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

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

Futura is a member of the geometric sans-serif typeface family. In 1927 this font was designed by Paul Renner. It was a contribution to the New Frankfurt project. It is based on geometric shapes, especially the circle, and spiritually it seems identical with the Bauhaus design style of the period.

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

It happened because one of Futura’s many extant competitors created dozens of copies shortly after its release in 1927, and now there are a lot of copies in the market that is why it has been endlessly reanalyzed emulated, and flagrantly ripped off.

The more counterfeits are simple, 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.

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. It was created in Germany and released in the decade of 1920 to 1930.

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.

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 so that, this typeface had been blatantly ripped off in its early times. Here are some primary causes that the Futura font family was ripped off in its early times so, take a read of facts that details how Futura became the most ripped-off typeface in graphic design history.


Futura was released to compete with Sans-serif and other elaborated, handwritten-style typefaces that were already famous 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. Moreover, Futura had a low x-height with reducing its grating and increasing the similarity with already released serifs; it was ripped off in its initial time.


Paul Renner started design 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 in functions with Futura.

These typefaces were already released in 1926, so the graphic designers consider the Futura a copy version of these fonts. So, the Futura became a ripped-off font.

Metro Font 1929:

Linotype had not to 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 for Futura.

 Metro was released in 1929. It was based on geometric principles with human-friendly strokes that became a cause for Futura font to be ripped off. 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 with quickly exceeding the original one.

Tempo For Ludlow 1930:

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

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

Automatic Changings:

It was challenging to get the original Futura but anyway, when users started using it, what happened? A user-defined the style of paragraph and character and applied it to the text using the Futura light. After some time, when he reopened the document, the font was automatically changed to Futura Medium.

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.

The CSS file like styles.css can be easily shown by the fonts like Times New Roman on PC. The user got both 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:

20 Best Creative Custom Fonts PowerPoint Design

Font Pairing Tips and Tricks for Dummies

20 Best Fonts for Professional PowerPoint: Adios! You Won’t See Arial and Times New Roman Anymore

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


Futura is a geometric sans-serif typeface that is designed by Paul Renner and released in 1927. Still, it was ripped off due to the immediate competitors and other major problems of this font mentioned above with brief details.

It is still available in the online market. Still, these are only the copies of the original Futura font that is useful 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.

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