The History of Font: FUTURA by Paul Renner | #BEKANTAN Tales
Futura is a Geometric Sans-Serif Typeface (Font) designed by Paul Renner and released in 1927. Originally created as a contribution to the New Frankfurt project, the geometric sans serif typeface was based on visual elements of the Bauhaus design style of 1919 to 1933. In fact, it was commissioned as a typeface by the Bauer Type Foundry. It is based on geometric shapes, especially the circle, similar in spirit to the Bauhaus design style of the period.
Although Futura’s designer wasn’t directly associated with Bauhaus, he shared the ideology that a modern typeface should express modern models. In doing so he rejected most previous sans serif designs that are now known as grotesques. It was a distinct move away from typefaces based on sign painting, condensed lettering and 19th century serif typefaces. Futura’s simple geometric circles, triangles and squares represent function over form, taking away the nonessential and decorative elements. This made it almost instantly successful as a typeface in the 20th century, with success still continuing today
Futura works well in both print and digital texts, and both longform and for headlines. Although it’s been described as “the world’s most popular typeface”, it is in competition with another famous font, such as Times New Roman, Calibri or even Comic Sans MS (sadly) for that title. However, it’s use in different sectors is far-reaching – album covers, film posters, magazines, automotive advertising and even the Olympic Games (Moscow 1980). More recently, both Gravity and Interstellar Movie used Futura on their theatrical release posters.
Its versatility is probably helped by the different fonts and weights of Futura, including Futura Condensed, Demibold, Display, Black, Steile Futura and Futura Inline.
Futura was extensively marketed by Bauer and its American distribution arm by brochure as capturing the spirit of modernity, using the German slogan “die Schrift unserer Zeit” (“the typeface of our time”) and in English “the typeface of today and tomorrow”. It has remained popular ever since.
Contributor: Benaya Stephen
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