Fonts at the movies
December 14, 2007 7:59 AM   Subscribe

I love stuff like this. I am becoming a type geek, help me!!
posted by Mister_A at 8:03 AM on December 14, 2007

"Have a fling with Comic Sans"? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?
posted by kittyprecious at 8:06 AM on December 14, 2007

15 minutes ago, I saw this on Typographica and had the post all typed up and ready to go, then this came up in my 'doubles' notice box. Heh.
posted by brownpau at 8:18 AM on December 14, 2007

I have noticed that over the past couple of years, the industry is using less of that overwrought Serif font (that I guess is called Trajan based on these links) in favor of a narrow, minimalist, helvetica looking thing. See Bourne Identity .
posted by Pastabagel at 8:21 AM on December 14, 2007

I must know more about Who did that? It was fantastic.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:30 AM on December 14, 2007

It's true. Trajan really is the movie font.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 8:37 AM on December 14, 2007

I like the big fat red ones... makes it real easy to tell which films to avoid.

I'd love to see the other Marketing people's faces if you turned up to a meeting with the demo poster lettered in Comic Sans.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:44 AM on December 14, 2007

I love fonts, although not enough to read blogs about it, I guess. So I'm happy you posted this, it was very interesting, thanks. And I agree with shakespeherian, that vid from was fantastic!
posted by gemmy at 9:10 AM on December 14, 2007

I'll second the opinion that Gil Sans Heavy, in red is a beacon that reads, "Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! "
posted by ImJustRick at 9:16 AM on December 14, 2007

shakespeherian: more info from a site that is pretty cool and fpp-worthy in it's own right.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:17 AM on December 14, 2007

Ah! I foolishly tried without trying it sans 'www'. Thanks muchly!
posted by shakespeherian at 9:25 AM on December 14, 2007

i've always been a wes anderson + futura girl myself.
posted by kidsleepy at 10:20 AM on December 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Stanley Kubrick liked sans serif fonts. Here's something from this article in which his former assistant, Tony Frewin, showed a journalist around Kubrick's offices:

I take a break from the boxes to wander over to Tony's office. As I walk in, I notice something pinned to his letterbox. "POSTMAN," it reads. "Please put all mail in the white box under the colonnade across the courtyard to your right."

It is not a remarkable note except for one thing. The typeface Tony used to print it is exactly the same typeface Kubrick used for the posters and title sequences of Eyes Wide Shut and 2001. "It's Futura Extra Bold," explains Tony. "It was Stanley's favourite typeface. It's sans serif. He liked Helvetica and Univers, too. Clean and elegant."

"Is this the kind of thing you and Kubrick used to discuss?" I ask.

"God, yes," says Tony. "Sometimes late into the night. I was always trying to persuade him to turn away from them. But he was wedded to his sans serifs."

Tony goes to his bookshelf and brings down a number of volumes full of examples of typefaces, the kind of volumes he and Kubrick used to study, and he shows them to me. "I did once get him to admit the beauty of Bembo," he adds, "a serif."

"So is that note to the postman a sort of private tribute from you to Kubrick?" I ask.

"Yeah," says Tony. He smiles to himself. "Yeah, yeah."

For a moment I also smile at the unlikely image of the two men discussing the relative merits of typefaces late into the night, but then I remember the first time I saw the trailer for Eyes Wide Shut, the way the words "CRUISE, KIDMAN, KUBRICK" flashed dramatically on to the screen in large red, yellow and white colours, to the song Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing. Had the words not been in Futura Extra Bold, I realise now, they wouldn't have sent such a chill up the spine. Kubrick and Tony obviously became, at some point during their relationship, tireless amateur sleuths, wanting to amass and consume and understand all information. Tony obviously misses Kubrick terribly.

posted by Man-Thing at 10:32 AM on December 14, 2007 [3 favorites]

One Font to Rule Them All
posted by jca at 10:49 AM on December 14, 2007

OK, but who the hell says Comic SAHNZ? I know he was trying to make her dishier, but hey. It's English. We say SANZ. Or if you want to sound authentically French, SAHNG.
posted by dhartung at 12:26 PM on December 14, 2007

Trajan is not just limited to movie posters. They love it in real estate, too. Or anywhere sentimental claptrap prospers.
posted by kpmcguire at 2:22 PM on December 14, 2007

Yet another example of the Trajan of the Commons.
posted by SPrintF at 5:38 PM on December 14, 2007

Don't miss "Etched in Stone".
posted by tepidmonkey at 9:21 PM on December 14, 2007

Weird. I don't remember using Trajan on one title treatment or movie poster. Not within the last ten years, anyhow.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:59 PM on December 15, 2007

Put me in the category of "never noticed this until you pointed it out, found it interesting once you did, but can't really get worked up about it to care one way or the other."

Along with the other 90% or so of the people, I suppose.
posted by yhbc at 9:17 PM on December 15, 2007

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