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LUC DEVROYE


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Futura: Choice

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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file name: Futura Comparison


file name: Futura Comparison


file name: Hannes Famira Sonar Sans 2011


file name: Hannes Famira Sonar Sans 2011b


file name: Hannes Famira Sonar Sans 2011c


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1927 poster by Jiayin Song 2019


file name: Richard Neutra Neutraface


file name: Richard Neutra Neutraface


file name: Richard Neutra Neutraface poster by Michelle Regna


file name: Richard Neutra Neutraface poster by Ioana Dumitrescu


file name: Sol Hess L T C Twentieth Century Medium


file name: Sol Hess L T C Twentieth Century Medium


file name: Sol Hess Twentieth Century 1959b


file name: Sol Hess Twentieth Century 1959c


file name: Sol Hess Twentieth Century 1959d


file name: Sol Hess Twentieth Century Medium 1959 Sol Hess Twentieth Century Semi Medium 1959b


file name: Sol Hess Twentieth Century Semi Medium 1959


file name: Neufville Futura N D Demibold 1999


file name: Neufville Futura N D Light 1999


file name: U R W Futura


file name: U R W Futura Round Medium 2013


file name: U R W Futura Cond Ext Bold 2014


file name: U R W Futura Round 2013


file name: U R W Futura Round Demi 2013 after Paul Renner 1927


file name: U R W Futura Round Light 2013 after Paul Renner 1927


file name: U R W Futura Round Round Cond Extra Bold 2013 after Paul Renner 1927


file name: U R W Futura Round Round Cond Extra Bold 2013 after Paul Renner 1927b


file name: U R W Futura Round Round Cond Extra Bold 2013 after Paul Renner 1927c


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1929 Poster by Umaima Lakhani 2016


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1929 Poster by Umaima Lakhani 2016b


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1929 Poster by Paige Drummond 2015


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1929 Poster by Paige Drummond 2015b


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1927 Poster by T J Hahn 2015


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1927 Poster by Emalie Mooren 2015


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1927z


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1927 Poster by Michelle Parrish 2017


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1929 Poster by Sevki Yeke 2016


file name: Paul Renner Futura 1927 Poster by Victoria Costa Paz 2016


file name: Scangraphic Futura S H Bold 2004


file name: Scangraphic Futura S H X Light 2004


file name: U R W Futura No2 2002


file name: U R W Futura No2 Cond Extra Bold 2002


file name: U R W Futura No2 Medium 2002







Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html