A Font of Information (on fonts)

The IP recently heard a BBC interview of Paola Antonelli, a curator at MOMA and a well-spoken expert on the history of design. She was addressing a new collection of fonts that MOMA had “acquired.” That’s right. Fonts. WTF? They are also called digital typefaces. You know, like the Times New Roman that most people use on Microsoft Word. You can read about MOMA’s new font of fonts here.

While listening to Antonelli discuss the cultural importance and emotional power of certain typefaces, The IP got to thinking about one of his all-time favorites, the one that’s been used by the Boston Police Department for decades now:
There is a reason why this typeface works just as well today as it did in…try 1926! That’s right. It’s called Futura Black, and it came straight out of the Bauhaus. It was originally designed by none other than Josef Albers, and made into an actual typeface by Paul Renner and the Bauer typeface foundry. It’s based on the concept of using only portions of circles, squares, and triangles in various combinations to create the letters.
The story of how Futura Black came to America and was used by the Boston Police is one that is beyond the scope of this blog, but it’s a story worthy of a book; that latter document would be better off using Times New Roman, however.



4 Responses to “A Font of Information (on fonts)”

  1. Dr. Kinbote Says:

    My favorites are Lucida Sans, (sans serif, that is) French Script, Rockwell Bold & Vivaldi (all availableon Windows -7. ) Times Roman is too newspaperish to use for anything elegant, but is easy to read, because our brains have been trained to it & others of a similar style
    A very imaginative use of typefonts was Walt Kelly’s use of Old English Gothic for the Preacher character in POGO.

  2. I am the photographer of this photo. Can you credit me please ?

    Greg MacKay Boston, MA USA

  3. braincoffey Says:

    Will Do Greg.

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