Adobe’s Futura identical to Neufville’s version?

andseen's picture

Adobe’s version of Futura has received a lot of criticism in the past. After reading that their outlines have been improved I was curios to compare Adobe’s oultines to Neufville’s which are said to be the most authentic. Just comparing the bold and light versions I have found them to be identical.

Looking at the copyright information in the Adobe version, both Adobe and Neufville are listed as joint copyright holders.

So, are they actually the same outlines?

ben_archer's picture

Hi Johan

I guess it depends which versions you're comparing, and how recently you read that the Adobe outlines had been improved. About 3 years ago I made a comparison layout between the Adobe, Bitstream and Neufville Futuras in a single weight – as a result of seeing something that Erik Spiekermann had said about this in his blog. The Adobe version I used for this was the old one (from ’87) and yes, it is different in some respects, but not as different as the Bitstream version. I agree with the contention that Neufville's is likely to be the most authentic cut.

omega's picture

Take a look at:

http://www.typophile.com/node/18710

Also, there is an image at the following thread:

http://typophile.com/node/20008

andseen's picture

I have read previous threads on this topic, but a lot of the information posted is not true anymore. The Adobe Futura critiqued by Erik Spiekermann is an earlier version and Adobe’s current offering looks nothing like it.

I don’t own the Neufville Futura, but I generated a few characters using the Fontshop website to compare them to Adobe’s Futura. They seem to align perfectly.

omega's picture

I own both versions and I will take a look right now.

omega's picture

I own both versions and I will take a look right now.

omega's picture

Hello andseen,

I just checked and they are certainly not the same.Take a look at the Image that I have posted.

I hope this helps.

Simplicious's picture

I think that the Neufville Futura looks better especially because of the ampersand and the 'M'. But also 'r' and 's' look slightly better. Maybe it's because of the different size and the display but Neufville's 'r' and 's' seem to have nicer roundings.

omega's picture

Here they are both, side by side and resized to equal capitals' height. The left character is always Neufville and the right character is Adobe.

andseen's picture

Hello omega,

Thank you for all your effort! Your comparison makes things much more clear. Some characters look very very similar, others not. Whether the difference is great enough to warrant buying Neufville’s version is another matter. A few characters do look slightly ‘better’ though.

Thanks again for your help!

omega's picture

Welcome

Dan Gayle's picture

Look at the weight difference in the diagonals: A M N &

omega's picture

Right you are DayGayle, take a look at the hires images that I have uploaded. The Neufville Futura is also slightly thicker.

andseen's picture

The longer I look at it the more the differences become apparent
and the nicer the Neufville version seems.

The Neufville Futura is supposedly the Futura that is included in Mac OSX,
but unfortunately they only include four weights – Medium, Medium Italic,
Condensed Medium and Condensed ExtraBold.

omega's picture

Hello adseen,

There is another ‘cut’ of Futura that is quite interesting. It comes under a ‘1990-1998 copyright as an unpublished work by Bitstream Inc. All rights reserved. Confidential.’

The following link shows very many other 'Futuras':

http://www.identifont.com/list?3+Futura+6+M2+7+3R8+5+4B7+5+HD7+5+1N2+5+2...

URW's version looks quite nice.

By the way, URW is offering Erbar, (1926) designed by Jakob Erbar and which could be used instead of Futura.

http://typophile.com/node/13376?

It comes in many weights:

http://www.urwpp.de/cgi-bin1/dalcgi/source/schnellsuche.htd?searchchar=E...

omega's picture

Additionally, there is an interesting Thesis in PDF format about Futura (besides the book ‘PAUL RENNER, The Art of Typography’ by Christopher Burke):

Paul Renner and Futura: The Effects of Culture, Technology, and Social Continuity On the Design of Type for Printing.

http://typophile.com/node/18165

http://etd.gsu.edu/theses/available/etd-07222005-152053/

Also there is an excellent rendering of Futura (which includes the experimental characters of Renner and oldstyle numerals...), it is called 'Architype Renner', it can be found at the ‘The Foundry’. It is superb!

http://www.foundrytypes.co.uk/

As it is stated there:

The geometry of Paul Renner's sans serif letterforms was tempered with optical correction and followed proportions of earlier type models and his capitals were nearer to old-style types than the moderns, yet they still retained the spirit of the New Typogrphy. His early experimental characters were originally released as alternatives, to the sans which was to become the Futura typeface released by Bauer in 927-30.
Old-style figures also featured in early versions, along with the alternative characters, but they also disappeared soon after release.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I'd be curious what the date is on that Adobe Futura (just wondering if it's the same outlines as the current one).

omega's picture

It is the Futura in Adobe's Opentype Folio and the date etc : '2002 - Copyright © 1987, 1991, 1993, 2002 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved'. Do you happen to know if Adobe has issued a more recent version of Futura?

omega's picture

So alltogether, the dates of issue for all three versions shown are:

Adobe: 2002
Neufville: 1991
Bitstream: 1998

Thomas Phinney's picture

Righto. So those are indeed reasonably current outlines for Adobe. Don't know about the others.

T

Syndicate content Syndicate content