seeking futuristic fonts

Ch's picture

greetings earthlings. i'm getting started on a large publicity campaign for a science film about atoms and molecules.

i'm seeking recommendations for fonts, font families, or font designers/vendors with a distinctive science/sci-fi/futuristic feeling.
when i use these keywords in i get surprisingly same-old, blocky, 80's looking examples.

any recommendations ? i'll be choosing a few to experiment with.

fully legit protocols will be followed, including obliging the distributor/client to license their own copies (after design approval) for extended packaging use.

DrDoc's picture

It's really hard to recommend futuristic fonts, since there have been so many different perceptions of what type will look like in the future, almost all of which, in a different context, look very retro. My favorite version of the future is a movement back towards Art Deco, so something like Mostra or Anna could be what you're looking for. Anna is pretty prevalently used in Tomorrowland in the Disney parks.

Bank Gothic is pretty popular for conveying a futuristic feeling, but it may be too closely associated with Chipotle and sci-fi movies.

You could go for something like Computer, which has kind of a 1960s perception of the future.

Handel Gothic is what the future looked like in the early 80s.

Or you could do the ironic "World of Tomorrow!" look, which you can achieve with almost anything from FontDiner.

Good luck!

cumaso's picture

The unusual angles and quirky details of Cholla Sans and Cholla Slab and Freight Micro suggest science and molecules and atoms to me. I'm not sure if they are particularly futuristic.

poms's picture

Or going the other direction to get contrast, depends on how "futuristic" is the screenplay . Maiola, Tribute, Centaur … even Trajan, haha

PS Yes, Freight Micro could be strong. It all depends on the material, the client's imagination and your imagination.

pvanderlaan's picture

[shameless plug]
Perhaps Feisar and/or Feisar Express?

David Rault's picture

well, in the stanley kubrick's retro-futuristic way, eurostile and futura.


Renko's picture

If it is for display-things, then I am throwing the House 3009-package into the discussion.

Furthermore Neo Tech and its similar fonts at identifont …

Reed Reibstein's picture

What about Morgan and its ilk. Or maybe Morris Sans, for a twist on the tried-and-true Bank Gothic.

Ch's picture

thanks everyone for the suggestions ! these chiseled solids are consistent with what i was thinking... that's encouraging. i'll be experimenting with several of these.

paul: feisar is supercool !

one thing that has become a rather daunting issue (switching over to a license thread) is the standard EULA i'm finding regarding film usage. yes, i read them completely. there's rather unclear clauses in the the font bros, house, and font diner EULA's about annual broadcast schedule and mandatory renewal of the license annually... not sure i understand the clause but i have written to the foundries seeking clarification. i love the house 3009 package but the EULA may be prohibitive. this drives me nuts. i don't want to show a design to the client if it comes attached to a maintenance/renewal issue. i'm not sure there's an entity in place to deal with that once the film is distributed. it's a science film, not a hollywood blockbuster.

i'm also going to take a shot at designing my own title - not a font per se, but a custom type treatment.

any further suggestions are welcome!

pvanderlaan's picture

Thanks, Chris!

Why don't you drop me a line with an outline of the proposed usage for the font and I can see what I can do.

AndrewSipe's picture

Please don't use Bank Gothic... ever.

How's bout something from Emigre, like Tarzana or Modula Rounded?

dan_reynolds's picture

Oh, Bank Gothic is wonderful typeface. You just have to use it with a bit of love, and maybe not set it as is, out-of-the-box, so to speak. There are a lot of Bank Gothic alternatives if you still can't get over its boxy-ness or its all-caps-ness.

DrDoc's picture

re: Bank Gothic:

My post was about half sarcastic (hence the mention of Chipotle and Sci-Fi movies).

piccic's picture

Hmm… to avoid an "already seen" ar an excessively decorative feeling is not easy…

I would suggest Beta Sans or Beta Semi from Joshua Distler's Shift or Elektron by Rian Hughes for titling. Shift's Beta could be used even for short texts.

Dr Nob by Ian Anderson (presented in FUSE 6) could be a tool to construct "molecular" letetrforms or patterns for your designs, although FUSE packages seem to have become difficult to buy. I have found something here.

And Eidetic Modern from Rodrigo Cavazos' Psy-Ops, could be a good idea for text.

clashmore's picture

Wow, Alphaville is nice.

Ch's picture

yes, alphaville is really great and thanks for the tip on elektron,
which rocks the freakin' house. great suggestions from all, many thanks.

poms's picture

Smiling. Electron looks like a tech version of FF Liant to me … somehow. Okay, don't beat me, i mean at very first sight …

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