The Art Deco period of type design celebrated the arrival of the machine age. Originally designed in the 1920s and '30s, these unique faces were characterized by bold outline, streamlined forms, and a sense of stylized geometry. They feature a forceful, yet elegant look. Although most commonly known for its influence on architecture, advertising, interior design and fashion, Art Deco cast its spell of sleek modernity over typography with equal abandon.
Typography, in the decade of 1920–1929 underwent a dramatic change. the constructivist movement took hold with the goal of creating a new technological society. The movement promoted a scientific language of design which was popularized in the new decorative movement called art deco. Power and speed became the themes of this machine age. Shapes were streamlined and simplified, curved letterforms were replaced with angular, sleek ones.
Futura is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed between 1924 and 1926 by Paul Renner. It is based on geometric shapes that became representative visual elements of the Bauhaus design style of 1919–1933. Commissioned by the Bauer type foundry, Futura was commercially released in 1927.
Although Renner was not associated with the Bauhaus, he shared many of its idioms and believed that a modern typeface should express modern models, rather than be a revival of a previous design.
Futura has an appearance of efficiency and forwardness. The typeface is derived from simple geometric forms (near-perfect circles, triangles and squares) and is based on strokes of near-even weight, which are low in contrast. This is most visible in the almost perfectly round stroke of the o, which is nonetheless slightly ovoid. In designing Futura, Renner avoided the decorative, eliminating non-essential elements. The lowercase has tall ascenders, which rise above the cap line. The uppercase characters present proportions similar to those of classical Roman capitals.
Typographic designers eschewed serifs and created new type-faces which according toHerbert Bayer, “reflected the notion of beauty in utility.” These new fonts were highly legible and especially served the commercial world.