Monotype on redesigning Futura for the digital age

We take an exclusive look at Futura Now, Monotype’s ode to Paul Renner’s original design created in 1927, which has a “digital-first” focus

Futura is a sans-serif typeface designed by Paul Renner that was released in 1927 by the Bauer Type Foundry. Simple and functional in its design, it was created at the height of the Bauhaus movement, and has since become one of the world’s most beloved typefaces.

During its 93 years of existence, it has been used by every industry from publishing to fashion, car brands to household goods. The typeface was also famously used on a plaque left on the moon by NASA astronauts in 1969. 

Based on geometric shapes, in particular circles, Futura’s design has become a classic, yet recent versions of the typeface have been limited in their ability to adapt to digital spaces. Originally it was cast in metal at specific individual sizes and while it’s been adapted over the years to suit different needs, these changes haven’t always translated well. The weight range available for Futura is small, and the italics for instance are mathematically slanted and distorted as opposed to carefully drawn for purpose. The result? Inconsistent spacing and a loss of the elegance Futura initially had.

To tackle this modern typographical need, Massachusetts-based studio and type library Monotype has created Futura Now, a family of fonts that have been carefully designed to meet the changing needs of the 21st century. Launching today, Futura Now is the most accurate depiction of Renner’s original idea, but with a “digital-first” edge.