Posterama: a journey through space and type

Designer Jim Ford calls it ‘the typeface of the future… only yesterday’. The Posterama typeface condenses an entire century of futuristic reference points from art, architecture, poster design and science fiction into one family. Inspired by the 20th century fascination with visions of the future, the Posterama typeface is built on a collection of alternate glyphs drawn from design yesteryear that lend each of its eight upper-case styles its evocative flavor.

The base design, the modular, geometric the Posterama 1927 typeface, harkens back to the elements of the Futura® design, celebrating Paul Renner’s revolutionary contribution. The variations in the Posterama 1901 typeface pay homage to the Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau movements. Posterama 1945’s peppering of Russian Cyrillic characters give it a Cold War flavor, and the Posterama 1984 typeface conjures up 1980s sci-fi poster type. Three other styles and a lower-case text font complete the family.

“the typeface of the future…only yesterday”


The alternate characters of the Posterama 1901 font recall the decoratively geometric style of Art Nouveau from the turn of the 20th century. Letterforms such as the slender, snaking ‘S’, the high-waisted ‘E’ and the underlined ‘O’ revive the spirit of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the designers of the Viennese Secession.


The Posterama 1913 font pays homage to the Armory Show, or 1913 Exhibition of Modern Art, which brought the revolutionary work of European artists such as Picasso, Duchamp and Kandinsky to the US for the first time to the shock and astonishment of press and public. Near-abstract, angular characters such as the ‘A’, ‘E’ and ‘N’ hint at cubism’s jagged and clashing planes.


Just a small variation distinguishes the Posterama 1919 typeface from the ‘base’ design of the Posterama 1927 font, but it’s an important one. The straight-sided, roundheaded ‘A’ adds a flavor of 1919 – when the Bauhaus was founded – and the surge in radical European typography that followed. A similar ‘A’ can still be seen in the Braun logo, designed in 1934.


1927 was the year of Metropolis, The Jazz Singer and Paul Renner’s pioneering, geometric Futura® typeface from 1927, which changed the face of design in the US. The Futura and Gill Sans® geometric typefaces‘ alternate characters are among the influences on the Posterama 1927 typeface, the basis for all Posterama uppercase fonts, and on its lowercase alphabet.


During the Great Depression, elegant Art Deco harked back to earlier, better times for Americans. With its low-waisted, sinuous designs, the Posterama 1933 typeface echoes lettering of the Art Deco period, which in turn had its roots in Art Nouveau, the key influence on Posterama 1901. The two fonts make a great team and can be used interchangeably.


The world war was over in 1945, but the Cold War of propaganda, espionage and the arms race was just beginning. Furtively planting a few Cyrillic characters in the Posterama 1945 typeface conjures up an era when a fear of Soviets, spies and giant, slimy aliens was rife, and Russian art and political posters made their mark.


An homage to George Orwell’s classic novel, which painted the bleakest possible picture of life in the 1980s, the Posterama 1984 typeface takes its typographic influences from publicity for the dystopian action and sci-fi movies that made an impact at that time. The futuristic, modular fonts designed for films such as Blade Runner, Videodrome and Terminator, and games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, make a comeback in the ‘A’, ‘E’, ‘M’, ’N’, ‘R’ and ‘Y’.


Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, which made extensive use of the Gill Sans® typeface, Posterama 2001 finds its cosmic orbit withby lifting its nosecone-style ‘A’ from NASA’s much-missed ‘worm’ logotype. There’s an echo, too, in Bauhaus designs from as early as 1920, whose minimalist, geometric lettering also featured a crossbar-less ‘A’.

Try out Posterama

Find out more information and try out the Posterama typefaces for yourself.

Meet the designer
Jim Ford

Jim Ford is a visual artist and designer from Chicago. Jim works predominantly in type design, but includes custom lettering, art and illustration in his growing portfolio.

He has designed custom typefaces for agencies, corporations, publishers, software and hardware manufacturers, video games, devices, you name it! In addition to customer-driven work, Jim also has a wealth of original typeface designs, ranging from traditional text faces to innovative display lettering.

He studied advertising art direction and graphic design at Columbia College Chicago where he graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2005.

While at Columbia, his passion for type started to take root. Jim sought out an internship with Ascender and was hired upon graduation. In 2013, Jim joined the Monotype studio as a type designer. Jim lives and works in Delavan, WI.