D DIN 1451 font is a display, sans-serif typeface that is widely used for traffic, administrative and technical applications. It was defined by the German standards body DIN – Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization), pronounced as “Din”, in the standard sheet DIN 1451-Schriften (typefaces) in 1931. Similar standards existed for stenciled letters.
Originally designed for industrial uses, the first DIN-type fonts were a simplified design that could be applied with limited technical difficulty. Due to the design’s legibility and uncomplicated, unadorned design, it has become popular for general purpose use in signage and display adaptations. Many adaptations and expansions of the original design have been released digitally.
The D DIN font typeface family includes both a medium (Mittelschrift) and a condensed (Engschrift) version; an older extended version (Breitschrift) is no longer used since the early 1980s, but may still be encountered on older road signs in Germany. D DIN 1451 is the typeface used on road signage in Germany and a number of other countries. It was also used on German car number plates from 1956, until replaced there in January 1995 by FE-Schrift, a typeface specially designed to make the plates more tamper-proof and to optimize automatic character recognition. The typeface has gained popularity due to its wide exposure through its release as a PostScript typeface in 1990. Since then, it is also used by non-governmental organizations and businesses. For graphic design and desktop publishing, several type foundries offer redesigned and extended versions of this typeface.