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A History Of Star Trek Movie Titles March 15, 2009

by Thorsten Wulff , Filed under: Feature Films (TMP-NEM),List,Star Trek (2009 film),TOS , trackback

One of the new elements of the Star Trek trailer that premiered last week was a new logo, which was actually introduced by Paramount a week before (launching an big discussion). Today TrekMovie takes a look at the history of Star Trek title fonts from TOS through to the past movies to today.


Star Trek Titles – the movie


A short history of the Star Trek titles

STAR TREK – TOS (1966/1968)
After the white bold font with blue glow that appeared once at the beginning of "The Cage" TOS started with it’s iconic font in yellow for the first two seasons, that was changed to blue in the final year. The oblique Star Trek font was used for the title with actor credits shown in the regular version of the typeface.

The return of Trek for the big screen changed a lot, including the font. Star Trek was now set in the aptly named typeface Galaxy. The S and K got a special treatment. The original white was updated with a gold embossed look for the Director’s Edition DVD.


A big change came with TWOK, not only the new uniforms, but a newly designed blue outline font which was used to emphasize the differences to TMP. The computer-style typeface with the rather clunky name "Urwtnor" reflects the big leap this film made into the world of CGI effects.

For The Search For Spock it was back to Galaxy, in white with a small black shadow and the one and only title screen that did not open on a star field, but Spock’s photon coffin.


Again the Galaxy font in white, but a bit more reminiscent of the Motion Picture design.



Apparently Shatner’s ego needed a bolder version of the Galaxy typeface, paired with bigger size for the films name. Compared to the rest of the TOS era movies somewhat out of proportion.


For the sixth movie the Galaxy font is slimmed back, the movies name remains bigger and is for the first time not set in versal (all cap) letters. Plus there is a colored cast that has been added to the type.


A new typeface (Benguiat), for a new generation of movies  new era (not related to Serpentine, which was used on the TNG TV titles). The type is filled with a blue gradient, with a line separating ‘Star Trek’ from the film title also returns to the versal style.

First Contact comes with the same Benguiat font as Generations, but for the first time the film title is bigger than ‘Star Trek,’ which needs lines on both sides for optical stabilization. Plus, there is a pretty colorful filling.


With Insurrection, Trek titles are changed again, this time to the Elan font. ‘Star Trek’ is smaller than the title, which comes in a tall and narrow rather generic font.


NEMESIS (2002)
Nemesis’ theme of ‘mirror doubles’ (clones) is implied in it’s opening typography which mirrors the second E in ‘Nemesis.’ The font chosen here is called Exocet, designed by Jonathan Barnbrook in 1991 (named for the French missile). This typeface is also used for by Tazo Tea and the game Diablo.

STAR TREK (2009)
So in 2009 we are back to the roots, which is a good thing, because the original TOS font boldly carries a lot of positive energy and the original character over from the sixties that made us all fall in love with Star Trek in the first place.

Star Trek’s newest logo


Thorsten Wulff’s introduction to Star Trek came in form of a book when he was five, the German edition of “Mission to Horatius” in 1970. “Raumschiff Enterprise,” as Trek was called, brought the final frontier to German TV in may 1972. Because he failed the Kobayashi Maru test twice, Thorsten became a photojournalist and graphic designer. Typography is part of his job description, and he was able to drink the creator of the font used for “Star Trek: Nemesis” under the table once.


1. The Galactic Battleburger - March 15, 2009

I like the new one the best.

My first “first”!!!! Yeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaa!

2. JB - March 15, 2009

Slow news day, eh, fellas?

3. Nick - March 15, 2009

What’s the music?

4. John Gill - March 15, 2009

Would have been nice if the TOS logo design had been retained for all incarnations of Trek…

5. Geoffers - March 15, 2009

Think I like the motion Picture, through to Undiscovered country, style the best… but hey ho.. if I have Trek, then I am happy, no matter the font..

6. CardassiaPrimera - March 15, 2009

the best is the New Star Trek movie.

