The German Bundeswehr (army) uses high frequency radio teletype machines with built-in papertape writers and readers. With FF Papertape Dots this code has been converted to a font; letters of a sort but still not readable for most non-machines. Matthias Jordan, while completing his military duty, designed a truly legible variation called FF Papertape Letters and its origins make for a good yarn.
There is a tradition among draftees who are nearing the end of their service to carry with them a tape measure of a meter. For the last hundred days of their military service they tear off one centimeter a day so that on their last day they have only a single centimeter left. After Jordan finished his teletype training he came up with the idea of making his own tape measure using the papertape. By figuring out what series of dots each letter on the teleprinter’s keyboard stood for he was able to make digits 0 to 9 that could be read by a person.
He also made a perforation character to make tearing off a breeze to complete the tape measure. Later he extended his efforts to include a full set of letters and many special characters and a font was born. Papertape Letters Cameo Lig contains characters for the following letter combinations: Fa, Fe, Fo, Fu, Ta, Te, To, Tr, Tu, Va, Vo, Yo, rd, rj, fo, fa, r, and r.