🎁 Disc. 25% off for sevice special on Before Holiday Program Today! 🎁


Our designers just create something for you. Show your love with downloading their works for free.

How Futura Became the Most Ripped-Off Typeface in Graphic Design History

Guest Writer
Guest Writer
futura became the most ripped-off typeface

Table of Contents

Futura is a member of the geometric sans-serif typeface family. Paul Renner designed this font in 1927. It was a contribution to the New Frankfurt project. Using geometric shapes, especially the circle, it has a spiritual resemblance to Bauhaus design.

A famous quote about the Futura font is “You Have Never Used the Real Futura,” but you might think, why is this?

One of Futura’s’ many extant competitors created dozens of copies shortly after its release in 1927. It’s been endlessly analyzed, emulated, and blatantly copied. Now there are a lot of documents in the market.

The copies of the Futura font family started adopting new formats. Many of these colonize the name of Futura despite the many ancestries and stylistic differences from the original Futura font, which Paul Renner designed in 1927. The more counterfeits are simple.

Nowadays, most viewers view only the copies or modern hybrids, but only the experts and wonks can differentiate between the original rip-offs and the immediate digital copies.

Futura was never in its genuine class, ultimately. It kept going and became the popular model of the geometric Sans serif-visible everywhere after the best purchase of Wes Anderson Films, which is incredible in itself.

The working of Futura was almost the same as Baur’s foundry font that the companies were already using for official purposes. It is a structural sans serifs typeface. Germany created and released it in the 1920s and 1930s.

At that time, the German companies had their typefaces, and those were slightly different in proportions, interesting backstories, and unique features to complement them. Still, the original Futura was faster and more featured if you could find it.

See also: Font Pairing Tips and Tricks for Dummies

Futura became the most ripped-off typeface in graphic design history in the first year of its releasing because the companies like forever 21 use this typeface

Probably, it was not the original. This typeface was blatantly copied in its early days. Take a read of these facts to learn why Futura became the most ripped-off typeface in graphic design history in its early days.


It competed against Sans-serif and other elaborate, handwritten-style typefaces known for promoting simplicity, modernism, and mechanization.

Despite the clean geometrical appearance of Futura, some of its design choices recalled a new version of serif typefaces. Further, Futura had a low x-height, reducing its grating and increasing its similarity with already released serifs.


Paul Renner started designing Futura in 1924 and released it in 1927. Futura was an excellent typeface, but its contemporary competitors like Ludwig and Mayer’s seminal Erbar typefaces already existed, and these were the same functions as Futura.

Futura was considered a copy of these typefaces since they were already available in 1926. So, the Futura became a ripped-off font.

Metro Font 1929

Linotype did not miss the new demand, so he ordered a famous designer W.A Dwiggins to design a new sans-serif font. After a year’s struggle, Dwiggins successfully created an original design known as Metro that became a severe threat to Futura.

1929 marked the release of Metro. Based on geometric principles and human-friendly strokes, Futura font was ripped off because of its geometric principles. But, after the release of Metro, the commercial pressure started forcing Dwiggins to make changes in Metro to make it quicker.

So, Dwiggins started working on it and released a new version of Metro in 1930, having all the features and functions of Futura. So, the Metro you have ever used is the second version and became popular quickly exceeding the original one.

Tempo For Ludlow 1930

In 1930, a Chicago-based designer, Robert Hunter Middleton, realized his Futura-like design known as a Tempo for Ludlow. The wave-like shape of this font gives it a light, warm and breezy air that was not in Futura. It was slightly curve-breaking the geometric rigidity of Futura.

In-display sizes, the identical letters “cursive capitals” give it a distinct type and close look almost similar to Futura. This typeface’s more meaningful and readable structure made it more popular in 1930, which became the cause of the Futura font rip-off.

Automatic Changings

It was challenging to get the original Futura, but when users started using it, what happened? A user defined the paragraph and character style and applied it to the text using the Futura light. A user changed the font to Futura Medium when they opened the document again.

Even the reselecting of paragraphs did not work for changing anything. The user tried disabling all Futura medium fonts in the collection, but the font became labeled red, which means font substitution; that is why the Futura became the most ripped-off typeface. 

Working Issues With PCs

The users like the Futura font after checking its performance by using it on macs and even on iPhones, but when they tried to use it on their PCs, it was not a good experience.

On PCs, fonts like Times New Roman can easily display CSS files like styles.css. The user got Futura. eot and futura.ttf, but he could still open the file in this font using his PC. So, the bad reviews about its usage with PCs made it the most ripped-off typeface in graphic design history.

See also: What Is Sans Serif Fonts? Don’t Get Stuck in the “Serif = Traditional, Sans Serif = Modern” Mindset


Paul Renner designed Futura in 1927 as a geometric sans-serif typeface. However, it was ripped off because of its immediate competitors and other major problems described above.

It is still available in the online market. Still, these are only copies of the original Futura valuable font for print and digital purposes as headlines and body fonts.

This article has briefly described Futura as the most ripped-off typeface in graphic design history. Thank you.

Let’s visit RRSlide to download free PowerPoint templates. But wait, don’t go anywhere and stay here with our RRGraph Design Blog to keep up-to-date on the best pitch deck template collections and design advice from our PowerPoint experts.

More Articles

rrgraph design

RRGraph Design Signs CSR Partnership, Starting from Poverty Reduction to Land Ecosystems Preservation

RRGraph Design Signs CSR Partnership, Starting from Poverty Reduction to Land Ecosystems Preservation This is …

5 Ways of Using Your Digital Presence to Grow Your Business in 2023

Increasing visibility is among the main aims of businesses in today’s chaotic markets. In this …

Simple Ways to Make Your Office Run Smoother

Running a successful office is no easy feat. With so many moving parts and people …

Join our community

RRGraph Design

You will receive monthly tips, stories, and exclusive freebies!