7. Shatner_Fan_Prime - March 15, 2009

“Apparently Shatner’s ego needed a bolder version of the Galaxy typeface”

(rolls eyes)

8. Jack - March 15, 2009

Good piece. Wasn’t the “colorful filling” in the First Contact font some sort of borgification? And the original font for TMP (pre the DVD re-release) was just white with no star field, wasn’t it? (trying to remember what it looked like on the taped TV version I watched 4,000 times as a kid… usually to put myself to sleep).

9. Jack - March 15, 2009

a) dig the Shatner comment
b) the music is from TMP (the Decker-Ilia theme), and is lovely.
c) re: #2, have to say I’m a font geek, always have been. I was very upset as a kid when the Next Generation font came out and it wasn’t Galaxy or the original font.

10. thorsten - March 15, 2009


don’t worry, SFP.
Just last night I made something just for you!

11. John Ozdundar - March 15, 2009

This is actually interesting for us graphic desinger’s and film ppl!

Any idea on what font was used for “Star Trek” on the posters and trailers for the Next Gen films after they switched away from Galaxy to the new typeface?

They kept that consistant, even though the version in the opening credits continued to have it’s typeface changed.

12. John Ozdundar - March 15, 2009

#3 The music is Ilia’s theme from ST: TMP. Also used during the opening pre-show segment before that film’s opening credits.

#8 The opening credits of TMP was a white typeface, but with not starfield whatsoever actually. They didn’t even fade between individual credits in the original version.

My guess is they were running out of time (they were behind schedule when the original was made) or they didn’t have the money to bother with the optical disolves between credits. Cause you could do all this on a computer back then. Even making credits was hard and tenious work.

13. thorsten - March 15, 2009


That is Serpentine Bold, John…


14. Devon - March 15, 2009

I’m always interested in things like this, very good article John!

15. Lancelot Narayan - March 15, 2009

Good piece. More like this please!

16. Kayla Iacovino - March 15, 2009

Interesting story. What a great way to look at the movies over time — through the fonts!

17. will - March 15, 2009

The Nemesis font actually got chuckles from the audience I was in. It was a poor choice.

18. old - March 15, 2009

gut gemacht thorsten :)

19. Shatner_Fan_Prime - March 15, 2009

#17 … LOL. When the audience is already laughing as the font appears, that’s never a good sign!

20. Kirkunit - March 15, 2009

Agree with #12. For TMP what’s shown is the DVD title, NOT the film title. The title IIRC looks pretty much like TSFS title (no big “S” & big “K”). Also, on the TVH & TFF posters, the font was modified slightly to soften the “E”s. This variation was also used on DS9.

21. Jeyl - March 15, 2009

$20-$25 bucks for a font? What a rip off!

22. oztrek - March 15, 2009

Nemesis animated the font rather than using a simple dissolve and I thought it was a pretty cool & original opening… unfortunately things went downhill after that.. Worf being scared when a robotic arm grabs his foot… yeah right!

23. saint-antoine - March 15, 2009

Since the movie coming out in may looks nothing like Star Trek TOS from what I have seen so far, JJ and his little friends might as well have designed a new title-font for this one… and a title bearing nothing to do with TREK would have been most appropriate: Space Academy or something…

Using the TOS fonts doesn’t make you little movie Star Trek Mr. Abrams…

Anyhoo… WATCHMEN, now that’s a movie!

24. Oregon Trek Geek - March 15, 2009

Good Cripey. Forty (give or take) years of watching Trek and I never noticed it went to blue in season three. Huh.

25. Brett Campbell - March 15, 2009

#7 – I had the same reaction when I read it — as if the font size, etc. was Shatner’s choice. Yeeesh.

26. AJ - March 15, 2009

The montage is missing the STAR TREK logo from “The Cage.” The first one ever!

27. Hat Rick - March 15, 2009

It would might be interesting to consider whether the fonts for all the films could be revised to one uniform standard, the way that the font for the Star Wars films has always been the same. (Lucas, for his part, has done his own retconning, subtitling the first SW movie “Episode IV.”)

As for whether this is a slow news day, this article on fonts is interesting in itself, even thoug there IS other news — e.g., Harlan Ellison is suing CBS Paramount over his work on “City on the Edge of Forever.” ( http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001255.html?categoryId=13&cs=1 )

28. AJ - March 15, 2009

The poster/VHS/DVD logos for the films differed in many cases from what showed up on screen in the opening titles.

