Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed

April 19th, 2009

“It’s time for Art Directors the world over to boycott the use of Futura Extra Bold Condensed – the most over-used typeface in advertising history. Destroy the Great Satan of clichés and the Little Satan of convenience, and rally to the cause of a better type selection.
Please fill out the enclosed petition and mail it to our headquarters. It will be used to sway the opinion-makers of our industry toward our just and worthy cause.
Together, we can whip this mother.”

Really??? That was a common opinion in 1992?
These 2 pages were designed by Jerry Ketel are were published in the 1992’s TDC Typography 13.

Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed by Jerry Ketel

Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed by Jerry Ketel

found in Wei Huang his Flickr account

17 Responses to “Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed”

  1. marianne Says:

    Hum… looks like an ABSOLUT VODKA ad ! maybe was it behind all of it ? the use of futura by Absolut started in 1985 I think… with Andy Wharol around it…

  2. marianne Says:

    by the way… trends are also about typefaces… I expect a big come back of Comic Sans soon (…) : S

  3. hoosen Says:

    yay.. but long time before that nearly every freakin ad was in futura ebc… of course with images, too! haha..
    so obviously there’s some old marketing guys from the 60s and 70s behind it. or just someone else. i dont care anyway. i like it.

  4. lade Says:

    abzolute vodka indeed. i´m so fed up with this font…..*sigh

  5. johannes Says:


  6. bryan Says:

    Well, one typeface I’m getting mighty sick of in 2009 is Helvetica Neue Ultralight. It’s everywhere!

  7. chris Says:

    If they want to curb the use of FEBC, than they should suggest a better alternative..

  8. Jason Says:

    That’s the trouble. Suggesting an alternative, puts another good typeface on the “Overused Typeface List”.

    Overused Typeface List
    Arial (Narrow) – not a good typeface, but it makes the list.
    Gill San
    Futura Extra Bold Condensed

  9. IF SADDAM HUSSEIN WERE A TYPEFACE.. « energiaradiante Says:

    […] source […]

  10. On Typography pt. 2 « hello hello! this is lelelulu Says:

    […] heard of people being sick of Helvetica. But hear this: there’s even a group called “Art Director Against Futura Bold Condensed“. Futura bold condensed, for the uninitiated, is often seen during drinking […]

  11. Jack Yan Says:

    I certainly remember the era, and it was popular to have large, bold type with the full stop (period to our American friends) at the end. Absolut certainly used this style, but there were plenty of other places that went with Futura Extra Bold Condensed. BMW was definitely one company, before it went to Helvetica and then its own BMW Type; and given a bit of time I can probably think of a few more high-profile names.

  12. The Origins of Futura | A Design Mafia Says:

    […] popularity has spread among art directors that there is now a movement called, “Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed”. Even with those boycotting, Futura remains one of the most used/loved san serif typefaces today, […]

  13. myBlog » Blog Archive » Know your type: Futura Says:

    […] for years. In fact, so popular that certain art directors had began boycotting its use in with Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed, published in 1992’s TDC Typography […]

  14. Paul Renner Says:

    Man, as soon as I get promoted to art director I’m going to start imposing my typographical preferences and judgments on other designers! If that’s not enough, I’ll find a group of like-minded art directors to start a group with; together we’ll start picking off, in our opinion, overused or unworthy typefaces and shun those who disagree! The most ironic part of all is somewhere around 100% of us will have an example of said typeface(s) in use in our current portfolio! Man, all this irony is giving me some really good idea for a group: Art Directors Against anyone who says “font” when they mean “typeface”.

    Seriously, we don’t need a collective of people giving us the thumbs-up and thumbs-down in reference to the contents of our Suitcase. If FEBC is appropriate, I will use it. Fin.

  15. Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed « We Are Kittens Says:

    […] […]

  16. Aaron Robbs Says:

    It’s funny that this poster using typeface that they despised will ultimately be the piece they’re most remembered for. And if they were so adamant about boycotting Futura Extra Bold Condensed then they shouldn’t have made it look so damn good.

  17. Art Directors Against Futura Extra Bold Condensed « BING BANG POUF Says:

    […] avec le billet précédent, de cette publicité trouvée il y a un peu plus qu’un an sur today and tomorrow. Je ne savais pas moi non plus qu’en 1992 un ras le bol général des directeurs artistiques […]

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