Most movie-goers probably don't realise how realistic the future looks in sci-fi entertainment. Set and production designers create a very plausible feel and look for years to come with buildings, props, fashion, lighting and of course type, whether it's those huge numbers on the USS Enterprise in 'Star Trek' or the text on a tablet's screen in 'Moon' Dave Addey explores this rather niche corner of sci-fi in his surprisingly interesting book.
The all-time fave futures type is Eurostyle Bold Extended designed in 1962 by Aldo Novarese for the Italian Nebiolo type foundry and even though it's over fifty years old it still looks the part and can still be used to project a future feel. This was the typeface that Addey kept coming across in movies and inspired him to find out more and eventually write this book. Seven films are looked at in detail: 2001; Alien; Star Trek: The motion picture; Blade Runner; Total Recall; Wall-E; Moon. The typefaces in all of these are explored with plenty of stills and text revealing how they are used right down to the smallest bit of copy, for example, page thirty-six has a still from 2001 showing Doctor Floyd reading the long instructions on how to use the zero-gravity toilet and it's printed out on page thirty-seven so you can read them. The long running Star Trek used several faces that were issued as a font pack in 1992 (still available online). In Total Recall, on page 170, there's a logo from Mars Today based on the USA Today newspaper.
As well as the films there are heavily illustrated Q an A interviews with two typographers Stephen Coles and Antonio Cavedoni, director Paul Verhoeven, animators Ralph Eggleston and Craig Foster and designer Mike Okuda. The last few pages have fascinating visual summary of how hard it is to create a credible future look that's also good entertainment.
Dave Addey writes in a pleasing breezy style and the rather flamboyant look of the pages makes the book a fun read that will interest graphic designers and especially sci-fi movie fans.