Title design is a dynamic and interesting subset of the graphic design world. The typeface, font, and formatting of a title all play a part in the overall success or failure of a particular design.
Using the wrong typeface can throw off the mood of a project faster than Spock beaming up to the Enterprise from an exploding planet Vulcan. A typeface that doesn’t fit can quickly jolt an audience out of a fictional world.
Especially in a science fiction film, where you’re trying to get the audience to buy in to the time, place, and concept of the world.
Star Trek: The Next Generation just wouldn’t have felt the same if the designers used Papyrus.
While all science fiction stories are obviously not based in the future, I wanted to focus on recommending fonts that provide a timeless feel. Designs that give a clean and modern look.
Something that will still look futuristic to an audience 30 years from now. Even if that audience is strictly AI robots we created that eventually took over the world and killed all of us. (Hey, you never know.
These fonts work well as opening titles, lower thirds, computer readouts, intertitles, or even as logos of futuristic fictional companies.
Typeface vs. Fonts
While I used the term “futuristic fonts” in the title of this article, I think it would’ve been better to go with “futuristic typefaces.” That didn’t seem to flow off the tongue as nicely, however, so I went with the former.
Perhaps to the surprise of many, these two terms are not entirely interchangeable. A typeface is actually a family of fonts, often times from the same designer.
For example, the Futura typeface was designed by Paul Renner in 1927 and has a font family consisting of different weights and styles (bold, medium, italic), each one of those being a different font Get it?When designing a title, doing something as simple as changing the font of a typeface can communicate a very different feel to an audience.
The difference between a typeface and a font is only the tip of the iceberg in regards to the complexity of title design. Creators that ignore this area of design are missing out on a huge creative opportunity. However, you have to know how to do it right.
The first step is to learn the lingo.
Anatomy of a Typeface
Before we get into the specific fonts to use in a futuristic world, let’s brush up on some typography lingo. You’ll need to understand some of these terms to better understand why certain typefaces work in a science fiction setting while others don’t.
The Elements of a Typeface
- X-height – The height of the body of a lowercase letter.
- Ascender line – The invisible line denoting the highpoint of ascenders.
- Apex – The point in a letter where left and right strokes meet.
- Baseline – The horizontal line where the text sits.
- Ascender – The part of the letter that ascends above the x height.
- Crossbar – The horizontal stroke in letters.
- Stem – The full length vertical stroke of a letter.
- Serif – Extra stroke found at the end of main vertical and horizontal strokes.
- Leg – The short descending part of a letter.
- Bowl – A rounded and fully closed part of a letter.
- Counter – The space in a closed or partially closed area of a letter.
- Collar – The stroke of a letter attaching two bowls.
- Loop – The enclosed or partially enclosed counter below the baseline of a double-story g.
- Ear – A small stroke extending from the upper-right side of the bowl of a lowercase g.
- Tie – A horizontal middle stroke.
- Horizontal bar – A horizontal stroke.
- Arm – A horizontal or upward sloping stroke that does not connect to a stroke or stem on one or both ends.
- Vertical bar – Vertical stroke
- Cap height – The height of a capital letter measured from the baseline.
- Descender line – The invisible line marking the lowest point of the descenders.
Serif vs. Sans Serif
Typefaces are classified as either serif or sans serif. A serif typeface has an extra stroke at the end of main vertical and horizontal strokes of the letters. Conversely, sans serif is a typeface without serifs, hence the French word sans (without).
As you’ll soon notice, this is an important topic when talking about typography in science fiction. Sans serif typefaces are very popular in the genre, as they have a modern feel and are known for increased legibility on digital screens.
In addition to all of the individual elements of a typeface, there are a number of formatting options when working with type, including leading, kerning, and tracking, just to name a few. Formatting is a large part of the design process and will help achieve some interesting looks to match a science fiction theme, which I’ll discuss in further detail in just a minute.
First, let’s have a closer look at these formatting options.
