This is the moment to confess I am non-exclusive in my love for all things science fiction. Most of all, I don’t subscribe to the alleged feud between fans of Star Wars and Star Trek. The fact that J.J. Abrams helmed successful reboots of both franchises brought the two universes closer than ever. On September 8th Star Trek will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Yesterday, today and tomorrow the newest cinematic installment of Star Trek premieres in most of the world, with a new television series to follow early next year. Time for a typographic history of the science fiction franchise that spans half a century.
OpenType fonts have some big advantages to older TrueType fonts, or legacy PostScript Type 1 fonts. That’s because OpenType is an updated version of the TrueType font format spec, with improvements you notice, like OpenType features, and those you likely don’t, like the type designer’s ability to use PostScript outlines instead of TrueType outlines in the fonts.
“A typeface is an alphabet in a straitjacket,” proposes Alan Fletcher. It follows then, that fixed-width typefaces prompt a particularly unbalanced response to their constraints, what with each letter and figure trying to fill slots of equal size.
“How do I define the line spacing in my text?” Well, the first response would typically aim at your choice of type and the size it is used in. However, the space between the words is not to be underestimated and ultimately the width of your column is an eminent factor. You easily end up with four parameters that are all inseparably interlinked with one another, a concept that has been called the “magic square of typography.” Let’s take a look at the formula of the page and we’ll notice that this concept can easily be extended to a pentagon or hexagon and beyond.
When doing a brand refresh or establishing an identity from scratch, type is one of the strong threads that runs through all of it, uniting each product and campaign through every season. Versatile and recognizable fonts, when used well, will handle the heavy lifting.