Dacta is the former name of Lego Education, which is part of the Lego Group. The Education sets are geared towards classroom learning. It’s nice to see not only the uppercase here, but also lowercase and number & symbol sets. I don’t know the source of this version of Futura. Note the irregular ‘Q’ in the top image compared to the expected ‘Q’ in the last image. The difference may be explained by manufacturing — one font used in the illustrated mockup, another on the actual pieces. And based on a small thumbnail image on Brickset, It’s possible that the illustration has its roots in a 1976 set.
If you want another reason to long for the past, here’s a current Lego Duplo set for learning the alphabet. Don’t say I didn’t warn you: Play with Letters Set.
That ‘Q’ looks a lot like the one from (some cuts of) Akzidenz-Grotesk.
I don’t have facts to back this up, but I can imagine that the Futura ‘Q’ was considered to be inappropriate for some segment of Lego’s international customer base. What can be “inappropiate” about a simple circle with a crossing bar, you might ask. Well, I don’t know either, but there might be some — alleged or real — negative connotation in a certain culture, which caused a marketing person to raise a red flag. Remember the misguided guy who wanted to abolish the letter ‘K’, because it had “a suicidal lettershape”? Or the dice on a Macau stamp that had to be changed to show the number five twice, because the number four is a sign of terrible mischief in Asia?
But the “Q” in the illustrated ad is clearly standard Futura.
Thanks for the warning, Andre, but that was still a tough link to follow!
Contributed by Gareth Hague
Contributed by Florian Hardwig