Fontspots: Eurostile

In addition to the film-specific typographic deconstructions on this site, I’m keeping track of all the times I spot classic sci-fi fonts in movies. What better way to start than with perennial sci-fi favorite, Eurostile?

Eurostile, and in particular its Bold Extended variant, has appeared in countless sci-fi settings over the years. It’s got to the point where the very presence of Eurostile Bold Extended in an opening title card says FUTURE far more effectively than an expensive effects shot:

euro_district_9

Indeed, Eurostile is such a quick way to establish a timeframe that whenever I see it in real life – which happens quite a lot in my adopted home of California – I assume I’ve been transported to some futuristic dystopia, where a local care center feels more like a sinister government facility for scientific experimentation:

euro_idylwood

Eurostile is most commonly seen in its Bold Extended form, but Regular, Bold, and Regular Extended sometimes crop up as well. I’ve captured (and tried to clarify) as many as possible below.

Date / Location Positioning

When and where are we? If it’s set in Eurostile, we are in the FUTURE, and we are in the FUTURE.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Eurostile Regular and Eurostile Condensed, although it looks like someone forgot to set the first “3” digit to be Condensed – it's still Regular, unlike all of the other glyphs on that line.)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Eurostile Regular and Eurostile Condensed, although it looks like someone forgot to set the first “3” digit to be Condensed – it’s still Regular, unlike all of the other glyphs on that line.)
Elysium (Eurostile Regular Extended)
Elysium (Eurostile Regular Extended)
The Hunt For Red October (Eurostile Regular Extended)
The Hunt For Red October (Eurostile Regular Extended)
Iron Man 3 (Eurostile Regular Extended, plus a special guest appearance by Bank Gothic)
Iron Man 3 (Eurostile Regular Extended, plus a special guest appearance by Bank Gothic)

Computers and Screens

If your computer system or TV show needs some futuristic-looking text that’s easy to read in a long-shot, there’s no better choice than Eurostile Bold Extended.

2001: A Space Odyssey (Eurostile Bold Extended, although it could be Microgramma)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Eurostile Bold Extended, although it could be Microgramma)
Back To The Future (Eurostile Bold Extended, once again proving itself to be the definitive font of the future)
Back To The Future (Eurostile Bold Extended, once again proving itself to be the definitive font of the future)
Big Hero 6 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Big Hero 6 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Casino Royale (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Casino Royale (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Edge Of Tomorrow (Eurostile Regular Extended)
Edge Of Tomorrow (Eurostile Regular Extended)
Firefly: Ariel (Eurostile SemiBold Extended, maybe? It looks horizontally stretched, too.)
Firefly: Ariel (Eurostile SemiBold Extended, maybe? It looks horizontally stretched, too.)
The Incredibles (Eurostile Regular Extended and Bold Extended)
The Incredibles (Eurostile Regular Extended and Bold Extended)
Moon (Eurostile Bold Extended, although actually it's Microstyle)
Moon (Eurostile Bold Extended, although actually it’s Microstyle)
Silent Running (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Silent Running (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Space: 1999 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Space: 1999 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Starship Troopers (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Starship Troopers (Eurostile Bold Extended)
WALL•E (Eurostile Bold Extended, with some crappy kerning on the “TA” pair)
WALL•E (Eurostile Bold Extended, with some crappy kerning on the “TA” pair)
WALL•E (Eurostile Bold Extended)
WALL•E (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Mission: Impossible II (Eurostile Bold Extended, stretched to 175%)
Mission: Impossible II (Eurostile Bold Extended, stretched to 175%)
Skyfall (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Skyfall (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Guardians Of The Galaxy (Eurostile Demi)
Guardians Of The Galaxy (Eurostile Demi)
Hackers (Eurostile Bold Extended, stretched to 2x its natural width. Also, what is NUCLEAR REARSCH?)
Hackers (Eurostile Bold Extended, stretched to 2x its natural width. Also, what is NUCLEAR REARSCH?)
The Telepod computer from The Fly (1986) (Eurostile Regular, spotted by Jenny in the comments below)
The Telepod computer from The Fly (1986) (Eurostile Regular, spotted by Jenny in the comments below)
Lost in Space (1998) (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Lost in Space (1998) (Eurostile Bold Extended)
euro_johnny_mnemonic
Johnny Mnemonic (Eurostile Extended)
euro_startrek_iv
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Eurostile Bold Extended)

Walls and Signage

Need to write a message on your rocket, lunar base, or rover? You know the font to use.

