Black Panther Ambulance

Posted by Scott

Everyone knows the Black Panthers had awesome graphic design skills but who knew they could also paint emergency vehicles with the best of them? National Geographic aired a documentary about the Panthers tonight and in it they showed this brief shot of the most amazing ambulance ever, part of the original Panther’s “People’s Free Ambulance Service“. In reality, this was probably just a standard issue ambulance from the period, it simply had the Panther’s placard in the window. Still awesome. The cross enclosed in the square is classic and orange/black/white color schemes never go out of style.

Can anyone name the font? I’m guessing something like Akzidenz extended? Sound off in the comments if you’ve got it.

10 Comments Leave A Comment


Joaquim Marquès Nielsen says:

April 1, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Akzidenz… No pun intended? :)

Hmm, speaking of accidents – I think there might be problems with the comment function. When I hit Submit Comment and the page reloads, the comment is not displayed. When I write the same comment and hit Submit again, it detects a duplicate comment :s I’d really like to be able to comment, so could it be fixed?


Scott says:

April 1, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I haven’t run into that yet…sometimes I do get the “comment already posted” problem but it still posts your first comment. I think the server is just a bit behind sometimes. anyone else having troubles with the comments?


Scott says:

April 2, 2009 at 8:07 am

that was my first thought, but I just wanted to get that pun in there. I think you’re right though, that ‘C’ is a dead giveaway.


Rae Davis says:

April 2, 2009 at 10:12 am

Yeah – Trade Gothic was my first guess when i saw it, reminded of the post you did about the airport in the Tampa.


Matt Davis says:

April 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I think it’s trade gothic, too and not Akzidenz because of the ‘E’. The bar on the x-height doesn’t extend flush to the top and baseline bars in Trade Gth Extended like it does in Akzidenz Extended.


KA Turner says:

July 11, 2010 at 11:06 am

The cross on the back was supposed to be a standard logo that NHTSA/DOT was to adopt for ambulance standards in the early Seventies. Other organizations issuing ambulance standards advised the orange cross on a reflectorized background. The Red Cross complained so the Star of Life replaced it.

This particular ambulance was made by hearse-maker Superior. This was a van with a raised roof and the body widened by 14 inches. Note the off-shaped back door. Vans became a little wider as a standard and Superior quit making ambulances by the end of the Seventies.


william says:

September 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm

All Respects for Larry Little who was head of the Winston-Salem Black Panther Party 1970-1974. Larry was a heck of an organizer along with Mary McDonald, Nelson Malloy, Deloris Wright, Julius White Cornell Jr, Bradford Lilley, James Raymond Ford Jr, Marie Moore, Beatrice Fulton, Isaiah Cardwell, Hazel Mae Mack, Haven Henderson, Bernard Patterson, William McClain and many other Winston-Salem Black Panthers who sacrificed and served the people.

RIP Joseph “Joe” Wadell