13 March 2017

[type] Futuracha: The Auto-ligature-spawning Cockroach-inspired Font Everyone's Talking About

Futuracha Pro is sweeping the design world right now, and it's easy to see why. The font design combines elements of history, nature, and whimsy … in short, it's font design at the top of its form, and its most effective.

The font, designed by the designer Odysseas Galinos Paparounis of Greek creative agency høly, was originally available as a font that could be used mainly in graphic design and layout apps, not as a font for the people at large. That's in the process of changing, of which more anon.

The font grew out of Paparounis' obsession with Futura Pro and a sharp eye for nature. As told by HuffPo:

Futura, Paparounis told HuffPost in an email, had become “something like an obsession” during his graphic designer studies. When he was tasked with creating a typeface as a class assignment, he found himself examining two Caribbean cockroaches he was using for an illustration class. Inspired by “the antennae and thorns on their feet,” he garnished the Futura framework with rounded spurs and swooping ligatures.

The design world already seems in love with Futuracha Pro, and the originators have correctly deduced there's a huge demand for a font with swooping nature-inspired swashes that change as you type it. The effort to bring it to an OpenType version anyone can install, powered by IndieGogo, has three days left in the campaign at the time of this writing, and of a $4,000 goal, over $68,000 has been raised.

The IndieGogo campaign is at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/futuracha-pro-design#/. There are pictures of Futuracha Pro works that will be visible for a time after the campaign concludes; the swooping swashes lend themselves to much design other that merely displays and titles.

The idea of a font changing as you set the type isn't a new one, though Futuracha's implementation is fairly joyous and innovative. This reminds us of Ed Interlock, an OpenType font with various ligatures and swashes created by Ed Benguiat and inspired by 60s TV title design. This would be a further evolution of this thought.

The appeal to nature, however, is particularly bracing, fun, and sets this interesting design well apart from the rest.

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