Futura burning

Let me tell you a little story about Futura.

Yes, the geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Paul Renner and released in 1927. You probably know it was created as a contribution to the New Frankfurt project. You probably also know it’s been used on film posters, iconic publications like Vanity Fair and even on the plaque at the foot of the lunar landing vehicle on the moon to alert any visitors that we come apparently in peace.

A typeface of its time and somehow for all time. The perfect circled ‘o’, the twisted ‘?’, the dashing ‘&’. Modern, egalitarian, forward, focused. Crisp and easy to read. 

Renner was not interested in fashion and the latest trends rippling through Germany. His prime inspiration was Roman Capitalis with ita basic geometric shapes as his foundation. He wanted a typeface that would never grow old.

The Nazis had other ideas. They favored heavyweight 15th Century black Gothic typefaces because they spoke of real German values. They saw them as an indispensable defence against the threat of becoming less German. 

The Nazis felt that Renner and other revolutionary designers trying to break free from the past were essentially anti-German. They denounced Renner as ‘nationally untrustworthy.’ In 1933, they labeled him an intellectual subversive and at the age of 55 was forbidden to work at a regular job for the rest of his life.

Ironically, two years later, the Nazis reversed their policy on typography. They condemned Gothic typefaces as abominations promoted by Jewish printers and proclaimed clean fonts to be the state-sanctioned letterform. Futura quickly became their favorite.

Especially for printed invites to Nazi book burnings.

Stephen Cannell

When I went to Internal Affairs, I learned so much about what was going on down there that I had no idea was happening.

The first thing I found out is that they aren’t all a bunch of ne’er do wells down there who hate the police department. That initial concept that I had — that everybody else has — is incorrect. 

You know what they all are? They’re the climbers. They’re the guys who want to go to administration. They’re the smartest and sharpest. They’re the best-looking. I never saw so many guys in Armani.

There isn’t one guy in Internal Affairs who wears his gun on his hip — they’ve all got ankle holsters because they don’t want to spoil the cut of their clothes. It’s fucking amazing.

Anna Lisinski

As we’re reminded every day, life may never go back to the way it was, so now is a rare opportunity for product people like you and I who are in the business of creating habits.

An opportunity to discover and provide solutions for problems and needs that are only just emerging, to help users adapt to the new normal.

Steven Pressfield

In Act One, we in the audience may be introduced to the Villain (think of Charnier in France preparing his heroin-smuggling operation or the Tripods being activated in their subterranean lairs by the super storm from space).

We may experience anticipatory chills at the Evil One’s apparition. But it’s not till Act Two that the Hero truly becomes engaged with the Bad Guy. That’s when you and I as writers have to pour oil on the fire.

I know, when I’m stuck in my Second Act, I remind myself, ‘Go back to the Villain. Make him or her smarter, make him/her more formidable, more ruthless, more dangerous.’ 

Stephen Cannell

Act Two belongs to the Villain.

The Villain can help define the Hero. Ideally, the Hero expands in terms of stature and quality as the Villain evolves from prospective opponent to actual opponent. 

Your Adversaries must be in motion. Adversaries should not be standing around, waiting to be caught.

At the end of Act Two is the second act curtain. This is the destruction of the Hero’s plan. At the end of Act Two the Protagonist should be almost destroyed, and at the lowest point in the drama, either physically and/or emotionally.

He (or she) is flat on his back and it looks like there is no way in hell he can succeed.

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