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business models, strategies and technologies

New narratives about write and wrong – from Futuracha Pro onwards

Typography geeks tend to try to/have to adhere to rules – but Futuracha Pro is a font built on fluid thinking

I admit it – I’m a sucker for good typographic design. Kinda’ classic style, but with a modern twist, please.

Unfortunately, a lot of the writing work I do ends up in the hands of ad agencies and graphic designers born long after desktop publishing became mainstream. This means text normally becomes something they just digitally pour into a layout, eyes wide shut. And the results are often not pretty, and tantamount to professional blasphemy for those aware of classic guidelines and international typographical standards. But perhaps you can’t really blame screen-enchained IT-suckled coolies for contravening rules about whose existence they know nothing?

The rule of rules

There are complex sets of rules about typography – some arcane, some sensible, some basically pre-digital and some pivotal for easier reading (= customer-centric focus). Rules are pretty important for the craftsmanship that underlies good graphic design, and for the typography used virtually everywhere. It’s difficult to identify why a text doesn’t “look right” or to correct anything, if you don’t know what the rules for right/wrong are.

But then I stumbled across Futuracha Pro.

Futuracha Pro

Futuracha Pro is an Open Type Font designed by graphic designer Odysseas Galinos Paparounis of Greek branding agency høly. Based on the classic Futura, it adds a fascinating new dimension whose distinguishing feature seems to transcend the static, predictable experience normally associated with font design.

The font responds to context, flipping between different letter designs depending on the makeup of each particular word. This means it adjusts and readjusts automatically as you write, based on the preceding and following letter. This makes it seem quirky and as if the font has a mind of its own, but the underlying algorithms (apparently) comply with all the holy typographic principles.

Originally a static design exercise, the people behind Futuracha Pro are currently (March 2017) seeking Indiegogo funding to develop and implement it as a mainstream “font we can write with”. Seven days before the subscription window closes, I can see they’ve achieved 668% of their USD 4,000 fixed goal. People must like it!

Responsive thinking

Futuracha Pro certainly isn’t the first font to provide adjustments (other fonts deal with their own ligatures, etc.) as you type, but for me the deeper fascination is that it is designed to be contextual – “responsive” in modern parlance.

This therefore provides an itsy-bitsy practical indication of what can happen, and the opportunities that can arise, when a narrative has to be designed to respond to and reflect changing, fluid realities. A combination of shifting away from traditional static realities, right/wrong strategic positions and two-dimensional “from us to them” declaration communication with customers all requires a fundamental change in mindset, in narratives and in how we mould them. The agility of this delightful, intriguing font seems a delightful illustration of a tiny smidgin of what’s involved ….

From Futuracha to Decoracha

Futuracha Pro (the most successful crowd-funded font in history) subsequently developed into Decoracha and is delightfully presented here on Behance. It’s been strangely delightful to see a font mature into an idea, rather than into static product staidness.





External info
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/futuracha-pro-design#/ https://www.behance.net/gallery/47374155/Futuracha-Pro-Font