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FontDiscovery 🖼️ 37: Font for Space Travels

Hi there. I'm Hua, a designer and bootstrapping founder building Typogram, a brand design tool. As part of running Typogram, I create this digestible weekly guide with fonts, colors, and design ideas to help founders, creators, and makers step up their game in marketing and get creative!


Hello Everyone 👋

How are you? This weekend I caught up on a much-needed break. I didn’t work at all, and I just focused on relaxing. I hope you did the same. Reply, and I would love to hear what you did~🌻

The recent news with space-traveling inspired me to do this issue. I hope you enjoy it.

Let’s dig in!

In this issue

  • Theme: The Only Way is Up
  • Font of the Week: Orbitron
  • Design idea: Size, Content, and Engagement
  • Color Inspiration: Osaka World Fair, 1970

cover-0.png

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F63031d70-79c3-4bbe-ae92-95d3e4df5afc_716x462.png

img: sample of Orbitron


Font of the Week

A New Style for Sci-Fi

In the 1960s, fonts with square shapes, like Eurostile (below), dominated covers of science fictions. Fonts like these blew up. Its square shape reminded the audience of television screens. It was perfect for illustrating content about technology.

Since then, these square-shaped geometric sans serifs have been associated with technology and strength. Modern technology companies use these square fonts, like NASA, Tesla, Space X, and Subaru.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fbd505e5f-2434-42b9-9525-b14aa1cbc381_716x462.png

img: Eurostile dominated covers of science fictions. source: amazon

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fa22f2afc-6be3-40e3-9264-146a0fb9ee5b_1074x694.png

img: NASA logo; source: NASA

About Orbitron

Orbitron is a geometric sans serif modeled after these moments. It has post-apocalyptic inspirations with potential usage like spaceship exteriors, space station signages if humans were ever to escape Earth. Comparing to Millimetre, which we covered previously, the square characteristic of Orbitron is more prominent. It evokes a sense of strength and power. Orbitron is perfect for branding for tech companies.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fc2127d94-fdea-4182-8def-614cc71cae89_716x462.png

img: compare Orbitron vs Millimetre

Font Details

Minimum stroke contrast, along with the square shapes help Orbitron communicate strength and power. It has four weights and no italic styles.

Counters are the negative space in a letter. It comes in two ways: closed or open. Closed counters are completely closed negative spaces (like inside O), whereas open counters are open negative spaces (like C). Orbitron has rectangular closed counters. and large open counters.

font-detail-1.jpg

img: Orbitron has rectangular closed counters, shown in gray.

font-detail-2.jpg

img: large, open counter (illustrated by the orange areas) signaling openness and strength

How to use it for logo

  • Square Communicates futuristic, techy, strength
  • Bold is perfect for logo
  • Tech brands love to use fonts like Orbitron

How to use for marketing

  • Black bold weights, in addition to style alternates, are perfect for marketing graphics
  • Not suitable for body copy, the square shape jumps out at paragraphs

font-detail-3.jpg

img:  you can change the look of Orbitron. It has style alternates like “x” and “k”

font-example.jpg

img: Orbitron being used as a Pebble smartwatch interface. Source: github


Design& Marketing Idea of the Week

Size, Content, and Engagement

Digital marketing materials come in different sizes. Wrong size graphics get less engagement because people cannot access the information properly. This also goes for videos. Content that fills up the entire available space is better optimized for engagement. For example, some platforms (like Tiktok) are better suited for vertical videos.

Once you have figured the size, you should put the important information in the center or a highly visible area so that your audience can easily digest it.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F2209ce44-d484-4178-896a-844f58340ead_1075x694.jpeg

img: content that fills up the available space will get better engagement


Color Inspirations of the Week

Osaka World Fair, 1970

Futurism is an art movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th Century. It emphasized speed, technology, and objects that symbolized these ideals, such as cars, airplanes, and industrial cities. When the World Trade Fair happened in Osaka, Japan in 1970 with the theme “Progress and Harmony for Mankind,” it went crazy with this futurism aesthetics and sci-fi inspirations.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Ff712dacd-5737-4be0-88c0-0fedfd3eb40d_1074x694.png

img: Osaka World Trade Fair in 1970; source: messynessychic


Jargon Buster!

Old Style Serif

late 15th century, ~1465

Old Style is the earliest serif style. Old Style serifs usually have a left-leaning curve axis with very little contrast between the thick and thin strokes.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F621b06ea-eb98-4be7-9ed8-fa5151c20d81_1518x759.png

img: EB Garamond is an example of Old Style Serif.


Creative Prompt

What’s your crazy tech invention? Create a simple diagram explaining how it works.


Thank you!

Thanks for being here for another week. Orbitron is available here.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fe9ec5ca2-5bbf-446b-abcf-aeb6432901a5_1518x760.png

img: Orbitron infographic


If you enjoy this series, you can subscribe here:

Have more questions about design and fonts? 
Please email me [email protected] or find me on Twitter at @HuaTweets.
You can also read the past issues on Typogram's blog.

  1. 2

    I'm reading your newsletter since a few months now and always love your color inspirations. Thank you! ❤️

    1. 1

      I'm so glad you enjoy it, Diana! Thank you so much for your kind words and support
      : )

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