You know those sexy, sans serif fonts in the movie 2001? They appear in the credits, but also on pretty much all the technical equipment on the spaceship. Well, now a font enthusiast has figured out what those fonts are, and written an incredibly funny, illuminating essay about the typography of 2001.
Dave Addey is a font fetishist, and you will be too after you've read his amazing essay on his blog, Typeset in the Future. Those famous letters in the title of the movie, above, are Gill Sans — and to make those zeros in 2001 look really dramatic, the designers actually used the letter O instead of a zero.
Turns out that a lot of the fonts in 2001 are variations on Futura, which makes sense. "There sure are a lot of things labeled 'EMERGENCY' in Futura on this spacecraft," Addey notes.
There are also some stylistic features that get repeated, like all the Eurostyle Bold Extended for HAL, whose screens you see below. That font is seriously hot.
The best part, though, is Addey's commentary:
This final part of the film is visually eclectic, aurally stunning and philosophically challenging. Many thousands of words have been penned over the decades to try and fathom the meaning of the monolith, and the genesis and future of the space-baby. However, none of this act contains typography, and it is therefore of no concern to us. Let's skip to the end credits . . . It's Futura again, with an M borrowed from Gill Sans, and a W that I don't recognize from anywhere.
Addey promises that he's got more posts like this coming in the future. The next one will be about Moon, which has some marvelous fonts. And at some point he'll also tackle Alien, which you may recall has an opening credits sequence that's such great font porn that it's practically like a striptease.
Read more at Typeset in the Future