29. RAMA - March 15, 2009

Cool idea!

30. Carlo A. Flores - March 15, 2009

#21 – Typefaces run a whole lot more than that sometimes, especially for the popular professional ones. i.e. Gotham, Meta, Din etc.

You should look up typography.com or myfonts.com

Typographers and Type Foundrys have to make a living somehow and it’s a means by which we designers can contribute to our fellow designers livelihood.

31. Sci-Fi Bri - March 15, 2009

“…and [Thorsten Wulff] was able to drink the creator of the font used for “Star Trek: Nemesis” under the table once.”


32. AJ - March 15, 2009

Fun exercise, Thorsten.

DS9 went on to co-opt ‘Galaxy,’ as did Voyager. ENT went its own way…

33. sean - March 15, 2009


Hopefully Trek will not be the compromised mess that Watchmen is. Let’s cross our fingers, at any rate.

34. Hat Rick - March 15, 2009

Since w’ere talking about various adjuncts and incidentals to the movies, any idea when we’ll get a sense of what the music for the new movie will be like? So far, the music for the trailers is not, as far as I know, drawn from the movie itself.

Story suggestion: A similar article about music in Trek movies through the years. (Goldsmith’s, Horner’s, et al.).

Re: The new movie, one of the earlier trailers had a more percussive sound, which I noted as such, whereas the current trailer has a completely different sound. This leaves me in anticipation as to what the music from the actual movie will be, and whether it will incorporate Goldsmith’s theme, pay homage to it, and/or come up with a similarly rousing signature phrase original to itself.

35. sean - March 15, 2009

Funny that the best of the best (TWOK) has the worst font.

36. Praetor Tal - March 15, 2009

To a typographer, this was an unexpected treat!

37. AJ - March 15, 2009


Hat Rick:

The trailer music for Trek was produced by an outfit which specializes in trailer music. It is NOT music from the film.

Your suggestion of a column on the music of Trek films would be welcome. Trekmovie has a qualified person to do it. The composers are some of the legends of Hollywood, Cliff Eidelmann and Dennis McCarthy being exceptions who exceeded expectations.

38. Jack - March 15, 2009

#7, #25… I actually wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Shatner did indeed choose the font — the man micromanaged every aspect of that movie. I remember reading about a designer struggling to figure out how to get the communicator to light up, brightly, when open as Shatner wanted it to. His daughter wrote a book — “Captain’s Log” about Shatner’s vision directing the thing, which explained how he used up the budget so quickly — and still wanted more.

39. sean - March 15, 2009

#7 & 25

Even William Shatner makes fun of William Shatner’s ego. Nothing to get too worked up about.

40. S. John Ross - March 15, 2009

Just one note to add: that the “blue shift” was undone (returning to yellow) for the animated series, IIRC.

41. OneBuckFilms - March 15, 2009

34 – A part of the score is used on the Official Web Site, and in the background of the eSurance and MTV behind the scenes videos (along with the first Full Trailer music by Two Steps From Hell).

They probably won’t use the TMP theme (Goldsmith’s), but the TOS Fanfare has been confirmed to be in use.

This is a nice little article. :-)

42. There's no enough scots in starfleet! - March 15, 2009

I like the new logo, but then i also liked Nemesis’s one too lol!

bad me! :P

43. Hat Rick - March 15, 2009

37 (AJ), glad to confirm that the trailer music isn’t from the movie. Nice, also, to know that I have a second on my suggestion about a news article on the music of Trek.

One of my regrets is not knowing where my LP record — yes, VINYL — of the music from Star Trek III is. It may be in storage, it may be lost forever. Anyone, the “B” side had an electro-synthesized disco-ey version of the ST III theme that even today resides securely in my memory banks. I can even “play” it in my mind and dance to it, if I had the urge. And, I realize, it may be on Youtube as well, though I haven’t searched for it.

I’m pretty sure Trek soundtracks have been consistently published over the years, by Crescendo and others.

I recall reading an article on TrekMovie that discussed the music of Trek, and another one would be welcome.

44. Hat Rick - March 15, 2009

41, didn’t realize that the official site had the part of the music from the movie. I’ll have to check it out again.

