Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Paul Renner and Futura

Paul Renner created the typeface Futura between 1924 and 1926 and released it in 1927. We learned in class that he designed it in order to make a typeface that would function better than Herbert Bayer's universal typeface. He follow the basic Bauhaus rules but made the type easier to read and he put more varience in the weights. He understood that the harsh geometry of the Bauhaus typeface was in fact more difficult to read despite its positive social meaning and purpose. He believed that a humanist or roman typeface was easier to read and people reacted more positivly to it. I have decided to explore the use of Futura today, because it is a very popular and respected typeface.

Futura is available in a wide variety of weights. This makes the typeface very versitle. All of the weights that are available today were not designed by Renner. Some were designed as late as 1955 such as the extra bold italic font.

I found a lot of examples of Futura use. Because of the typeface's versatility, the examples are very diverse.

Below are image of Futura's many applications:

Swissair's Logo | Boeing's Logo | Hewlett Packard's Logo

The TV show Futurama (not their logo, but used primarily everywhere else) and Stanley Kubrick uses Futura and variations of it in many of the titles and title sequences. Below are just two of them: The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited.

The image at the top of the page is the example that I found to be most interesting. It is the commemorative plaque that Apollo 11 placed on the surface of the moon.


Sources:, Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia

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