A frequently asked question---which version of Futura should one buy? My personal favorite is the Neufville version, Futura ND. The answers by some type experts include:
- Futura ND (Neufville): It is quite wide, as a family, but Stephen Coles warns that the kerning is suboptimal. It is quite close to the original. Image.
- Futura by URW++. Slightly smaller family, but better kerned than Neufville.
- Futura No. 2 by URW++. I quote Stephen Coles: It is wider [compared to Futura URW], the ascenders are shorter, the counters are larger, and the apertures are more open. On the other hand, the round glyphs (a, g, e) are more true to the circle than the other URW version. This is especially apparent in the 'e' which looks like it was drawn by an engineer with a compass. This attribute doesn't make this a great text face, but if you want that strict geometry, No. 2 delivers more of that than most of the others. Only 5 weights---no Light, the thin Book weight fills that gap. The Extra Bold is unique and I think puts on the weight more successfully than the other Extra Bolds out there. Also a favorite of Tiffany Wardle.
- Futura by Elsner & Flake. Close to the URW and Paratype versions.
- Futura Book by Paratype: Similar to URW and Elsner & Flake with a wide range of weights and Cyrillic versions. No small caps.
- Futura by Bistream. Stephen Coles about this major redraw of the original: This is the least true to the source but may be the most versatile Futura for contemporary design.
- Futura by Scangraphic: This has separate version for headline (SH) and body (SB). Coles complains that the overshoots, particularly of the A and N, at large sizes are distracting.
- Futura by Adobe. To be avoided. Coles points out that some of the round shapes are too oval, and sometiomes even egg-shaped.
- Linotype's Futura. Is the same as Adobe. In fact, in early versions, the font files were identical.
- Others, not called Futura, but designed to address the same market, include Neutraface No. 2 (House Industries), Twentieth Century, Superla, Sonar Sans (Kombinat Typefounders).
- For a really special take, check out The Future Mono by Kris Sowersby in 2018.
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