45. OneBuckFilms - March 15, 2009

A good column on the music for the Trek films would be great.

Star Trek has a rich and diverse history of great music, by some of the finest composers in Hollywood.

The music, right from Sandy Courage’s bondo’d theme and fanfare, is absolutely iconic.

I don’t envy Michael Giacchino’s task with this score.

46. There's no enough scots in starfleet! - March 15, 2009

The theme on the vid is from the soundtrack to TMP, its called ‘
Illia’s theme’

its braw :D

47. There's no enough scots in starfleet! - March 15, 2009

make that *Ilia’s*

48. AdmNaismith - March 15, 2009

The original titles for TMP were white letters on black (in the same font, I believe), and were just flashed up in the manner of a TV title.
The gold lettering described above was made specifically for the DVD release of ‘The Director’s Cut’.

The commentary nay explain what the deal was.

49. Justin Olson - March 15, 2009

This is the actual TMP title as it appeared in 1979:


50. Dennis Bailey - March 15, 2009

To echo what others have said, the “galaxy” typeface did not appear as “golden and embossed” on ST:TMP. It was plain white against a black background. The embossing and gold color, as well as the modern “streaming stars” background, was added for the TMP Director’s Edition released on DVD only a few years ago.

51. OneBuckFilms - March 15, 2009

44 – It plays in the background.

52. Christine - March 15, 2009

I like the “TMP” Director’s Edition and the “Nemesis” fonts best. The golden embossment looks really good, and let’s face it: That Nemesis font isn’t real “Star Trek-ish”, but it looks… sinister. (More suited for ‘Wars, but eh, whatever.)

As for the ST09 font… I liked it better in Italics. But that’s just me.

53. Aaron R. - March 15, 2009

Slow news day

54. Max - March 15, 2009

Shouldn’t that last one read Star Wars?

55. SirMartman - March 15, 2009

I like the look of the logo for ST:TFB

I think it suits it very well


56. THX-1138-Star Trek: Timmy! - March 15, 2009


How could Thorsten forget the iconic font for:

Star Trek: Timmy!

(still not letting go)

57. Jas in Perth - March 15, 2009

Um, there is an error here. The golden embossed style for the Motion Picture discussed above is from the Director’s Edition of the Motion Picture which was released in 2001. The original font from 1979, while the same as that in the 2001 re-release, was not embossed at all, nor golden and was white (plus there were no stars on the background either, just plain black). So, in actual fact, there is a Star Trek font missing from this discussion above.

58. Aaron R. - March 15, 2009

NO TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A RIP! I AM BOYCOTTING!!! J/K

59. Christine - March 15, 2009

#54 :: That’s what I said, haha. But I still love it.

#57, among others :: Okay, guys, um, I think we’ve all established that the TMP font is really from the Director’s Edition, I think you can stop pointing it out. ^^;

60. Mr. AtoZ - March 15, 2009

#3 Nick

The music is from Star Trek The Motion Picture, Ilia’s theme is the title of the track

61. AJ - March 15, 2009

I think Jeff Bond is the guy who does it here, but the Trek soundtracks deserve executive treatment on the site. Adding Giacchino to the pantheon is amazing.

The stories are great: The new experimental sounds Goldsmith created for TMP, and Horner’s “big break” on St2/3. And yes, the ST3 soundtrack had a “disco” bonus track. Vet Leonard Rosenmann’s lighthearted TVH themes, Eidelmann and Holst’s “The Planets”as the initial soundtrack for TUC, etc, etc.

62. Fubamushu - March 15, 2009

Was Motion 2 or 3 used to make the video?

63. ryan - March 15, 2009

that e in star trek 2009 is horrible

64. Anthony Pascale - March 15, 2009

i updated the article with the white version of tmp, thanks for the notes…thorsten will have to update his video.

65. Third Remata'Klan - March 15, 2009


66. Dennis Bailey - March 15, 2009

#63: “that e in star trek 2009 is horrible”

Why, because it doesn’t have the curve at the upper left? The non-italicized version of the font never has.

67. Driver - March 15, 2009

The next Star Trek film will have the slanted font, I predict.

68. Gary - March 15, 2009

I have always loved the uniqueness of TOS font and have always wondered who designed it. Anybody know?