Now that we have a better handle on the terminology, let’s have a closer look at how we can find the best typeface to use for a sci-fi project.
Typography and Sci-Fi Themes
There are many themes in the science fiction genre—loneliness, isolation, abandonment, curiosity, wonder, open space, immortality, imminent danger, etc. Title designers can use typography on screen to help communicate and highlight these themes.
As I mentioned earlier, title designers have the added challenge of making a typeface look futuristic. Will the futuristic typography of today still look “futuristic” when you look at it 30 years from now?
If you look at popular sci-fi films and television over the last five decades, you’ll notice a pattern when it comes to design. There are a collection of typefaces which are used time and time again in the genre. Whether it be in the main opening credits, on title cards or promotional materials, these designs are synonymous with a futuristic or timeless aesthetic.
Let’s take a look at a few typical examples.
Eight “Futuristic” Typefaces
Modern and classic, Futura is a geometric sans-serif typeface created by Paul Renner
Font names are important because they determine font menu grouping and ordering, which is crucial for the way your fonts will appear to your users. What makes it difficult is the fact that the font names are stored in six different places in the font. Or actually, a few more places. Which makes it even more complicated. Historically grown, you know.
Oh, and different apps read the font naming information in different ways. Good luck.
Family Name and Subfamily (Style) Name
Basically, fonts with the same Family Name can be grouped together somehow in a user interface. How exactly this is done, of course, depends on the software that employs your fonts. You can set your Family Name in File > Font Info > Font > Family Name:
The individual fonts of your family need to be differentiated by their Subfamily Name (a.k.a. ‘Style Name’) which is set in File > Font Info > Instances. Each instance has a Style Name field. Typical style names are: Regular, Italic, Bold, Medium, Light Italic, Display Bold, Caption Italic, etc. In other words, some combination of keywords for:
- Weight: Thin, Light, Extralight, Regular, Medium, Semibold, Bold, Extrabold, Heavy, Black, etc.
- Width: Compressed, Condensed, Extended, Expanded, etc.
- Slope: Italic, Oblique, Upright Italic, Backslant, etc.
- Optical Size: Display, Text, Caption, Small
Top 35 Cool Banner Fonts You Can Use Right Now
- Whether we are talking about serif, sans serif, proportional or monospaced typefaces, one thing’s clear—the font dictates how your brand is perceived by others.
- Nowadays, there are thousands of banner fonts available in design tools that you can use to design a banner in just a few minutes.
- There are no limits when it comes to banner design besides your own inspiration and imagination.
Not so long ago, however, advertising relied only on printed media inserts and outdoor displays. Back then, the marketer’s job was infinitely more difficult.
Moreover, the choice of fonts was limited to a few typefaces. Metal fonts were stored in metal boxes, and texts were assembled manually, letter by letter.
Now, you may wonder how to choose to best fonts for banners, when there are so many options available today.
This article will hopefully help you make a quick and inspired choice because I’m going to talk about 35 cool banner fonts.
Before you continue reading, you have to keep in mind that fonts are not only about your taste in design. Colors, fonts, and typography should also represent and appeal to your target audience, once you create your buyer personas.
Now that we’ve established that let’s get started.
What Are the Different Types of Fonts?
We can easily separate fonts into four major categories:
- Sans Serif
Serif fonts look rather traditional and have little lines attached at the ends of each letter. Times New Roman, for example, is the best-known font type in the Serif category.
Sans Serif (French for “without Serif”) fonts look similar to the ones mentioned earlier but without the attachments at the end of each letter. They are believed to give a modern look to your text. A good example, in this case, is the font Calibri.
Script is a denomination used for all the fonts that look cursive, by imitating handwriting. You can quickly identify them because, in most cases, they carry the word Script after their name. Take, for example, the font Pacifico.
Display fonts are usually used in decorative texts or when you want to attract even more attention to your message. They are used mostly to make an impact and not for long texts or phrases. A good example, in this case, is the font Permanent Marker.
