The future is fontastic!

As an avid viewer of science fiction film and television, stuff like what I’m about to share here never fails to tickle my fanboy funny bone.

I was alerted earlier today by my bro Kevin Dilmore to this cool little website, Typeset In the Future,  which is devoted to studying the typography and iconography to be found in various science fiction movies and TV shows. The site was created by Dave Addey, a fan who added the “Typeset In the Future trope” to the popular website TV Tropes. You probably don’t realize it, but the same fonts tend to pop up in different films and series, particularly if they share common themes or similar settings (example, Alien and Outland almost seem like cousins in many regards. Ditto 2001: A Space Odyssey, Space: 1999, and Moon, and so on).

Why did he go to the trouble to do such research, and to provide a site where the rest of us can admire the results of his effort? According to him, the reasoning goes a little something like this:


Seems legit.

So far, Mr. Addey has provided in-depth looks at 2001, Moon, and Alien, with the promise of other films and television shows to come.

As I’m a total nerd for reading and learning about how such films and shows were made, including stuff like this. Because of that, a site such as this is like handing a six-year old the keys to their nearest Mister Bulky’s. Many films have unique, indelible looks thanks to the efforts of production, set, and graphic designers who put thought into something so seemingly simple and easily taken for granted as the font used for onscreen text or set pieces. The font used on the hull of the various starships named Enterprise is immediately familiar, for example. Most Trekkies also recognize the distinctive look of computer screens, text, and signage seen in the various Star Trek spin-off series (Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise). A great deal of that came about due to the efforts of graphic designer Michael Okuda, who created something that was eye-catching as well as easily understood by viewers.

I can’t wait to see what other iconic films and shows from the 60s, 70s, and 80s in particular Addey chooses to explore. Besides, I need to replace the hull lettering on my Eagle transport, so I hope he gets to Space: 1999 sooner rather than later.


2 thoughts on “The future is fontastic!

  1. Ah yes, the pleasure being a font fan…
    Agreed Dayton; title graphics set a visual mood for the best SF story telling.
    Remember the stark, chilling opening titles of The Terminator over Fidel’s haunting score?
    Tres-cool! Those ice-blue Tron titles also come to mind.
    Okuda’s Star Trek font work is in a class by itself. My fave is Handel Gothic, which must have been the inspiration for those iconic Deep Space Nine title graphics I’ve so long admired.
    P.S. Good luck with that Eagle upgrade, imagine replacement parts are kinda scarce…


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