The Andromeda Strain (Eurostile Bold Extended in some kind of stencil variant)
The Andromeda Strain (Eurostile Bold Extended in some kind of stencil variant)
Futurama: 2D Blacktop (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Futurama: 2D Blacktop (Eurostile Bold Extended)
The Incredibles (Eurostile Bold Extended, also stencil-ified)
The Incredibles (Eurostile Bold Extended, also stencil-ified)
The LEGO Movie (Eurostile Bold Extended)
The LEGO Movie (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Moon (Eurostile Bold Extended, by which I again mean Microstyle)
Moon (Eurostile Bold Extended, by which I again mean Microstyle)
Pacific Rim (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Pacific Rim (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Red Dwarf (Eurostile Bold, squished to about 70% horizontally)
Red Dwarf (Eurostile Bold, squished to about 70% horizontally)
Space: 1999 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Space: 1999 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (Eurostile SemiBold Extended, maybe? It's hard to tell from this angle)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (Eurostile SemiBold Extended, maybe? It’s hard to tell from this angle)
The LEGO Movie again (Eurostile Bold Extended, with a label of LL929 as a clear follow-on from the original LL928 Galaxy Explorer)
The LEGO Movie again (Eurostile Bold Extended, with a label of LL929 as a clear follow-on from the original LL928 Galaxy Explorer)
Jurassic World (Eurostile Bold Extended, with a guest appearance by some variant of Neuland)
Also Jurassic World (Eurostile Bold Extended, but slightly squished, and also with the top of the 7 slightly cropped)
Thunderbirds – the Crablogger (Eurostile Bold Extended)
THX-1138 (Eurostile Bold Extended, although the stroke widths look very stretched along the horizontal. Stop stretching things horizontally, people!)
Björk’s All Is Full Of Love music video (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Total Recall (2012) (Eurostile Extended)
RoboCop (2014) (Eurostile Bold Extended for the OmniCorp logo)
Back to the Future (Eurostile Bold Extended and Eurostile Extended for the Mr. Fusion logo)
euro_startrek_ii
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Eurostile Bold Extended)
euro_star_trek_beyond
Star Trek Beyond (Eurostile Demi, Bold, Bold Extended, and Bold Condensed)

Movie Posters

Dark Star (Eurostile Bold Extended, plus a bonus bit of Data 70)
G-Force (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Red Planet (Eurostile Bold Extended, horizontally stretched, and with a bit snicked out of the “A” for effect)
Surrogates (Eurostile Bold Extended, also horizontally stretched, and badly kerned if the G and the A are anything to go by)

Titles and Credit Sequences

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa teaser trailer (Eurostile Bold Extended and Regular Extended)
Apollo 13 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Battlestar Galactica (Eurostile Bold Extended, and a font I don’t recognize)
The Bourne Identity (Not actually Eurostile Bold Extended. I think it’s Eurostile DemiBold, horizontally stretched to about 140%. Why would you do that, when there’s already a perfectly good Eurostile Bold Extended? I despair sometimes.)
The Bourne Supremacy (Eurostile Regular and Bold, with sufficiently bad kerning that I read it as “SuperMac-Y”)
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (Eurostile Regular Extended)
District 9 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Pacific Rim (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Independence Day: Resurgence (Eurostile Extended, at least for the “RESURGENCE” text)
Red Dwarf (Eurostile Bold Extended, disastrously kerned)
The Incredible Hulk (Eurostile Bold Extended for “THE INCREDIBLE”, stretched to 125% horizontal width)
The trailer for Grimsby (two indeterminate weights of some kind of Eurostile, somewhere between non-extended and extended)
Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen (and other Patrick Troughton-era episodes of Doctor Who, which use Eurostile Condensed in their closing credits, as spotted by Graham Lee)

Wannabes

These are not the Eurostiles you are looking for.

Doctor Who: Into The Dalek (not quite Eurostile Bold Extended, but clearly inspired by it)
Star Trek: Enterprise (also not quite Eurostile Bold Extended – the bar in the R is way too high – but very similar in overall style)
Terminator Salvation (too curvy to be actual Eurostile Bold Extended, but clearly inspired by it)

Any More?

I’ll keep adding to this page as I spot more examples. If you know of any I’ve missed or got wrong, please do mention them in the comments, together with a link to an image if possible.

53 thoughts on “Fontspots: Eurostile

    1. That font is known as Starfleet Bold Extended, and was patented by Paramount Pictures. I used to have an official TrueType copy on my classic Mac. It is also of note that Sr. Novarese’s earlier Microgramma and not Eurostile Bold Extended is considered the root.

      But hey, I say we all raise a glass to Aldo Novarese for making both fonts!

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      1. “Starfleet Bold Extended” is just Eurostile Bold with a red line around the letterforms. And Eurostile Bold is a classic Swiss typeface invented in the 1950s.

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  1. In addition to its use in other Gerry and Sylvia Anderson productions as noted above, Eurostyle is all over their 1970 series UFO. From the series logo, episode credits, the organization insignia, vehicle markings, and pretty much all signage, UFO may have the densest concentration of Eurostyle ever observed on screen. That show was where I learned that by 1980, everything would be written in Eurostyle and all men would wear turtlenecks and Nehru jackets.

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    1. Not a huge fan of the show, but my father is. I’d still *love* to see UFO or Space 1999 get the Typeset in the Future treatment.

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    2. Thank you so much for this article.
      My Gerry Anderson XCom mod had previously been using Microgramma.
      I can’t believe I’d been such a fool.
      I have now switched to Eurostile.

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  2. Fantastic website and wonderful insights and a great read.

