Futura is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by German born typeface designer Paul Renner. In 1924 he designed the Futura font, it wasn’t till 1927 that the Bauter type foundry commercially released by the typeface.
In 1922, German professor Jakob Erbar created the first ever geometric sans-serif typeface. Erbar’s typeface was hugely influenced by the Bauhaus school of design, the typeface aimed for a pure functionality, with no ornamentation or individual characteristics. Renner, though not officially part of the Bauhaus school believed in the schools principles and felt he could better Erabar’s typeface. His new letter font was derived entirely from geometric forms, with strokes near even weight and contrast and distinctively tall lowercase letters. This gave his typeface a clean, standardized, legible, stylish but without being overt “style.”
These are the factors that helped Futura become one of the most used types of the 20th century.
Designers and companies have taken advantage of Futura’s benefits to iconic effect. Volkswagen and IKEA for example have both used the typeface exclusively in their ads, that was up until 2010 when IKEA the furniture giant controversially switched to Verdana. Other companies such as Domino’s Pizza and Absolut vodka also adopted this simplistic typeface for their logotype.
Away from the commercial side Futrua has also found its way other places such as the silver screen. Film directors Stanley Kubrik (2001: A Space Odyssey, the shinning) and Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) used the font for their films titles and credits.
How ever, in what is possibly they typeface’s crowning glory, Futura has been to the moon. The Apollo 11 mission, the first ever manned moon landing in 1969 wisely chose this lettering for the plaque they left behind. Leaving a Futura side foot mark in the history of typefaces.