The book delves deep into 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Alien, Blade Runner, Total Recall, WALL·E, and Moon, studying the design tricks and inspirations that make each film transcend mere celluloid and become a believable reality. These studies are illustrated by film stills, concept art, type specimens, and ephemera, plus original interviews with Mike Okuda (Star Trek), Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall), and Ralph Eggleston and Craig Foster (Pixar).

Typography in Classic Science Fiction Movies: Exploring the Future of Design

The world of classic sci-fi films never fails to captivate us, transporting us to imaginative and futuristic realms. These movies have become indelible symbols of “THE FUTURE” in popular culture. In his book, Typeset in the Future, Dave Addey delves into how these films have used design and typography to create immersive worlds. This blog post will explore the intriguing contents of the book and why it is an essential read for design aficionados and sci-fi enthusiasts alike.

Studying the Classics

Typeset in the Future” analyzes the design elements and inspirations of seven renowned science fiction films, demonstrating how each production crafted a compelling vision of the future through its typography and visual aesthetic. The book’s selection of movies was carefully curated to showcase films that presents intricate and detailed visions of the future. Dave Addey, the author, was motivated to write the book based on the requests of fans of his website, Typeset in the Future, which has garnered a significant following over time. The following movies are included in the lineup:

  • In 1968, the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” was released.
  • Alien” was released in 1979, directed by Ridley Scott.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was released in 1979, exploring the wider world of Star Trek typography.
  • Blade Runner” was released in 1982, directed by Ridley Scott.
  • Total Recall” was released in 1990.
  • WALL-E” was released in 2008 and was also published as a new article in the book.
  • Moon” was released in 2009.

Addey scrutinizes every film, delving into the part that design and typography play in shaping a meticulous vision of the future. Using film stills, concept art, type specimens, and interviews with industry experts, Addey exposes the creative process behind these iconic films.

Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies
Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies

Insights from Industry Experts

Typeset in the Future features interviews with renowned directors and designers, as well as discussions with experts in the fields of sci-fi, typography, and design. These experts provide additional insight into the role of typography in shaping the future depicted in movies. The book also features the contributions of several notable contributors. Noteworthy contributors in the book are:

  • Paul Verhoeven: Director of Total Recall, RoboCop, and Starship Troopers.
  • Mike Okuda: Scenic Art Supervisor for various Star Trek series and movies.
  • Ralph Eggleston and Craig Foster: Production and Graphic Designers for Pixar’s WALL·E.
  • Stephen Coles: Co-founder of Fonts In Use, author of The Anatomy Of Type, and Associate Curator at Letterform Archive.
  • Antonio Cavedoni: Font designer and expert on Aldo Novarese, the creator of Eurostile.

Unveiling the Process

Addey delves into the behind-the-scenes world, presenting exclusive interviews with notable personalities such as Mike Okuda, best known for his work on Star Trek, Paul Verhoeven, the director of Total Recall, and Ralph Eggleston and Craig Foster, the production and graphic designers of WALL·E. These interviews offer a deep understanding of the creative process and how typography affects the overall movie experience.

From the Website to the Book

Originally started as a website, Typeset in the Future has evolved into a book that expands on the existing articles, providing even more detailed analysis and geeky insights. Three new studies written specifically for the book add fresh content for both regular visitors and new readers alike.

Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies
Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies

A Wealth of Knowledge

In addition to analyzing movie typography, Typeset in the Future provides readers with a wealth of informative content. The book delves into the techniques used by films to create convincing alternate realities while maintaining a strong narrative focus. It also offers a comprehensive guide to achieving a futuristic typographic style and delves into the intricacies of the font Eurostile Bold Extended, a staple of futuristic movie design. The editor-in-chief of, Matt Zoller Seitz, provides a thoughtful foreword that underscores the significance of typography in film.

What Makes Typeset in the Future So Special?

This book, Typeset in the Future, is one of the rare books that has been written on the topic of typography in science fiction. The author, Addey, has done an excellent job in covering this topic in a thorough and engaging manner. Additionally, the book is visually stunning, with a beautiful design and illustrations, including images from the films discussed, original artwork, and type specimens. The overall quality of the book is very high, and it is sure to be a treasured possession for anyone who is interested in either science fiction or typography.

Who Should Read Typeset in the Future?

For those interested in science fiction, typography, or design, ‘Typeset in the Future’ is a must-read. It is also valuable for filmmakers, graphic designers, and other creative professionals seeking to utilize typography in creating believable and immersive worlds.

Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies
Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies

Why You Should Buy Typeset in the Future Today

“Typeset in the Future” is a captivating book that combines informative content, stunning design, and a unique perspective on science fiction, typography, and design. This book is sure to captivate a diverse audience and is an excellent read for anyone with an interest in these topics. I highly recommend giving it a look.


The book “Typeset in the Future” offers a fascinating insight into the connection between design, typography, and classic science fiction films. Dave Addey’s dedication to the topic is evident in the book’s thorough research and visually stunning presentation. Whether you are a design enthusiast, a science fiction fan, or simply interested in the creative process behind your favorite movies, “Typeset in the Future” is a must-read. Get ready to explore the typography of classic science fiction and enhance your understanding of the visual storytelling that makes these films so iconic.

About the Author

Dave Addey, the creator of Typeset in the Future, is a designer, writer, and software developer based in Santa Cruz, California. His website has gained a following for its geeky and humorous analysis of sci-fi movie typography. Matt Zoller Seitz, editor-in-chief of, provides a unique perspective on the significance of typography in film. The book is enriched by their expertise, delivering an informative and engaging experience for readers delving into the world of typography in classic science fiction movies.

Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies by Dave Addey. Hardcover: 264 pages. Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (December 11, 2018).

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