    I would be interested in you appraisal of the new Game Elite:Dangerous, as (To my untrained eye) it would appear that David Braben has opted for “Eurostile” for the typeface used in the stations, landing pads and possibly parts of the UI.

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  3. Very interesting. I had no idea it was so common in sci-fi films.

    It’s also used in the Homeworld video game series, which is how first became aware of the typeset. To this day I still think of it as the “Homeworld font.”

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    1. A British science fiction sitcom. An on and off thing since the late 1980ies.
      Screenshot is from the opening sequence of episode 1, series 1. Given the “budget” the BBC gave the show and the overall situation during production, my guess is that this was a last minute rush job using LetraSet. Hence the bad kerning.

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      1. The FX boys would have been massive fans of Gerry Anderson shows, so defaulted to a font they knew very well from space models of their youth.

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  4. Great collection!

    I created the Terminator Salvation mark, and although the broader aesthetic definitely owes a lot to Eurostile, it was not a direct influence. My starting point was the logo from the original movie, with the goal of modernizing it, particularly the more noodly letters.

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    1. Oh, that’s very interesting! I’ll confess I didn’t do a detailed side-by-side comparison for that one, so it’s useful to know its true evolution. Thanks for the info!

      – Dave

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  5. I believe it’s used (in various stretched forms) all through the first two series of Red Dwarf, in anything from the title of the episode through to the name painted on the side of the ship and various signage throughout the ship.

    I also seem to remember seeing it used for signage in the atmosphere processor (and possibly elsewhere in the colony) in Aliens. The example that springs immediately to find is the “LEVEL 01”, “SUB LEVEL 01” etc. signs when the Marines are working their way through the complex to the trapped colonists.

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  6. In 1978–81 my college scifi club showed movies to raise money to buy books, and Bill who made the flyers insisted on Eurostile Bold Extended even for, say, The Magic Christian and The Assassination Bureau.

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  7. An excessively nitpickey and pedantic note… but I figure if ever there was (were?) an audience for such trivialities, it’s here. Most style guides (including the MLA) use double-quotation marks to surround television episode titles, as with other “short works”. This helps avoid confusion, since several of the titles mentioned (Star Trek: Enterprise, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa) already contain colons.

    (I mention this because I initially wondered how I’d missed hearing anything about this Firefly: Ariel movie, or a second Firefly movie at all. Then I snapped out of my stupor, thought to follow the link, and realized the frame was actually taken from the Firefly episode “Ariel”. That’s just cruel, is what that is.)

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  8. Years ago, at the beginning of my career as an artworker, my boss insisited I used Eurostile for every project. Every project. From then, I’ve garnered a bitter distaste for this font, despite acknowledging how good it looks in the hands of a master.

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    1. I used to hate Helvetica until I saw a documentary on it creation and use. Now I’ve done a complete 180 on it and all Swiss typefaces.

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  9. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie had its title and opening credits all in Eurostyle. It was one of the more subtle jokes in the movie: credits straight out of a “serious” sci-fi movie, plunked into this not-remotely-serious flick.

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  10. I think Eurostile was used on the heads-up display on the otherwise more-or-less contemporary looking car here, which nicely added to the near-future-but-relatable tone of the film

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  11. You’re missing a lovely use of Eurostile – the Bold Extended Stencil version – in Cyrillic, for the interior signage of the Russian space craft in the sequel to 2001, “2010: The Year We Make Contact.”

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  12. Great blog… we too are fans of Eurostile and have used it in our brand for many years now (www.aspider.com). One drawback seems to be that people like to use the font for emphasis in documents and try tweak the kerning… probably because subconsciously they have seen in in so many movies?

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  13. The video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution — set in the year 2027 — uses Eurostile everywhere. It looks great and fits rght in with that game’s wonderful black-and-gold UI.

    Something I’ve been wondering about for a long time: Microgramma was designed back in the 1950s, The Chicago Cubs have had something very close to Eurostile Bold for the numerals on their jerseys since the 1930s (the “1” looks very different, but all the other digits are close):

    Home jersey for many decades: http://content.sportslogos.net/logos/54/54/full/e3f5jgwdkumdril813xym4t6k.gif

    1978-vintage road jersey; https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3842/14749529602_7e03899720_o.jpg

    (It’s hard to google for good images; there are so many cheap knockoff jerseys these days, and those are infamous for getting the fonts wrong.)

    The “UBS” in the “CUBS” logo also seems to be Eurostile-like. I wonder who designed this font, and what inspired them. It has a great, timeless look, which manages to somehow be futuristic no matter what year it is.

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    1. “Logan’s Run” used “Huit Medium” for the computer displays and the typestyle of the Sandmen’s communicators. Huit Medium, however, remained a strictly commercial font as of 2017, and when I checked its price, I got sticker shock–downloading it would have cost FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS, money I did NOT have to spare.

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  14. The article says that seeing Eurostile makes you think you’ve been transported to some futuristic dystopia. Canadian currency uses Eurostile. Conclusion?

    Like

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