What Was The Font Type From The 1950s, 1960s, And 1970s Called? (Typography, Fonts, Lettering, Kerning, And Graphic Design)

folowgram me futura sketch by Paul Renner

Almost every design blog eventually comes to the topic of typography and lettering, the art of aesthetic words. DoYouDesignToo is having that moment.

It’s fair to say I have loved many fonts (especially clip art artsy ones), but one in particular always struck me as especially, effortlessly elegant.

I’m sure you have seen it. It was used extensively in the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s, a futuristic, scientific, atomic, clean, beautiful font.

Apollo 11 Plaque Wiki Commons Lunar Landing Futura font

(I’m referring to the font that says “HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH…”)

But ask and search as I might, I could never find what it was called.

Until I was looking through http://www.urbantaster.com and stumbled across this video. Surely, I thought, surely this video mentions it.

So I watched (it is very good, is it not?) and sure enough, he happily mentions it!

So I guess all do find what they most truly seek, just as Aslan said in the “Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis.

I’m sure you’ve guessed that the font is none other than Futura and its close look-alikes family (which includes Erbar, Twentieth Century, Nobel, Avenir, Century Gothic, and Beteckna).

disenaeltipo blogspot com Paul Renner

Futura font alphabet letters

de. academic. ru Erbar-3

fonts com twentieth century light futura font relatedNobel font compositehfour ca historical influences of Avenir futura comparison

Century Gothic Futura comparison

fedoraproject org beteckna font

Typography is a art I never really explored or thought much about (although I had wondered for a long time how on Earth they managed to make letters so perfectly–turns out the answer is obvious: they draft their ideas on graph paper).

This XKCD comic brought it to my brain’s “piqued interest” zone.

xkcd kerning

And while doing more reading I discovered this great THING:

It’s a kerning quiz (or game, if you will)! (Kerning is the spacing between letters, which should be pleasing to the eye).

I got a 90, first try! I was pretty excited. I love being a designer.

List some of your favorite font types in the comments!

I love most fonts. Context of course makes a difference, but variety is the spice of life. I always thought Papyrus and Underwood especially appealing. Joker, Chiller, and Wingdings too for sheer fun and zaniness. But there are zillions, and most of them a have a interesting story.

Most of them are pretty fantastic, at least in some context or other. Especially historical, fun, beautiful, or “ethnic” ones.

If approximately 70% of communication is non-verbal body language, and 30% is the actual words we use, I wonder if a comparison can’t be drawn between the words we actually choose to write, and the way we actually portray them.


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