An exceptionally versatile family, the Futura Bold and Condensed designs are powerful display typefaces. The Futura family is also a good choice for space-sensitive environments. Its simple letterforms allow it to be set at surprisingly small sizes with little drop in legibility. While the design works well for short blocks of text copy, captions and pull-quotes, it is not the best choice for lengthy text blocks.
Paul Renner’s original 1927 drawings, which served as the basis for the Futura design, embodied the ideologies of the Bauhaus movement. The capital letters were patterned after Roman character shapes while the lowercase was a design experiment that took the “form follows function” philosophy to extremes. The end result was a set of glyphs that may have reflected Bauhaus teaching, but were typographically virtually useless.
Renner submitted his new design to the Bauer Typefoundry of Frankfurt, which accepted the work under the condition that its staff designers could make modifications. While Bauer’s designers left Renner’s caps relatively untouched, they reworked most of the lowercase. In doing so, they melded Renner’s philosophy with proven typeface design precepts.