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Futura: The Typeface that landed on the Moon

On July 20, 1969, humanity witnessed a historic event: the arrival of humans on the moon. Among the many factors that made the Apollo 11 mission possible, there’s a frequently overlooked yet crucial contributor: the Futura typeface.

From maps and cabin instructions to the packaging of space food, Futura left its mark in every corner of the mission. Serving as a vital tool for clarity in spacecraft interfaces, it facilitated understanding and operation for astronauts. Its most significant imprint was on the plaque resting on the Moon, immortalizing humanity’s inaugural visit to lunar soil.

Parches con letras bordadas y envases de comida espacial – © NASA. License: All Rights Reserved.

Futura: an omnipresent and functional typeface that symbolizes progress

The choice of Futura for the Apollo 11 mission was no coincidence. It was the result of decades of establishment as a ubiquitous, functional typeface synonymous with progress. Its geometry and balance offered the readability and adaptability required by the visual systems of the United States military and subsequently NASA.

Identificaciones en el interior de la nave espacial – © NASA. License: All Rights Reserved.

A typeface with global reach, always demonstrating versatility and endurance

Beyond its role in the Apollo 11 mission, Futura has been deeply ingrained in society and culture. Widely used in advertising, film, and art, it has given voice to the campaigns of influential political figures such as Nixon, Kennedy, and Mandela. Esteemed film directors like Stanley Kubrick seamlessly integrated Futura into their films, while artists like Barbara Kruger utilized it in their impactful work.

In 2019, Thomas Douglas, renowned graphic designer, professor, and author of the book “Never Use Futura,” delivered a TED Talk addressing the relevance of the Futura typeface in the Apollo 12 mission. 

 

Futura: The Type of Today and Tomorrow

Futura became the voice of the Apollo 11 mission. Its presence on the Moon marked a milestone in the history of typography and showed its crucial role in communication. NASA’s choice was based on decades of trust in Futura, demonstrating that it is, and will be, the typeface of today and tomorrow.

Bauer Types: The House of Futura. Are you interested in acquiring the Futura typeface? Contact us, or stay informed by subscribing to our newsletter.

 
Mapa lunar con la zona de interés de Apolo y placa de Apolo 11 – © NASA. License: All Rights Reserved.

Identificaciones en el interior de la nave espacial — © NASA. License: All Rights Reserved.

Pantalla de control NASA – – © NASA. License: All Rights Reserved.

Bauer Types: The House of Futura


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