Now, let’s get back to our main topic and take a look at these 35 cool banner fonts you can use in your banner design.
Our first classic font is Volkov, a Serif typeface with a robust design, legible and prominent, suitable for complex texts.
Particular size, weight and style of a typeface
This article is about the traditional meaning of “font”. For the electronic data file, see Computer font. For other uses, see Font (disambiguation).
In metal typesetting, a font was a particular size, weight and style of a typeface.
Each font was a matched set of type, one piece (called a “sort”) for each glyph, and a typeface consisting of a range of fonts that shared an overall design.
In modern usage, with the advent of digital typography, “font” is frequently synonymous with “typeface”. Each style is in a separate “font file”—for instance, the typeface “Bulmer” may include the fonts “Bulmer roman”, “Bulmer”, “Bulmer bold” and “Bulmer extended”—but the term “font” might be applied either to one of these alone or to the whole typeface.
In both traditional typesetting and modern usage, the word “font” refers to the delivery mechanism of the typeface design. In traditional typesetting, the font would be made from metal or wood. Today, the font is a digital file.
Play media Israeli typographer Henri Friedlaender examines Hadassah Hebrew typeface sketches. The sequence was shot in his study in Motza Illit (near Jerusalem) in 1978.
The word font (traditionally spelled fount in British English, but in any case pronounced /fɒnt/) derives from Middle French fonte “[something that has been] melted; a casting”. The term refers to the process of casting metal type at a type foundry.
A 1910 letterpress poster, advertising an auction, using a variety of fonts
In a manual printing (letterpress) house the word “font” would refer to a complete set of metal type that would be used to typeset an entire page. Upper- and lowercase letters get their names because of which case the metal type was located in for manual typesetting: the more distant upper case or the closer lower case. The same distinction is also referred to with the terms majuscule and minuscule.
How do fonts get their names?
Stephen Coles, Co-founder of Fonts In Use & Typographica.org. Author of “The Anatomy of Type”.
Updated 208w ago · Author has 968 answers and 4.6m answer views
Typefaces are named by their designer, the foundry (font manufacturer) that publishes them, or – for proprietary fonts – by the company that uses them.
In most cases, the designer chooses a name that meets some or all of this criteria:
- Not already in use by an available typeface. (Finding good unused names is getting more and more difficult as typefaces proliferate.)
- Easy to pronounce and remember.
- Uses letters that are signatures of the typeface design. (If the face has an unusual ‘g’ the name may include a ‘g’.)
- References something about the historical origins of the style if appropriate.
8 famous fonts and designers who made them
The world’s most famous fonts are just about everywhere. When you become a designer, these serifs and line weights begin to pop out and you start to recognize them in the landscape. Each of these fonts you see comes with a story, a creator, a history and a fan base.
See how some of these famous fonts came to be and the designers who took the bold steps to create what would go on to change our visual world.
Designed by: Max Miedinger and Edouard Hoffman
Typeface style: sans-serif
Origins: Switzerland, 1957, at the Haas type foundry. Miedinger originally wanted to be a painter, but his father told him that he needed to focus on a more practical occupation. Miedinger took up type design and created Helvetica with Hoffman 30 years later. It is intended to fill a need for a neutral font that would work well for signage.
Claims to fame: Often considered the world’s most-seen font. Featured in the film Helvetica. American Apparel branding. Crate&Barrel logo. Lufthansa logo. Jeep logo. New York subway system signage. And so much more.
Designed by: Giambattista Bodoni
Typeface style: serif
Origins: Italy, 1798. Bodini was hired as the official typesetter for a number of Italian dukes.
These dukes were enamored of his work and encouraged him to start a printing press at the palace in Parma. In his time he held the title “designer to the kings and king of designers”.
After his death, his typesetting works were combined to create the font we now commonly know as Bodoni.
Claims to fame: One of the older typefaces still in use as a font today. Vogue Magazine. Mamma Mia! posters. Nirvana logo. Columbia Records‘ wordmark.
