If you love going to the movies like I do, the ramp-up to the summer season is always filled with anticipation. The biggest problem for me is deciding which ones have to be seen on the big screen, and which can wait for the DVD release. The “must see in the theater” category is usually filled with the big, blockbuster films. These days, the majority seem to be sci-fi franchises and superhero tales. What these films often have is a rich graphic look, from the posters to the trailers to the opening credits—something lacking in many of today’s films.
Whether you’re tasked with designing invitations for a sci-fi themed charity event or just want to emulate the bold look of a superhero blockbuster, consider adding these typefaces to your utility belt.
Forget Comic Sans, here’s a typeface with a real comics feel. The International Super Hero family includes Regular, Outline, Condensed, Expanded, and Light versions.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane—okay, it’s the Up Up And Away typeface from Comicraft. Reminiscent of the classic Superman movie, you can choose from Regular, Outline, and Popup.
Like Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So use the Homoarakhn typeface, which has just one style, carefully to evoke the feeling of the Spider-Man re-boot. The first re-boot, that is, not the re-boot of the re-boot.
The Avengers was huge, and next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron looks to be, um, huger. While you’re waiting for the end-of-credits bonus shawarma, feast on the mouthful that is the Avengeance Heroic Avenger typeface.
Does it make me a bad American if I say Captain America is my least favorite Avenger? Well, he is, but I am a fan of the American Captain typeface. The single font is available free for personal use; a paid version is also available as six-font family for commercial use.
I grew up on the cheesy Batman TV show from the 60s, a visual feast in its own right. I may prefer the POW! and BLAM! of that comic era, but the Batman franchise grew up a bit in the 90s. The Batman Forever typeface recalls the Val Kilmer version of the iconic Dark Knight with its Regular and Outline versions.
For reasons I shouldn’t discuss here (hello, RDJ!), there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Ironman. The heavy metal hero’s look is iconic and the Iron Hero typeface captures that look perfectly. The standard license is only for non-commercial use, but it includes Solid, Outline, and Shadow versions as well as a Photoshop text effect tutorial.
If superheroes aren’t your thing, maybe a world inhabited by dwarves, elves, orcs, and hobbits is. Check out Fontspace’s precious collection of typefaces that mimic The Hobbit poster styling, elvish ring inscriptions, and even Bilbo’s exquisite penmanship.
Iconic in so many ways, the Star Wars logo speaks to my inner 9-year-old. She still remembers the gigantic type scrolling across a field of stars on the big screen. Vectorilla has a nice collection of typestyles from that galaxy far, far away.
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The remake of 70s cult-classic Logan’s Run has been in on again, off again status for a while now. If the new version never happens, we’ll have to find sanctuary in the Logan Five six-font family that captures the futuristic essence of the original film.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: sci-fi or superheroes? However you classify them, the hard-shelled remake hits the screens this summer, but you can keep the classic look alive with the Turtles typeface.
Any list of iconic sci-fi universes would be incomplete without a mention of Star Trek. Fontshop boldy goes to great lengths to gather up a Trekkie’s—or is it Trekker’s—dream list of Star Trek-inspired typefaces.
Erica Gamet has been involved in graphics and prepress for over 25 years. She is a speaker, writer, and trainer focusing on Adobe InDesign, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author and other print- and production-related topics. When she’s not keeping students from their Angry Birds games, Erica can be found propelling herself around Colorado on two wheels or watching campy British sci-fi.