Listed above: all typography and lettering from Kubrick’s movie posters (click on the ‘thumbnails for the one sheet poster). Listed below: all on-screen typography and lettering from Kubrick’s movies (click on the ‘thumbnails for the title sequences, closing credits, trailers).
Stanley Kubrick’s typography
Ever since the Guardian published this article about the Kubrick archive in 2004 it’s become common knowledge that Stanley Kubrick was a Futura fan.
“It’s Futura Extra Bold,” explains Tony. “It was Stanley’s favourite typeface. It’s sans serif. He liked Helvetica and Univers, too. Clean and elegant.”
“Is this the kind of thing you and Kubrick used to discuss?” I ask.
“God, yes,” says Tony. “Sometimes late into the night. I was always trying to persuade him to turn away from them. But he was wedded to his sans serifs.”
But did he use it often? Every time I added one of Kubrick’s movies to this collection of on-screen typography from all his films I asked myself this question. Time to figure it out.
The statistics below are based one the typography of the main posters (only one sheet posters), opening/closing credits and trailers. Futura is used twice as primary typeface, three times as secondary typeface on posters, only once for a title sequence and twice for a trailer.
Conclusion: Kubrick didn’t use his favorite font very often.
All typefaces used on posters, in movies and trailers.
- FEAR AND DESIRE (1953)
- KILLER’S KISS (1955)
Cheltenham, Futura Trade Gothic (poster) hand-lettering (movie)
- THE KILLING (1956)
Hand-lettered movie title, Franklin Gothic, Trade Gothic (poster) hand-lettering (movie, trailer)
- PATHS OF GLORY (1957)
Hand-lettered movie title, Futura (poster), hand-lettering (movie), Venus (trailer)
- SPARTACUS (1960)
Hand-lettered movie title, Alternate Gothic, Trade Gothic (poster), Clarendon
- LOLITA (1962)
Akzidenz-Grotesk, Trade Gothic (poster), Perpetua. Trailer: ?, Venus
- DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
Alternate Gothic, Century, Trade Gothic (poster), hand-lettering (movie), Grotesque, Futura (trailer)
- 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
Poster: Futura Trade Gothic, Gill Sans
On-screen typography: Gill Sans
- A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)
Poster: Hand-lettered movie title, Venus, News Gothic
On-screen typography: x
- BARRY LYNDON (1975)
Handlettering (poster, opening credits), Cheltenham (closing credits)
- THE SHINING (1980)
Handlettering, Univers (poster), Swiss 721 (movie), Futura (trailer)
- FULL METAL JACKET (1987)
Hand-lettered movie title, Eras, Univers, News Gothic (poster) Eras (movie), handlettering, Univers (trailer)
- EYES WIDE SHUT (1999)
Futura Bee Three (poster), Futura (movie, trailer)