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Oscars 2020: best-picture typography | Butterick’s Practical Typography

Oscars 2020: best-picture typography | Butterick’s Practical Typography

I stay in Hol­ly­wooden, Cal­i­for­nia. For lo­cals, the Acad­emy Awards are ei­ther a) work, in case you’re within the film in­dus­strive, or b) a week-long traf­fic night time­mare, in case you’re any­one else.

Among my associates within the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­strive, the guild awards (e.g., DGA, WGA, SAG) are gen­er­ally properly re­garded, the Golden Globes not even a lit­tle, and the Acad­emy Awards—properly, it’s kind of just like the boor­ish grand­par­ent who comes to go to every year however provides out $100 payments to you and your sib­lings. You grin & bear it.

The Acad­emy has no manner of know­ing whether or not its vot­ers ac­tu­ally watch the movies which might be nom­i­nated, or simply choose a fa­vorite based mostly on some ar­bi­trary cri­te­rion. Con­sis­tent with that prin­ci­ple, I really feel to­tally jus­ti­fied choose­ing a best-pic­ture win­ner based mostly on the ty­pog­ra­phy of the posters.

Note for brand spanking new vis­i­tors: This ar­ti­cle is a part of a giant­ger on­line ebook known as Prac­ti­cal Ty­pog­ra­phy writ­ten by me, kind de­signer Matthew But­t­er­ick. If you want nerdy ty­pog­ra­phy ma­te­r­ial, there’s a lot extra—see the ta­ble of con­tents.

Movie: Didn’t see it.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: The nar­row sans serif ap­pears to be Tung­sten, which aptly evokes the mid-’60s. But the po­si­tion­ing of the ac­tor names rel­a­tive to the ti­tle is a lit­tle sloppy and constricted.

Movie: A protracted slog. The de-ag­ing ef­fect was not persuasive.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: The font is Grouch, which re­flects the “tight but not touch­ing” kind­set­ting fashion that was stylish within the ’70s. A rea­son­ready alternative for a movie set par­tially in that decade. The crimson coloration, how­ever, con­trasts poorly with the bluish background.

Movie: Didn’t see it.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: I don’t rec­og­nize the font (it might be cus­tom let­ter­ing) but it surely appears to be evok­ing a hand-printed, professional­pa­ganda-poster really feel, which feels apt. The poster spares us an­different swastika, although not the col­ors of the Nazi flag. The jagged black again­floor be­hind the ti­tle let­ter­ing appears to ref­er­ence the SS emblem. I like that the ty­pog­ra­phy on the prime of the poster is given a sim­i­lar hand-printed look.

Movie: Didn’t see it.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: Like Jojo Rab­bit, additionally em­u­lates the look of old-fash­ioned let­ter­press print­ing. I appreciated discover­ing out that it was made with actual wooden kind, not dig­i­tal ma­nip­u­la­tion. The sur­spherical­ing sans serif is bor­ing and in­con­gru­ous. Why not con­tinue with the wooden kind?

Movie: Didn’t see it.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: I actually appreciated the black­let­ter identify­plate for Greta Ger­wig’s pre­vi­ous film, Lady Bird. Here, the ti­tle let­ter­ing is customized from the duvet of the 1868 first edi­tion of Lit­tle Women. I pre­fer the 1868 ver­sion, how­ever—the con­tem­po­rized ver­sion treads a lit­tle near the over­accomplished pattern of chop­ping items off let­ter­varieties. The sans serif used else­the place ap­pears to be Avant Garde, and appears ter­ri­ble be­trigger it has no re­la­tion to the primary kind.

(HT to Stephen Coles for level­ing me to the primary version.)

Movie: Didn’t see it.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: Speak­ing of chop­ping items from let­ters. The font appears to be Bodoni Sans. To me, this seems to be like a per­fectly good serif font that’s been am­pu­tated. But some­how, perhaps that’s an apt alternative for movie a few divorce.

Movie: Fan­tas­tic. Flawless.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: The font is Fu­tura, which was re­leased in 1927 and is thus anachro­nis­tic for a movie set 10 years prior. But hear me out: the film prides it­self on its fas­tid­i­ous pe­riod au­then­tic­ity. There have been loads of sans ser­ifs in 1917. They simply didn’t seem like that. (For in­stance, my Her­mes Maia font evokes a method that will’ve been com­mon then.) Still, I believe the primary rea­son Fu­tura is used right here is that the poster refers back to the ear­lier Sam Mendes film Sky­fall, and Sky­fall additionally used Fu­tura. Sam’s fortunate font, maybe.

Movie: Hated it. A ran­cid re­ac­tionary fan­ta­sia of pre-baby-boomer Amer­i­can masculinity.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: If you’re go­ing with essentially the most ob­vi­ous pos­si­ble ty­po­graphic concept, you no less than must do it properly. I stay close to the Hol­ly­wooden signal. Every­factor about this ver­sion is in­ac­cu­fee. Why? Be­trigger the de­signer merely down­loaded a close-enough free­ware font and didn’t even change its wretched spac­ing (see sam­ple at left, cre­ated by me in two seconds).

Movie: Started properly, however be­got here dif­fuse af­ter the mid­manner level.

Ty­pog­ra­phy: The sans serif across the ti­tle is Gotham, and the ti­tle it­self appears to be Gotham with some ser­ifs glued on, in a person­ner rem­i­nis­cent of ex­per­i­males­tal 1990s fonts like Dead His­tory. Could it’s that the ser­ifs are supposed to appear to be “par­a­sites” at­tached to the sans serif varieties, like lam­preys on a shark? If so, this con­cept tries too exhausting.

1917, although if I’m vot­ing purely on ty­pog­ra­phy, Jojo Rab­bit, be­trigger it was a con­cept ap­professional­pri­ate for the movie, ex­e­cuted properly & constantly.

—Matthew But­t­er­ick
7 Feb­ru­ary 2020

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