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Posterama™

By Monotype

Jim Ford
Monotype
The Posterama™ typeface family contains 63 fonts and is a true journey through space and time. Designed by Jim Ford, each Posterama family contains 7 weights from Thin to Ultra Black, in 9 distinct families. What makes Posterama so unique and versatile are the eight alternative display families. By making use of a collection of alternative glyphs, Posterama sets an evocative flavor to visualize an entire century of futuristic reference points from art, architecture, poster design and science fiction into one family.

Posterama Text is the base family. It has the most robust character set including upper and lowercase glyphs and pan-European language support (including Greek and Cyrillic). Note: all the other Posterama variants described below do not have lowercase letters or Greek and Cyrillic support.

Posterama 1901 recalls the decoratively geometric style of Art Nouveau from the turn of the 20th century. Letterforms such as the slender, snaking 'S', the high-waisted 'E' and the underlined 'O' revive the spirit of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the designers of the Viennese Secession.

Posterama 1913 pays homage to the Armory Show, or 1913 Exhibition of Modern Art, which brought the revolutionary work of European artists such as Picasso, Duchamp and Kandinsky to the US for the first time to the shock and astonishment of press and public. Near-abstract, angular characters such as the 'A', 'E' and 'N' hint at cubism's jagged and clashing planes.

Posterama 1919 uses a small, but important, variation to set a tone when the Bauhaus was founded, and the surge in radical European typography that followed. The straight-sided, roundheaded 'A' adds a flavor of 1919 - this style of 'A' can still be seen in the Braun logo, designed in 1934.

Posterama 1927 captures the year of Metropolis, The Jazz Singer and Paul Renner's pioneering, geometric Futura typeface from 1927, which had a profound influence on design in the US and Europe.

Posterama 1933 - With its low-waisted, sinuous designs, the Posterama 1933 typeface family echoes lettering of the Art Deco period, which in turn had its roots in Art Nouveau, the key influence on Posterama 1901. The two fonts make a great team and can be used interchangeably.

Posterama 1945 features a few Cyrillic characters to conjure up an era when Russian art and political posters made their mark in cold war propaganda, espionage and also giant aliens and monsters.

Posterama 1984 takes its typographic influences from George Orwell's classic novel, publicity for the dystopian action and sci-fi movies (Blade Runner, Videodrome and Terminator) and games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man that made an impact at that time.

Posterama 2001 was inspired by Stanley Kubrick's science fiction masterpiece, which made extensive use of the Futura typeface. Posterama 2001 finds its cosmic orbit with its nosecone-style 'A' from NASA's much-missed 'worm' logotype. There's an echo, too, in Bauhaus designs from as early as 1920, whose minimalist, geometric lettering also featured a crossbar-less 'A'.
The first siblings of the family were designed in 2007 as a branding typeface for Jim Ford’s band. The band was called “Duchamp,” and Ford designed the face to reflect the spirit of the artist’s work from the opening decades of the 20th century. Bones of the design can be seen in the Futura® and Gill Sans® typefaces. The fledging family was used for posters, album covers and other branded material. Gradually additional time-sensitive stylistic sets grew into the full Posterama family. As it neared completion, another Monotype type designer, Karl Leuthold, collaborated with Ford to complete the suite of designs. 
 

Posterama’s naming system says it all: it is a suite 9 stylistic sets of typeface designs; each sharing the same sans serif foundation, while distinguishing themselves with historic design sensibilities. For each style, there are 7 weights. According to Ford, “the significance of the assigned years is not necessarily to date the type styles, but rather to symbolize the times typographically.” Each style also contains a different collection of alternate letters, giving designers access to a large palette of relative styles.

Between the years and the letterforms, themes are drawn from 20th century history, art, design, architecture, economy, war, pop culture and science fiction. Posterama Text is the base family. It has the most robust character set including upper and lowercase glyphs and pan-European language support (including Greek and Cyrillic). Note: all the other Posterama variants described below do not have lowercase letters or Greek and Cyrillic support.

Posterama 1901 recalls the decoratively geometric style of Art Nouveau from the turn of the 20th century. Letterforms such as the slender, snaking 'S', the high-waisted 'E' and the underlined 'O' revive the spirit of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the designers of the Viennese Secession.

Posterama 1913 pays homage to the Armory Show, or 1913 Exhibition of Modern Art, which brought the revolutionary work of European artists such as Picasso, Duchamp and Kandinsky to the US for the first time to the shock and astonishment of press and public. Near-abstract, angular characters such as the 'A', 'E' and 'N' hint at cubism's jagged and clashing planes.

Posterama 1919 uses a small, but important, variation to set a tone when the Bauhaus was founded, and the surge in radical European typography that followed. The straight-sided, roundheaded 'A' adds a flavor of 1919 - this style of 'A' can still be seen in the Braun logo, designed in 1934. Posterama 1927 captures the year of Metropolis, The Jazz Singer and Paul Renner's pioneering, geometric Futura typeface from 1927, which had a profound influence on design in the US and Europe.

Posterama 1933 - With its low-waisted, sinuous designs, the Posterama 1933 typeface family echoes lettering of the Art Deco period, which in turn had its roots in Art Nouveau, the key influence on Posterama 1901. The two fonts make a great team and can be used interchangeably.

Posterama 1945 features a few Cyrillic characters to conjure up an era when Russian art and political posters made their mark in cold war propaganda, espionage and also giant aliens and monsters. Posterama 1984 takes its typographic influences from George Orwell's classic novel, publicity for the dystopian action and sci-fi movies (Blade Runner, Videodrome and Terminator) and games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man that made an impact at that time.

Posterama 2001 was inspired by Stanley Kubrick's science fiction masterpiece, which made extensive use of the Futura typeface. Posterama 2001 finds its cosmic orbit with its nosecone-style 'A' from NASA's much-missed 'worm' logotype. There's an echo, too, in Bauhaus designs from as early as 1920, whose minimalist, geometric lettering also featured a crossbar-less 'A'.

As a freelance graphic designer with a background in advertising art, Jim’s casual dabbling in lettering for advertisements inspired him to pursue a career in type design – transitioning from consumer of fonts to creator of typefaces. “I was charmed by Frederic Goudy’s books and the legacy he created as a type designer,” says Ford, talking about his early design influences. Originally studying advertising art direction at Columbia College Chicago, Ford switched to graphic design to concentrate on type and typography. “I’ve always been fascinated with history and the developments in art and typography, so becoming a type designer was like joining that rich heritage,” he explains. “My opinion about a design, and what it is changes from the time of conception, throughout the process, and even after its release,” he adds. “Each design you make teaches you something that the last one didn’t, or it addresses something new that you’ve learned or become obsessed about. The next thing is always the best thing.”

For the many cases where an all-cap setting is appropriate, Posterama provides a wide palette that encourages typographic play. It has the familiar charm of iconic design throughout the 20th century, and can transform seamlessly to accommodate a different mood or theme. Posters, wordmarks, headlines, and sub heads are all within it’s print range, while Posterama shines as a branding and display typeface for interactive projects.

Frutiger® Serif, Joanna® Nova, Metro® Nova, Palatino® Sans, Quire Sans™, Serifa®

Display
Sans Serif
Posterama-specimen.pdf