FUTURA

Futura, my friends.

Futura is old school, a classic, and yet I use it sparingly. As classic sans-serif fonts go, Helvetica is (obviously) my stalwart of choice. In a way this is a cop out. It is incredibly easy to use Helvetica and come out looking good, a testament to its flawless construction and versatility. The conundrum for me is that Futura exhibits the same quality of construction but is considerably less versatile. Futura has panache. Mastering the use of Futura’s flair requires a measure of skill and discernment. Helvetica’s near-perfection will kindly cover your typographic deficit but Futura is not so forgiving.


Maybe it is too much for most layouts, overkill. Maybe it is so distinctive it prices itself out of most uses. Maybe it is none of these things. I go on trying to find great ways to work it in. For inspiration I have in the past looked to Futura’s glimmering presence in “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

By the way, Kubrick was a genius, pure and simple — no detail left unrefined. The Charles Eames of filmmaking. He loved Futura and knew how to use it.

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