As we watch NASA and SpaceX launch the Crew Dragon off the planet and marvel at the ingenuity and determination of the human race (while simultaneously despairing of it) I made use of the distraction of our current situation to look at the mission and learn a little more about whats going on.
As I was looking at images of the astronauts Behnken and Hurley I was particularly struck by their spacesuits and their deliberately retro sci-fi styling. There is something very “Lost In Space” about them (The original, not the recent reboot – Danger, Will Robinson!)
This got me down a rabbit hole and before long was looking at a piece of graphic design from my childhood that had a huge influence on me – ‘The Worm’ which has been re-introduced after almost 30 years!
Remember that the original Star Wars movie was released only a couple of years after this, and 2000AD comic was just beginning to exert is effect upon the young and impressionable me in 1977 (I was just 9 years old!). That NASA and Star Wars shared some graphic similarities gave space exploration some credibility that we were on the cusp of the science fiction I had seen and read about, and then watched in awe as Luke Skywalker learned about The Force and its Dark Side.
This got me thinking about other typographic styles from that era, in particular Eurostile, a rounded off square font designed in 1962 by Aldo Novarese (1920-1995). Eurostyle was based upon an earlier font designed by Novarese and Allessandro Butti a decade earlier: Microgramma was a caps only display font and set the standards for rounded off square glyphs. Eurostile added lower cases characters and a range of weights and formats from light to black, italics and condensed expanded sets.
Eurostile was often used to suggest futuristic, hi-tec and big industry, and is the logo font for many technology companies and still used in science fiction movies to this day.
So here is a type specimen brochure from 1967 designed and illustrated by Novarese himself:
And lets not forget another classic example from 1977 and still looking pretty good today:
Now where did I leave my hoverbike?