Created By: maurj on November 18, 2012 Last Edited By: maurj on January 26, 2014
Troped

Typeset In The Future

If you want to look futuristic, use Eurostile or Bank Gothic fonts

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Trope

Examples of Eurostile from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon and WALLE.

Eurostile, its precursor Microgramma, and their close equivalent Bank Gothic, are sans-serif fonts used in many Science Fiction films to give a futuristic feel. In fact, they have been used so often that the presence of these fonts in the credits or set design now actually helps viewers to quickly understand the setting of the scene. They are most commonly used in their bold extended versions.

Common uses of Eurostile include signs on the inside (and outside) of spaceships; important text on computer display screens (especially those that need to be readable in long shots); dramatic film titles; and overlays on positioning shots to establish the location and / or chronology of the scene.


Examples:

Film — Animated

Film — Live-Action
  • The user interface for HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey uses Eurostile Bold Extended, and is almost certainly the Trope Maker for this particular trope.
  • The title slide for Terminator Salvation is set in Eurostile Bold Extended. Eurostile is also used for on-screen computer interface designs throughout the film.
  • Moon features Eurostile (and particularly Eurostile Bold Extended) throughout its set design and on-screen UI.
  • The lettering on the front of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek is Eurostile Extended.
  • G Force uses Eurostile Bold Extended in its title slide.
  • District 9 uses Eurostile in its opening sequences.
  • The original The Andromeda Strain film uses Eurostile Bold Extended for on-wall signage.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie uses Eurostile for the title and opening credits. This (along with the minor-key, instrumental remix of the show's theme music) is an extended joke: aping the opening of a serious sci-fi film, when this is anything but serious.
  • The Hunt for Red October uses Eurostile Extended for its on-screen interstitials.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, uses Bank Gothic extensively in its teaser trailer.
  • Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa uses a metallic Eurostile Bold Extended text style for deliberate pseudo-dramatic effect in its teaser trailer.
  • Elysium uses Eurostile Extended for its interstitial text overlays.
  • Pacific Rim uses Eurostile Extended and Bold Extended for its feature end credit sequence, and Bank Gothic for its main end credits crawl. It also features a Eurostile Extended-like font throughout the film's computer displays.
  • The Bourne Series uses a combination of Eurostile Bold and Eurostile Regular for its opening titles and closing credits animations / end credits crawl.

Live-Action TV
  • Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) uses Bank Gothic in its main title sequence.
  • The trailer for Episode 5 of Series 7 of Doctor Who uses Bank Gothic in its Regular and Bold Extended versions.
  • Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons uses Microgramma Medium Extended in its opening credits.
  • Episode 5 of Firefly uses a very similar font to Eurostile Extended for many of the communications screens and medical controls on the planet Ariel.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • November 18, 2012
    aurora369
    An image showing a "quick brown fox" in these fonts would be appreciated.
  • January 20, 2013
    maurj
    Thanks – I've added an example of Eurostile Bold Extended (the 'classic' example of this) above.
  • January 20, 2013
    Mhwal
    Non-film example: All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2's first album of the New Millennium, used Eurostile Extended for its album art. This extended to the album's singles ("Beautiful Day", "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of", "Elevation", and "Walk On") and the band's general branding from roughly 2000 to 2004. [[hottip:*:Elevation Partners, the private equity firm associated with Bono and named after the song, uses a similar font in its logo to this day.]]
  • January 20, 2013
    JonnyB
    Eurostile used to be called Microgramma (Eurostyle is actually a variant by the same designer which added lower case letters and some other features). And it's highly likely that Star Trek was the Trope Maker, if not the Trope Codifier.

    Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles used it on Syndrome's computer.
  • March 21, 2013
    maurj
    I'd've thought HAL 9000 was the Trope Maker in this case. Mind you, 2001 was released in 1968, where as the Star Trek series began in 1966; did the very original USS Enterprise use Eurostile (or similar) on its hull?
  • March 24, 2013
    MetaFour
    An image showing a "quick brown fox" in these fonts would be appreciated.

    I think the word you're looking for is pangram.
  • April 24, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Great idea. May I suggest organizing the examples into media categories?

    Also, I looked for some reference for TOS Enterprise: looks like a different kind of font.
  • December 29, 2013
    KarjamP
    I wouldn't know what Eurostile was until I've read the laconic.

    Must be some kind of cleaning liquid.

    Therefore, Tagging with "Better Name".
  • December 29, 2013
    maurj
    Karjam P: a fair point! I've changed it to "Typeset In The Future" – how does that sound?
  • December 29, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Lovely.
  • December 29, 2013
    Earnest
    You can link to this trope from Film Posters typography section.
  • December 29, 2013
    maurj
    Earnest: sounds entirely appropriate to me!
  • December 29, 2013
    maurj
    So does this trope sound good to go, now that it has a better title? Does anyone else feel it's hat-worthy, or have suggestions for what's missing if not?
  • December 29, 2013
    Someoneman
    How about Future Font for the title? It's shorter and has Added Alliterative Appeal
  • December 29, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ easily confusable with Futura which isn't used for this, ironically.

    Also, more like Stock New Tech Font or Stock Futuristic Font.
  • December 29, 2013
    MetaFour
    Edited the OP to add more context to the Mystery Science Theater example.
  • December 30, 2013
    maurj
    Yeah, I tried to avoid putting too much focus on the word Future because of the font Futura (which, as Shanghai Slave notes, is not actually a common Sci-Fi font).

    I like Stock Futuristic Font; it's more to the point than Typeset In The Future, albeit a bit less punny. Any others?
  • December 30, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
  • December 30, 2013
    Lakija
    I like Typeset In The Future! :) Yay for typography puns! :D Also, Get a different type specimen other than Quick Brown Fox though.

    Surprising that Futura isn't used in sci-fi. Wow.

    Also, is this film specific? If not, prolly better categorize your examples into the usual categories soon.
  • December 30, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Namespaced and italicized the examples + sorted them by media.

    I wasn't sure whether the "Captain Scarlet" example was supposed to be from the original show or the remake. I gathered it was the former, but you can change it if I made a mistake.
  • December 30, 2013
    maurj
    Thanks, Paradisesnake! And yes, Microgramma is used in the original Captain Scarlet – I can't vouch for the remake.
  • December 30, 2013
    maurj
    An aside: I'm rewatching Star Trek Into Darkness, and it actually *does* use Futura, for its year and location overlays.
  • December 30, 2013
    maurj
    Tell you what: Into Darkness is a typographic tour de force. Futura for the location interstitials; Eurostile on the Enterrprise's hull; even *more* Eurostile on the New Enterprise at the end; and Bank Gothic for the closing credits. It's as if they designed the film to prove the trope :)
  • January 13, 2014
    maurj
    I've added two new sightings of Eurostile in Pacific Rim and Firefly. Any more votes for trope-worthiness, or does it still need more examples?
  • January 24, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    bump
  • January 26, 2014
    maurj
    New spots for The Bourne Series, which use Eurostile Regular and Eurostile Bold for its opening and closing credits. The examples keep on coming – are we tropeworthy yet?

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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