In mid-century America, city streets were filled with a distinctive, hand-made, sans-serif font. These unique uppercase letters started to die out with the introduction of mechanical signmaking in the 1960s, but remnants of the simple typeface still exist in many American streets today, and those of New York City in particular. It was there, in lower Manhattan, where Tobias Frere-Jones was inspired to create Gotham, which he named after New York City itself.