Oscar-awarded Movie Fonts 2014

Oscar-awarded Movie Fonts 2014:
the fonts on the movie posters

Oscar-awarded movie fonts 2014

The 86th Oscar night is over and the numerous, coveted golden statues have been awarded to the actors, directors and technicians. In the fanfare of Oscar night, the fonts on the movie posters don’t get as much hype, but nonetheless play a supporting role. We want to give them the attention they deserve, so we researched the fonts from some of the posters for you. While the posters often use a customized font, there are many fonts in the Linotype library that are very similar to the fonts that they use.

12 Years a Slave

After a successful performance, Solomon Northup, a free African American, husband and father of two who lives in New York State, is drugged and sold as a slave. It takes 12 years for him to prove his true identity and end his ordeal. 12 Years a Slave received the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and actor Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress.
A font similar to Neue Helvetica Black extended is used on the German movie poster. The classic font Helvetica, designed by Max Miedinger, is distinguished by its neutral, clear and easily legible characters and is often used for film posters. The neutral character of the font, with its reduced letter spacing, allows it to play a background role on the poster, emphasizing the window effect with the view of the sky.

Neue Helvetica® 93 Black Extended

20 Feet from Stardom

The film explores the lives of several backup singers for the biggest stars of the 21st century. It won the Oscar for Best Documentary Film. The poster uses a font similar to Bauer Bodoni for the title.
Based on a font originally cut by Giambattista Bodoni in the 18th century, Heinrich Jost designed Bauer Bodoni for the Bauer Type Foundry. A very high level of contrast in the weight gives the classical Antiqua font a very noble character, which is further emphasized by the use of upper-case letters on the poster.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.
Bauer Bodoni®

Blue Jasmine

Jasmine Francis was once a member of New York’s high society. Using flashbacks, the film tells the story of Jasmine’s social decline after she alerts the FBI of her unfaithful husband’s shady business dealings. Cate Blanchett won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Jasmine. Much of the text on the movie poster has been set in a font similar to Windsor Light.
Windsor by Eleisha Pechey is a powerful Antiqua with heavily rounded serifs. The lightly angled stems and legs in several letters create a certain tension in the warm and friendly font. Fitting for the film, these elements appear to tell their own story from the past.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.
Windsor™ Regular

Dallas Buyers Club

The plot is set in the 1980s and is based on the life story of American Ron Woodroof, who, after being diagnosed with HIV, was offered little hope by doctors. Woodroof goes on to exploit a legal loophole and imports medication from Mexico for himself and other sufferers. Although effective, the medication is not approved in the USA. The film won three Oscars, among them was the Best Actor award for Matthew McConaughey for his portrayal of Woodroof. Much of the typography on the movie poster uses a font similar to Clarendon.
The slab serif Clarendon was designed by Hermann Eidenbenz in the 1950s, based on earlier fonts from the 19th century. Thanks to its clear, objective and timeless forms, the modern character of Clarendon is much loved to this day, and not only for film posters.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.
Clarendon® LT


After an accident, astronauts Kowalski and Stone end up in orbit. Since their chance to return home was destroyed along with the space shuttle, the pair desperately looks for a way to survive and return to Earth. Gravity won a total of seven Oscars. Along with a number of Oscars for technical execution, the film also won for Best Director.
The poster for the movie uses a font similar to Futura by Paul Renner. The structured Gothic Futura is designed in the style of the Bauhaus movement. Its narrow letters with their characteristically large ascenders appear timeless, modern, very clear and somewhat strict. Despite this, Future is sufficiently neutral for a countless variety of applications.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.
Futura® Com


This science fiction film is about a love story between Theodore Twombly and an intelligent computer operating system. It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The film poster is designed with a font similar to Neuen Helvetica.
The neutral and easily legible character of Helvetica, designed by Max Miedinger, has made the font a classic. In comparison to the other posters, the title in this case is in lower-case and has very tight letter spacing, which lends it a logo-like character.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.
Neue Helvetica®

The Great Beauty

After his 65th birthday, Jep Gambardella begins to take stock of his life. As a successful journalist, noisy parties, expensive restaurants, and women are a part of his everyday life. However, he does not get the satisfaction in his social life that he gets from writing. This film won the Oscars for Best Production Design and Best Costume Design. A font similar to Trade Gothic Condensed is used for the typography on the poster.
The long development time may have been one of the reasons for the diversity in the Trade Gothic by Jackson Burke; individual styles in this font are more different than in other sans serif families. It is exactly this irregularity that lends Trade Gothic its own, distinctive and earthy character, which draws attention perfectly to the dissonance in Gambardella’s life.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.
Trade Gothic® Next Condensed

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

When this short film was made, Alice Herz-Sommer was the oldest living Holocaust survivor. Music played an enormous role throughout her life. Herz-Sommer died at 110, one week before the film won the Oscar for Best Short Subject Documentary. The poster typography uses a font similar to the Fledermaus font (“Fledermaus” is German for “bat”).
Developed by David Kerkhoff, Fledermaus took letters on a poster published in 1907 for the Vienna cabaret “Fledermaus” as an inspiration. The Art Deco style letters thus come from a time that the film’s protagonist lived through as a child.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.

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