3. Times New Roman
Designed by: Victor Lardent
Typeface style: serif
Origins: England, 1931. Commissioned by British newspaper The Times after typeface designer Stanley Morison criticized the paper for their poor readability. Morison assisted in-house designer Lardent to create this font that would come to be highly read for copy worldwide.
Claims to fame: Your college paper. Double spaced. 12 pt font. Often called “the font of least resistance”. Included in every version of Microsoft since 1992. Frequent use in books and newspapers. It’s high legibility makes it great for copy. No list of fonts could be complete without it.
Designed by: Paul Renner
Typeface style: geometric sans-serif
Origins: Frankfurt,1927 at the Bauer Type Foundry. Futura is often mistaken as the first geometric sans-serif font.
That distinction, however, goes to Erbar, a font from the Ludwig & Mayer foundry. Futura was created as a reaction to this then-popular font.
Due to the fact that the Bauer foundry was much larger than the Ludwig & Mayer foundry, Futura was the font that stood the test of time.
Claims to fame:
Filenames for fonts
Go to the first, previous, next, last section, table of contents.
We must limit ourselves to eight character names, for compatibility with
DOS filesystems and the ISO 9660 standard used for CD-ROM distribution.
Names may consist of only the letters (monocase), numerals, and
Here is the basic division of the eight characters (the spaces here are
merely for readability):
S TT W [V…] [N] [E] [DD]
represents the supplier of the font. TT
represents the typeface name. W
represents the weight. V…
represents the variant(s), and is omitted if both it and the width are
normal. Many fonts have more than one variant. N
represents the encoding, and is omitted if the encoding is nonstandard.
Encodings are subsumed in the section on variants (see section Variants). E
represents the width (“expansion”), and is omitted if
it is normal. DD
represents the design size (in decimal), and is omitted if the font is
linearly scaled. Mittelbach in TUGboat 13(1) proposes using
hexadecimal or base-36 notation. I don't think the increased range
makes up for the unreadability of the common sizes (e.g., 10pt
fonts would have a suffix `a' (in hex), or `j' (in base 36)).
The weight, variants, and width are probably all best taken from the
original name of the font, instead of trying to relate them to some
The supplier is the source of a font, typically a (digital) type
You should use the supplier letter which matches the supplier you
obtained the font from, not the original source; for example, Avant
Garde was designed by Herb Lubalin for ITC, but Adobe also sells it.
The name of the font that you get from Adobe should start with `p'.
This is because font resellers typically make modifications to the
Notes on specific suppliers:
For fonts that are distributed without any specific attribution to the
creator, or by individuals. `r'
obsolete; specifies raw fonts, in the old distribution of Dvips. New
fonts should never use `r'. (The right thing to do is specify the
correct encoding, variant, or whatever the font's characteristics
actually are.) `z'
for fonts that just don't fit well into the naming scheme. The `z'
should be followed by the real supplier letter.
Here is the table from the file `supplier.map'. It is organized
alphabetically by abbreviation. Each line consists of an abbreviation,
directory name, and comment.
a autologi Autologic
b bitstrea Bitstream
c cg Compugraphic
d dtc Digital Typeface Corporation
e apple Apple
f public freely distributable (e.g., public domain)
g gnu Free Software Foundation
h bh Bigelow & Holmes
i itc International Typeface Corporation
k softkey SoftKey
l linotype Linotype
m monotype Monotype
n ibm IBM
o corel Corel
p adobe Adobe (`p' for PostScript)
r – raw (for [obsolete] use with virtual fonts)
s sun Sun
u urw URW
z – bizarre (fontname is nonstandard)
For our purposes, a typeface is a collection of related fonts.
We sometimes use the same typeface abbreviation for fonts with different
supplier names, where we know (usually by inspection) that the fonts
truly are the same. This helps conserve abbreviations.
Notes on specific typefaces: