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, 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:
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:
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.)
Elysium (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) 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)
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)
Casino Royale (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Edge Of Tomorrow (Eurostile Regular Extended)
Firefly: Ariel (Eurostile SemiBold Extended, maybe? It looks horizontally stretched, too.)
The Incredibles (Eurostile Regular Extended and Bold Extended)
Moon (Eurostile Bold Extended, although actually it’s Microstyle)
Silent Running (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Space: 1999 (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)
Mission: Impossible II (Eurostile Bold Extended, stretched to 175%)
Skyfall (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Guardians Of The Galaxy (Eurostile Demi)
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)
Lost in Space (1998) (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Johnny Mnemonic (Eurostile Extended)
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)
Futurama: 2D Blacktop (Eurostile Bold Extended)
The Incredibles (Eurostile Bold Extended, also stencil-ified)
The LEGO Movie (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Moon (Eurostile Bold Extended, by which I again mean Microstyle)
Pacific Rim (Eurostile Bold Extended)
Red Dwarf (Eurostile Bold, squished to about 70% horizontally)
Space: 1999 (Eurostile Bold Extended)
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)
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)
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Eurostile Bold Extended)
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
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.
FUN FACT: An expanded version of this article appears in the , available on December 11 2018. You can Typeset in the Future book pre-order it now on Amazon. Like this: Like Loading...
60 thoughts on “Fontspots: Eurostile”
You touch on it a bit with the example from Star Trek Into Darkness, but since 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a variant of Microgramma/Eurostile has been the standard for the nameplates of spaceships in that franchise.
It appears from time to time in signage and computer screens, as well, but ship hulls are where you’re guaranteed to find it in the various movies and spin-off series.
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!
Bitstream is still selling “Starfleet Bold Extended” as “Millenium”.
“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.
Just so great that TITF is back.
Excellent work! Keep it coming.
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.
pls. it’s called eurostile. not eurostyle.
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.
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.
I designed the screens for the 1998 film ‘Lost in Space’ using…. Eurostile Bold Extended!
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Hi Peter! Thanks for the comment – I’ve added Lost in Space to the list.
The Star Fleet Technical Manual (first printed in 1975) clearly indicated that the standard Star Fleet typeface is Microgramma.
Idylwood Care Center, huh? So you’re in the Bay Area? I’ve literally driven past that sign thousands of times!
When you say stretched, maybe you are mistaking Eurostile for the infinitely more classy Microgramma http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microgramma_(typeface)
This is one of probably the best websites I’ve ever visited. Thank you so much, and I hope to see tons more analysis!
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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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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
It’s all over the first couple of seasons of Red Dwarf, too.
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.
Another prolific use of Eurostyle Extended was the 1990s BBC Sci-Fi sitcom .
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
You might want to check the screencap archives informally established for Agents of SHIELD. You’ll see plenty of examples of usage of Eurostile by both SHIELD and HYDRA.
In the movies, SHIELD seems to have gone in for Stratum 1 and 2 from Process Type, among several others.
While not precisely sience fiction but science fact, the title cards of ‘Apollo 13’ also are written in Eurostile.
I worked on the GRID series of racing games, and we used some Microgramma throughout all of those. Take a look if you like!
I work for a company called Parsons, and I’m happy with our logo. Not quite Eurostile Bold Extended – the S has the ends changed.
What’s this on the poster for the forthcoming supernatural thriller London Fields… http://jimsturgessonline.com/images/albums/userpics/10001/London_Fields_poster_001_small.jpg
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
It’s all over Prometheus. Not a very good movie but the font is everywhere in it.
Just noticed this at the weekend:
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.”
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?
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.
I first noticed Eurostile in 1978 when I first picked up an issue of 2000AD . It’s used for the issue number and date – see here:
I think it may have been Tom Frame (the letterer for Judge Dredd) who designed this
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The Telepod computer from The Fly (1986) –Also Eurostile?
Good spot! I’ve added this to the list above.
Did you do Logan’s Run yet?
“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.
Good, now I know what to use for my TV graphics when futurising. Any tips on best use?
The article says that seeing Eurostile makes you think you’ve been transported to some futuristic dystopia. Canadian currency uses Eurostile. Conclusion?
Poster / Titles for Scifi-Horror MORGAN
Although not sci-fi at all, 80’s cult detective show Remington Steele, starring a pre-Bond Pierce Brosnan used what very much looks like Eurostile both in title credits as well as the actual in-show office glass doors: https://seniorcitylocal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Remington-Steele.jpg
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As somebody mentioned before, the Alien franchise is one of these:
The ship Sulaco has it printed all over:
“Aliens” also has some Eurostile “cameos” 😛
https://reelclub.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/aliens7.jpg (You can see “RM” in the back).
I remember there is more Eurostile but can’t find a good snapshot. Perhaps watch the movie again and make them myself…
That was the standard lettering used by Brazilian TV network Globo, from its founding in 1965 until 1976.
If you don’t believe me, check it out:
Something tells me that the next fontspot is going to be Bank Gothic, also notoriously used in Science Fiction and Military-Related fiction (as much as OCR-A)
Also used lot in the classical Luc Besson’s “Fifth Element” from 1997 (UI, Medal of honour letter, NYC Mail and so on)…
The new Netflix show “Space Force” uses Eurostile for the logo
All the letters of the ‘Wipeout’ logo were variants of the Eurostile number 8: