The origins of the Futura font
Between 1924 and 1926, the renowned German type designer Paul Renner created the iconic geometric sans serif typeface family, Futura. A firm believer in modern typefaces expressing modern models, rather than trying to simply compete and rival previous designs, Renner’s Futura did just that. With many weights and widths, the typeface has been expanded to fit the needs and visions of many designers and creative minds alike. The original family featured Light, Medium, Bold, and Bold Oblique with Light Oblique, Medium Oblique, Demibold, and Demibold Oblique released shortly after. Whereas its newest manifestation, Futura New, now comes with seven weights and matching italics.
Futura font’s usability in modern design
Futura font has a great appearance of efficiency and forwardness with its basis of the sleek geometric forms of near-perfect circles, triangles, and squares with strokes of nearly even weight and low in contrast. Additionally, its elimination of nonessential elements yet calculated deviations from pure geometric design produces a seemingly balance aesthetic. Its lowercase letters have beautiful tall ascenders rising above the cap line and uppercase letters similarly proportional to classic Roman capitals. Such characteristics demonstrate that despite its clean and modern appearance, it possessed some of the defining characteristics of classic serif typefaces.
This striking balance between modernity and classic made the Futura font an immediate success.
This typeface’s rise to popularity and fame
Futura quickly became one of the most successful and used types of the 20th century. It catalyzed the creation of a wide range of new and similar geometric sans-serif typefaces, like Century Gothic. As a matter of fact, the popularity of Futura has made its mark on history as it was the first typeface to ever be on the moon. It is Futura that is featured on the commemorative plaque left by Apollo 11’s astronauts in 1969. Additionally, popular filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson are avid users of Futura in their films, like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Eyes Wide Shut, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic, as well as throughout artwork and credits. Tony Frewin, who worked closely with Stanley Kubrick even said, “It was Stanley’s favorite typeface.”
Futura is still used by Adobe, VW and other big brands
Even after more than eighty years since Renner first conceived the font, tons of companies, like Volkswagen and Adobe, have continued to use their own customized forms of Futura. Even in the realm of sports and music, Futura has demonstrated its timeless nature with its appearances on all three Vampire Weekend albums, as well as CBS Sports’ graphics, Pittsburgh Steelers’ jerseys, and the Boston Celtics’ championship banners. But the typeface’s dominance is easily demonstrated throughout Hollywood, where it was used for numerous hit movies such as Interstellar, Gravity, and Gone Girl alike. It continues to be extremely popular for things ranging from corporate logos, commercial products, films, and advertisements for years with no signs of losing ground any time soon.