Growing up in the early 80’s, I was a Star Wars fanboy. I had most of the characters and watched the films numerous times. I even had fond memories of The Ewok Adventures.
That said, I am very excited about the new Star Wars. I’m a big fan of J.J. Abrams and thoroughly enjoyed his reboot of the Star Trek series. A couple days ago the second teaser trailer was released and it was awesome to behold. Watching the last scene with Hans Solo and Chewie, I felt like a kid seeing my father return from a long business trip. It flooded me with happiness and reminded me of how much I missed them.
Who the hell chose the font for “The Force Awakens” and how did it get through the Art Department?! Does that screen on the left seem like it belongs to what will likely be the most important sci-fi film of the year?
The font is a bold weight ITC Serif Gothic. Serif Gothic was designed by Herb Lubalin and Tony Di Spigna and released by the ITC in 1972, now part of Monotype. It’s currently available through MyFonts.
Now, as to why it’s a terrible choice.
The font looks dated. It looks old. It looks ugly. And most importantly, it looks like it’s from the ’70s!
The Star Wars saga takes place in a time long, long ago—NOT in the 70’s! And while the Star Wars primary logotype is part of the Star Wars brand, this font is not. It’s only connection to Star Wars is that it appeared as the tagline font on the 1977 poster for Star Wars.
It’s the 70’s equivalent of Helvetica or Univers Condensed being used as the tagline and credits font on most posters put out today. Here are a few other posters of the time that used this font as it’s tagline and credits font:
By the time the second film (Empire Strikes Back) came out in 1980, the font had changed to the more recent (for the time) released Avante Garde typeface.
There’s a big difference between retro and old. Contax Pro, for example, is a retro 1970’s font—it has a lot of the same look and feel, but still modernized to feel in place within today’s design language.
There’s my rant. I love the new teaser trailer; I just couldn’t help but notice the bad choice of font. It reminds me of Avatar using Papyrus. What’s with movies that have multi-hundred million dollar budgets not being able to afford a type designer?