69. alphaquad20 - March 15, 2009

#28 makes a good point. It’s possible that the opening credits typeface will be different from the type seen in the trailer. Do we know if the new trailer type will be seen on any of the posters? Any word on when the final one-sheet will be released?

Also, I find it interesting that the “marketing typeface” has been much different from the opening credits typeface for the last three TNG films. I wonder what the strategy is there, or if it’s just two different firms doing the designs.

No matter what, it’ll be exciting to see the opening credits on the big screen.

70. SPB - March 15, 2009


WORST: Pick any logo from the TNG films. Boring and atrocious.

71. Chris Basken - March 15, 2009

Anyone notice the title in First Contact gets “Borgified” as it dissolves away?

72. Jason P Hunt - co-creator of COMET TALES - March 15, 2009

You can always tell which season of TOS you’re watching.

Season 1 – gold type with Shatner and Nimoy in the titles
Season 2 – gold type with Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley
Season 3 – blue type

I like the Galaxy font the best, although the original type face has sentimental value. I like that the new movie goes back to it.

Now, if they could just have done something about the iBridge…

73. C.S. Lewis - March 15, 2009

^68 Gary – March 15, 2009

I’ve been up and down the old ITC and modern Adobe catalogues, but there is not much in there to go on. The closest I’ve seen to it, believe it or not, is an “Old West” styling that is included in many of the old studio-system Westerns from the 30s, usually seen on a mock-up of a period poster or sign. There is a glimpse of it in “Specter of the Gun” on one of the hand bills posted by the Sheriff’s office. I thought it natural to evoke the American frontier, given the “Wagon Train to the Stars” concept.

C.S. Lewis

74. Chris M - March 15, 2009

Cool! Very interesting to see the changes in the different fonts used in the Star Trek title. I’m glad “The Cage” got a mention. I thought the font for that was pretty cool but of course you can’t go past the TOS Title for the best font! Wasn’t a huge fan of changin it to Blue for the third season. Does anyone know why they did that? Out of all the other titles the one for the new movie is the best because it honours the TOS title which I think is important. The 3D element really makes it stand out and the metal finish makes it look really cool!

75. Jason - March 15, 2009

But will that logo be the title design, or will the main titles be a completely different font and such.

But something I think worth debating is how will the titles be approached, ie. will the follow the style the first nine movies had with the cast and crew introduced in it’s own sequence, or will it be the Nemesis style (which I hate) by just having the title card and maybe “Paramount Pictures presents” before hand.

I think, following the titles should be up front, and like a good majority of the TOS films, should open up with a big theme and the cast and crew names on a starfield.

Please, JJ, you have one of the best composers working today scoring the film, so let Mr. Giacchino open the orchastra with a big march on the main titles at the start.

76. Captain Dunsel - March 15, 2009

A friend of mine worked at the company that did the titles for ST:TMP – he was one of those who actually photographed them.

Afterwards, he produced a couple of mock-up stills for my then-wife and I, using the same typefaces and camera, as a first-anniversary present (first being the “paper” anniversary). In the pre-PC days of 1979, that took a bit of effort on his part.

Definitely plain white on plain black, though.

I’ll have to dig around and see if I still have those somewhere, or if she burned them in response to later events.

77. harley3k - March 15, 2009

The new font looks like foil wrapped chocolate bars.
I want to eat them.

Seriously Paramount – do a deal with godiva or someone so I can eat these.

k, thx.

78. Joe Atari - March 15, 2009


On the TMP titles, I remember reading somewhere that the opening titles were designed for the workprint of the film and were intended to be embellished or redesigned for the final film but, as you said, time ran out.

In spite of my love for TMP and Jerry Goldsmith’s theme, I distinctly remember sitting in the theater in 1979 being sooooo disappointed with the opening titles — mainly in comparison with the simply amazing “swooshing” titles on the previous year’s Superman: The Movie. Absolutely perfect, if a bit long; IMHO no title sequence has equalled it before or since. Still gives me chills to this day…

79. John Ozdundar - March 15, 2009

@13 – Thanks for the link to the poster font!

