Academy Awards Winning films 2013

Oscar-awarded Movie Fonts 2013


Life of Pi

After the ship he is on is wrecked, young Pi finds himself sharing the only lifeboat with a tiger. The pair spends several months together on the ocean until they are finally saved. Awarded four Oscars, including the Best Director Award, Life of Pi was thus the big winner at this year’s Oscars ceremony.
The font used for the film title is very similar to Futura® by Paul Renner, although the ‘P’ and the ‘L’ have been slightly modified. Renner’s typeface is perhaps the most widely known of the artificial Grotesques designed during the Bauhaus era. Despite its conceptual simplicity, there is an inner energy inherent to Futura which has made this typeface a favourite of designers for decades.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.


This historical epic tells of the last months in the life of President Lincoln, focussing on his efforts to achieve emancipation for the slaves in the US. Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role won the Best Actor award.
The discreetly structured uppercase letters used to set the film title are very closely related to Weiss® Roman by Emil Rudolf Weiß. Particularly distinctive features are the marked ascenders and the abrupt line terminals in the capitals. It is not just the structuring of the letters that provides them with an historical feel; their creative inspiration can be found in the Italian Renaissance, fittingly reproducing the typographic preferences at the time Lincoln was alive.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.

bild05Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty dramatises the search for Osama Bin Laden and his execution by a US military special operations unit in the form of an action thriller. The film won the Oscar for Best Sound Editing.
The closely packed letters of the film title on the poster are reminiscent of those of Neue Helvetica® Black Extended. This font, originally designed by Max Miedinger, has been repeatedly revised and extended by the Linotype Design Studio. Its neutral, clear and readily legible characters are at their best when used to create logos, not unlike the script on the movie poster. The Black Extended variant employed for the poster typography exudes a compelling and uncompromising tone that corresponds well with that of the film.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.


The Oscar for Best Live Action Short went to Curfew. Richie is about to commit suicide when he is unexpectedly phoned by his sister and asked to take care of his niece Sophia for an evening. The film shows how the two, after initial difficulties, eventually become friends and the little girl teaches Richie about the joys of life.
The typeface used on the Curfew poster is similar to Helvetica – in this case, in the Bold variant, although the corners have been slightly rounded.bild06 In contrast with the title on the poster for Zero Dark Thirty, it is not the logo-like quality that plays the main role here, but rather the neutral character of the lettering. The Curfew poster typography is thus non-judgmental, holding itself aloof from the action within the film.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.

Django Unchained

This movie centring on the gory revenge that ex-slave Django takes on a white plantation owner and his household won two Oscars, including that for Best Original Screenplay. On the poster, the names of the starring actors are set using a font resembling Rockwell® Extra Bold. The prominent serifs determine the effect of this slab serif created by Monotype Design Studio. On the poster, they function as the perfect modern interpretation of a typical ‘Western’ typeface.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.

Searching for Sugar Man

Awarded the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and filmed partly on Super 8 and partly using an iPhone, this film tells the true story of the search by two South African fans for almost legendary singer-songwriter Sixto Díaz Rodríguez, who remains completely unknown in his native USA.
The title on the film poster uses a typeface that is nearly identical to Clarendon® by Hermann Eidenbenz. Many details ensure that this distinctive slab serif has a highly individual appearance. A good example is the curlicue on the foot of the uppercase ‘R’ which also adds a touch of the 70s to the poster, the decade in which Rodríguez had his greatest success in South Africa.
Please click on the image to see the typeface in more detail.

Silver Linings

For her role as Tiffany in the tragicomedy Silver Linings, Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar for Best Actress. In the film, the bipolar Pat and Tiffany, depressed after the death of her husband, develop a relationship with the help of a dance class, and silver linings appear in both their lives.
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