Sunday, 9 June 2013

Discussion Point: Cultural and contextual consideration for online text

Paul Renner is a German type designer; he created Futura between 1924 and 1926. Renner shared many of its views, believing that a modern typeface should express models rather than be a revival of previous design. Futura was commercially released in 1927, commissioned by the Bauer type foundry.

Renner avoided creating any non-essential elements, making use of basic geometric proportions with no serifs or frills, while designing Futura. This font is crisp, clean froms reflect the appearance of efficiency and forwardness even today.

His initial design experimented with several geometrically constructed character alternatives and old-style figures, which can be found in the typeface AEG Renner. AEG Renner is a two weight custom version of the headline typeface Architype Renner. Paul Renner’s experimental characters are included as alternatives in the orginal Architype Collections. Named AEG Renner for the client to aid specification, both regular and bold weights include the distinctive, alternative lowercase m and n in the main Keystroke positions.  

What lead Futura success? Futura spawned a range of new geometric sans-serif typefaces, such as Kabel and Century Gothic, among others. Now over 80 years since its creation, many foundries have released variations of Futura in the digital form, Adobe being the one of the most commonly used.

Gutura have become an extremely popular typeface for countless corporate logos, commercial products, films and advertisements for years. In fact, so popular that certain art directors had began boycotting its use in with Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed published in 1992’s TDC Typography 13.

Regardless, Futura remains one of the most used sans-serif fonts today with no signs of slowing down.


Matthew Carter is a type designer and the son of the English typographer Harry Carter. He designed the early 1.0 web fonts Verdana and Georgia for Microsoft, and these fonts are tuned to be extremely legible even at very small sixe on the screen.  In 1997, he was awarded the TDC Medal, the award from the Type Directors Club presented to those “who have made significant contributions to the life, art, and craft of typography. In 2010, he was named a MacArthur Fellow based on his “exceptional creativity, as demonstrated through a track record of significant achievement and manifest promise for important future advances”.

Verdana was designed by Matthew Carter for Microsoft in the mid-90s, specifically to improve on-screen readability. The font first shipped with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 in 1996. Being one of the ‘Core fonts for the web’— Verdana has become one of the most widely used fonts on the web. In 2010, it appears Verdana mat also become one of the most widely used font offline as well.

The digit 1(one) in Verdana was giver a horizontal base and a hook in the upper left to distinguish it from lowercase/ (L) and uppercase/ (i).


After 50 years of the iconic Futura typeface, IKEA has made a switch to Verdana. In the 2010 IKEA catalog, they changed all typography to the Microsoft font. The font will replace IKEA Sans (Futura), to Verdana.

According to Vier5 "you cannot work with modern pictures and at the same time use the typefaces of the last 50 years. The time for these typefaces is gone.", “our times require our own letterforms.”

Nowadays, as the digitalized and distributed in network, some letterforms are extremely difficult to read on computer. The change in IKEA might just make the online catalog easier to read, and easier to process. For this reason, they switched to what it sees as a more functional typeface: Verdana. We’’, that's what the Internet has made us, right? 

No comments:

Post a Comment