First presented by the Bauer Type Foundry in 1928, Futura is commonly considered the major typeface development to come out of the Constructivist orientation of the Bauhaus movement in Germany.
Paul Renner (type designer, painter, author and teacher) sketched the original drawings and based them loosely on the simple forms of circle, triangle and square. The design office at Bauer assisted him in turning these geometric forms into a sturdy, functioning type family, and over time, Renner made changes to make the Futura fonts even more legible.
Futura’s long ascenders and descenders benefit from generous line spacing. The range of weights and styles make it a versatile family. Futura is timelessly modern; in 1928 it was striking, tasteful, radical — and today it continues to be a popular typographic choice to express strength, elegance, and conceptual clarity.
NEW: the new Futura W1G versions features a Pan-European character set for international communications. The W1G character set supports almost all the popular languages/writing systems in western, eastern, and central Europe based on the Latin alphabet including Vietnamese, and also several based on Cyrillic and Greek alphabets.
While the forms of Futura’s capital letters can be traced back to ancient Greek lapidary letters, Renner’s sketches for the lower case were quirky, forced and at times barely recognizable as letters. The Bauer production department reinterpreted his design, removing many of the odd shapes while maintaining the basic notion of letters reflecting simple geometric shapes. The ascenders were redrawn taller than the capitals, and character widths were adjusted to reflect traditional 16th century proportions. Even the lowercase ‘t’ was redrawn as an asymmetrical design – like many old style typefaces.
Other typefaces predate Futura’s 1927 release date, but Renner’s is generally credited as the most influential in stimulating the development of typefaces based on geometric forms. This is due primarily to the immediate and overwhelming success of the family. Renner also made many presentations and lectures about his new design prior to its release, and some believe that other designers and type foundries took his concept and turned it into fonts of type prior to the Bauer release of Futura.
Futura is an exceptionally versatile typeface. Its bold and condensed variants are especially powerful display designs. Futura is also a good choice for space-sensitive environments. Its simple letterforms allow it to be set at surprisingly small sizes with little drop in legibility levels. Futura also works well for short blocks of text copy, captions and pull-quotes.