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

Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies by Dave Addey

In Typeset in the Future, blogger and designer Dave Addey invites sci-fi movie fans on a journey through seven genre-defining classics, discovering how they create compelling visions of the future through typography and design.

The book delves deep into 2001: A Space OdysseyStar Trek: The Motion PictureAlienBlade RunnerTotal RecallWALL·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).

Typeset in the Future is an obsessively geeky study of how classic sci-fi movies draw us in to their imagined worlds—and how they have come to represent “THE FUTURE” in popular culture.

The book contains new and expanded TITF studies for seven all-time classic science fiction movies, in a form that is beautiful enough to adorn even the most discerning of coffee tables. It’s the perfect holiday present for the design / sci-fi geek in your life, even if that geek happens to be yourself.


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For the book, I’ve hand-picked seven classic sci-fi movies, focusing on those that create a detailed vision of the future through design and typography. (The list is also heavily inspired by requests I’ve received on TITF over the past few years.)

Here’s the line-up:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), adapted from the original article / Alien (1979), adapted from the original article / Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), plus a look at the wider world of Star Trek typography / Blade Runner (1982), adapted from the original article / Total Recall (1990) / WALL·E (2008), which I’ve also posted as a brand new article in its entirety / Moon (2009), adapted from the original article.


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The book also includes interviews with sci-fi, typography, and design experts, including:

Paul Verhoeven, director of Total RecallRoboCop, and Starship Troopers.

Mike Okuda, scenic art supervisor for Star Trek: The Next GenerationDeep Space NineVoyager, and Enterprise (plus associated spin-off movies).

Ralph Eggleston and Craig Foster, production designer and graphic designer 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 Eurostile creator Aldo Novarese.


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And if that’s not enough, there’s also:

A study of the tricks movies use to make their worlds look realistic without distracting you from the plot. A detailed guide on how to make your own text look futuristic. A study of futuristic movie font Eurostile Bold Extended. A foreword from Matt Zoller Seitz, editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.com, and author of New York Times bestsellers The Wes Anderson Collection and The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel.

Four existing articles from typesetinthefuture.com have been revised and expanded for the book, with even more geeky detail than the originals. (The book’s 2001: A Space Odyssey chapter already contains twice as much goodness as when I first studied the movie in 2014.) Three new studies have been written entirely from scratch, alongside in-depth interviews with the typography and sci-fi experts listed above. Sounds great! I’m going to buy a copy right now.


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About the Author

Dave Addey is the creator of the website Typeset in the Future, a detailed, geeky, and humorous study of the design and typography of classic science fiction movies. He is a designer, writer, and software developer based in Santa Cruz, California. Matt Zoller Seitz is the editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.com, the TV critic for New York Magazine, the author of The Wes Anderson Collection, The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest HotelThe Oliver Stone Experience, and Mad Men Carousel, and the coauthor of TV (The Book). He is based in New York City.


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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