History & Designer
The designer and date of creation are unknown, but by at least 1958 it had been manufactured as a metal alphabet by the Spacerite Company, and was used regularly by the AICA member Lloyd Brothers Company of Toledo, Ohio. The alphabet was never published in any Spacerite catalogs, so it is likely that it was a custom alphabet created by Lloyd Brothers. The alphabet bears some resemblance to lettering used on Rock of Ages design prints during the 1950s and 1960s. The alphabet has seen limited usage since its introduction into the monument industry–mainly among AICA members. Some members created their own digital versions, along with a variation named “Westminster” which is the same basic font but with several changes made, most notably giving the oval letters straight “racetrack” sides, and removing the crossbar overshoot on ‘A’. The MLC has also been made aware that the Rock of Ages software RockCAD also has a version of Elbreco included, under the name “El Breco”.
Though it resembles Vermarco due to their shared Art Deco influence, from a design standpoint the Elbreco alphabet is far superior, having a more consistent framework and beautiful letterforms. Standing out immediately is the overhanging crossbar to the left of the letters ‘A’, ‘E’, ‘F’, and ‘H’. These crossbars also align with the crossbar of the letter ‘G’, giving many words a wonderful effect of the eyes being carried along by the partial line created by these letters. The letters are also quite narrow, giving the designer the ability to use much more text in small spaces than most fonts would allow.
It is not known if the Spacerite alphabet was designed with any punctuation, and therefore all punctuation and extra characters have been created by the MLC. The MLC used rubbings from the Spacerite letters to create the font, but also highly expanded the alphabet, creating many alternate characters for embellishing the surname, and adding several discretionary ligatures, which are available when using software that supports OpenType features.