An independent archive of typography.

13-inch Lucite® ruler

Contributed by Chris Purcell on Mar 14th, 2013. Artwork published in .
13-inch Lucite® ruler 1
License: All Rights Reserved.

My mom gave me this great ruler a long time ago. Helvetica figures are silkscreened in two colors on the back.

No idea who designed or manufactured it, but it’s still one of my favorite thingies.

Thanks, Mom!

13-inch Lucite® ruler 2
License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Helvetica



Artwork location

3 Comments on “13-inch Lucite® ruler”

  1. Dave W. says:
    Oct 1st, 2013 8:03 am

    I have the exact same ruler and actually it’s a quite iconic piece from the mid 1970's. Now, of course, it’s a seldom seen lucite desktop ruler that’s worth a lot more than one might think, especially if it’s free of scratches or paint loss.

  2. I’m not sure if it is or if it isn’t, but lots of folks (looking to sell this ruler for upwards of $300) claim, without proof, that it is by the office of George Nelson and his Associates (specifically for Herman Miller).

    I, personally, am in the camp that says this is a tchotchke from the 60s/70s (until someone can definitively prove me wrong). It’s been known to be called: Safety Numbers, which would have something to do with Lance Wyman’s work for the Chrysler Pavilion at the '64 World’s Fair. I reached out to Mr. Wyman, but have not heard back yet.

    I have seen several versions of the ruler—different colorways and even different typefaces. A similar on to this was stickered: manufactured by bibi products. Another was overprinted with the phrase: “We go that extra inch” as well as the name and address of an office supply store in Portland, OR.

    Either way, it’s a interesting vintage desk piece, but until someone can prove me wrong, it’s not a “George Nelson”.

    P.S. I just found another example with the Playboy Bunny logomark over the “1”. I wonder what you are suppose to measure ;)

  3. Chris Purcell says:
    Dec 2nd, 2018 3:46 pm

    Thanks, Aaron, for the detailed backstory.

Post a comment