inspired by the logo found on LEGO sets

Here is a typeface inspired by the Police logo found in the original 1989 LEGO Space Police sets. The theme featured spacecraft and rovers in a blue and black livery with translucent red glass. Its logo was the word ‘Police’ in a futuristic stencil typeface with dark red oblong shapes above and below it, inside a thin white border, re-created here in the top-left corner.

The distinctive logo was printed onto some bricks included with the sets, but apparently the typeface was not used anywhere else. In catalogues from the time there is a larger ‘Space Police’ logo using a more curved and three-dimensional typeface– but this is a less elegant design.

Based on the six letter designs in the original printed-element logo I created caps versions of all twenty-six in the alphabet. There is an alternate version which omits the thin cut-out line bisecting the lower half of the typeface. I may create numbers and punctuation symbols in due course. The letters currently exist as Illustrator artwork– they may be turned into a proper font file in the future when the numbers and punctuation are done.

So why make a Space Police alphabet? The original logo is a classic piece of 1980s science fiction styling– it fits the sleek and slightly menacing look of the sets perfectly. There’s also nostalgia for one of my favourite childhood LEGO themes. The internet wasn’t around yet, so the best way to find out what sets were coming in the new year was to go into a toyshop which gave out catalogues in January. Often the most exciting new sets in the catalogue were labelled with the dreaded footnote ‘Not available until September’, which meant an agonising wait– but also allowed time to save up pocket money.

On the first day of school in January 1989 a friend rushed to tell me about the new spaceships in the catalogue with red glass and flashing lights. Helpfully he’d neglected to bring the catalogue with him, but when I tracked one down the footnote for the Space Police read ‘available March’ –in time for my birthday! My main present that year was the 6781 Prisoner Transport (Known as the SP-Striker in the US).

The new alphabet will provide opportunities for custom stickers or brick printing for models inspired by the Space Police theme, such as this command rover:

Space Police Command Rover

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