Archive through July 13, 2001

sorenolsen's picture

I purchased Futura today from Creative Alliance, because it was needed for an assignment (otherwise I have used Futura only once or twice since the late 80s).

Can anyone explain why the Heavy face is slightly condensed? If you inspect the UC O it is not perfectly circular. All other weights are.

Soren

flingford's picture

Soren,

Did you buy the Adobe version? Comparing the Adobe cut to the Bitstream cut, there seems to be a clear difference, at least in the UC O.

If I had to guess, I'd say the Bitstream cut is slightly extended, if not perfectly circular... but I didn't compare the O to an actual circle.

//jp

flingford's picture

On second look, I'd say the Bitstream Futura Heavy "O" is certainly circular.

(Using PhotoShop today, I noticed my brush was stretched and discovered my monitor settings were off.)

Cheers,

//jp

hrant's picture

Soren,

Let me commend you on your abstinence from Futura. It's a *parody* of a typeface, and I don't care how many graphic designers would blacklist me for saying that. You can make all the lines & circles you want, just don't pretend it's an adequate way of making letters, and least of all *words*. Try setting "tobacco" in Futura and see what you get...

There's a variant of Futura called "Steile" (you know, the one everybody and their mother is reviving now), and here's something I just whipped up in its "honor":

http://www.themicrofoundry.com/other/steile.gif

hhp

sorenolsen's picture

Hrant,

I partially agree with you. You would be right if you said that Futura is unsuitable for making *sentences*. As for *words*, I haven't tried to set "tobacco" but I know some very nice typographic arrangements of Futura (eps light weights). One example of that could be (Denmark's only world-wide recognized graphic designer) poster artist Per Arnoldi.

Arnoldi uses one trick: Primary colours, simple geometric shapes, Futura light, and creativity. All Bauhaus, of course - but it still works. And Futura works. And he is able to pay the rent, just making posters! Take a look: www3.famille.ne.jp/~poster-m/perarn.html

I may be indisposed on this matter, as I graduated in 86, when the mere sight of Futura Light sent me into drool mode ;-)

Soren

sorenolsen's picture

Hrant,

Besides, Herb Lubalin used AvantGarde Gothic cleverly in the 60s and 70s ... it may look 60ish and 70ish, but noone will say, I guess, that AvantGarde (or Futura) was an *inadequate* way of making letters.

Soren

hrant's picture

Soren,

Note that I never said Futura was "useless". Heck, even Helvetica has its uses...

Futura -and its ilk- are great for making *pictures*, but not for communicating letters/words.
I know that "pictures" play a role in typography; it just doesn't turn me on, personally.

hhp

sorenolsen's picture

Hrant,

This one will, I'll tell you! In the assignment I mentioned, the corporate name just *begs* to be set in Futura Heavy. Can't tell you more right now, but it *will* turn you on, personally. If the mere word-picture won't make you drool, the animation certainly will!

Soren

flingford's picture

Ooh, sounds tantilizing... I can't wait for the curtain to unveil...

:P

Can't help but chime in and say that Futura definately has had a dated flavor. But I've seen some pretty striking uses of it that elevate it above the realm of trendy.

While futura has a certain sterile quality, that trait can be just as much a design element as anything else.

//jp

flingford's picture

So, it's almost three weeks later. Can you show us?

Curiouser and curiouser.

sorenolsen's picture

No. September, possibly October ...

Hey, I had the idea that typophiles were used to long-term work. Are you in advertising?

Glad, though, that someone keeps this site alive. It has been so long since last time I posted a message, I almost forgot my password.

Soren Olsen

objekt's picture

You know the name "Renner" is spelled the same backwards and forwards, which makes his typefaces more legible.

:)

Miss Tiffany's picture

Tsk tsk. Futura XBCon did get overused in the eighties. But, I must admit that I like how Volkswagen uses in throughout their entire branding schema (?). I just got the new 'wolfsburg' and they even have futura in the odometer now. That is an attention for detail.

As for choices. I keep my Adobe and Bitstream when using it. I've heard that the Berthold version is the best and more preferable. Heaven forbid, that is, we ever admit to using it.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Alright. My thoughts were going faster than my fingers. I meant: Volkswagen's use of Futura Bold or Futura in general, not FutXBCON

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