capsule review

Orbitron

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Orbitron

    PCWorld Rating

    Designers of the future, the Orbitron type family will be there for you.

Modern sans serif display face Orbitron is planning a takeover of sorts. This geometric powerhouse intends to be the only typeface on board when humans flee the earth during the coming apocalypse. At least that's the elevator pitch they gave us over at The League of Moveable Type, where Orbitron is a featured typeface. The League might be kidding, but designer Matt McInerney's specs look pretty darn good. Adios old style minimalists Eurostile and Bank Gothic. Designers in the new tomorrow can bravely turn to McInerney's creation as they brand the heck out of signage, manual titles, and uniforms for the crew.

Orbitron is a serious package that includes four weights (light, medium, bold, and black) in default sets of upper and lowercase, stylistic alternatives, small caps, and a ton of alternate glyphs including the kind of international monetary symbols that CFOs love. This stylish family is technology savvy, providing three choices of format: TrueType (ttf), OpenType (ott) and Embedded OpenType (oet) a proprietary standard supported exclusively by Internet Explorer.

Need a modern style for company work on a tight budget? You're in luck. Orbitron is licensed under an SIL Open Font license. McInerney's creation is yours for personal and commercial use as long as you don't sell the font as your own.

Foreign offices on your grid? Orbitron can handle a variety of language chores thanks to the inclusion of full punctuation and diacritics. True, the angular style is monotonous in text, but shorter phrases like Attachez votre ceinture de sécurité play just fine at 24 points and above.

Will this font take the contract away from heavyweights like Helvetica? That depends on designers in the future, but from what we've seen, Orbitron is clearly ready for takeoff.

Note: To use this font, unzip the folder and install the .otf, .eot or .ttf file in the folder C:\Windows\Fonts. Note that the fonts won't appear in your applications until you close and re-open the application.

--Kate Godfrey

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Designers of the future, the Orbitron type family will be there for you.

    Pros

    • Can handle a variety of languages

    Cons

    • Angular style is monotonous in text
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