I personally like the Galaxy font for the Star Trek motion pictures. It always had that epic and simplistic feel! Wonderful. I can understand why they changed it for the TNG films, as it made an obvious visual distinction that separated them from the TOS pictures.

I do like the TMP director’s cut logo, however I don’t believe it cuts very well into the picture. The original black and white worked a lot better with the opening space scenes. However the titles did need to be update with dissolves and such…

For the new film, I highly doubt the opening credits will look like the trailer logo. 9 times out of 10, the trailer/promotional logos are not used in the films themselves, even if they still contain the same font (like the Trek pictures)

And for the running Joke… I highly doubt Shatner even knows what font is in his film….other then “lets use the same Star Trek font….”

80. John Ozdundar - March 15, 2009

@ 79… Sorry just noticed that you posted to me all the way back @12. I agree.. they really do seem to be a temp opening titles track. I really do believe they needed to be updated (as mentioned in my post above).

However I kinda now miss the simplistic white on black. It compared nice to the horizontal version of the Star Wars logo. A simple sold colour… like white for Trek; Red for Star Wars; blue for Empire; red for Jedi; etc. work very nicely, especially on poster art.

I also love the opening credits to the Donnor Superman film. I get the chills every time I start playing it. Especially with the newest sound mix. Awesome stuff. There is even an extra bit of “hmph” in the bass when the last credit goes by (Director). However I personally believe IMHO that the opening title sequence to Star Wars takes the cake. Especially when seeing it for the first time on a gigantic movie screen!

81. Alex Rosenzweig - March 15, 2009

Just as another note… I don’t remember Serpentine being used at all on the TNG TV series. It got used on a number of the TNG novels, though. The credits font in the TNG series was Crillee.

Serpentine, OTOH, saw use in the credits for “Babylon 5″. :)

82. Jack - March 15, 2009

#78 = brilliant.

Hey, mildly unrelated and has more to do with art direction, but I was curious why they decided to use the TNG federation logo rather than the TMP, UN-style logo, which I’ve always loved (ie. was there a story reason or did someone just like it better).

I actually thought the TMP titles were cool (I was 8) because they were so weird and jarring, kind of like the opening to a silent movie or Woody Allen movie (the Allen thing I decided just now, not at 8). Although the Superman titles were one of my favourite parts of the movie. I also loved the TJ Hooker titles and imagined them being used if TMP became a TV series. That was embarrassing to admit, it’s like I’m in group therapy. I also loved Adrien Zmed.

83. Jack - March 15, 2009

oops, i meant 77 = brilliant. the chocolate thing. But 78 was also brilliant. Y’all are brilliant, really.

84. hmich176 - March 15, 2009

Great article….one thing I was hoping to see was more than just title fonts, but also title history. I’m sure it’s all on IMDB, but I’m sure some of these movies (epsecially 7-10) perhaps had some working title other than Star Trek: Insurrection or Star Trek IX.

85. nephron - March 15, 2009

Scrapin’ the bottom of the barrel with this one, aren’t we.

(I still watched it though…;)

86. overcritical Font Guy - March 15, 2009

Honestly Paramount better watch it before Star Trek, Transformers, and other franchise movies start using the same beat up, metallic, gealiming blue font styles…

Just my opinion. Let’s not cast these great movies into another ‘era’ of type fonts.

87. Chadwick - March 15, 2009

Yea no doubt, as a graphics designer I see way more then just letters and font. Irrelevant for some not for others.

My favorite has always been the Motion Picture font (and its variations.) My next favorite would be TOS and new movie style. Never really cared for the TNG and TNG movie fonts except for Nemesis, I liked the backwards R and the way you move through the letters.

@ 4 nope change is good, but since this new movie is a TOS variant, the text for the new movie fits perfect.

88. garen - March 15, 2009

just wanna say that i really like the style (fonts and colors and such) being used for all the new merchandise. The yellow/white gradient surrounded by red is new and bright and clean….but also has a vintage throwback feel to it.

89. Rastaman - March 15, 2009

Can’t say I prefer the 3-d metallic look to the font. Wish they had stuck with the earlier more italicized versions of “STAR TREK” like the one seen in the Super Bowl ad.

90. Iowagirl - March 16, 2009

– Apparently Shatner’s ego needed a bolder version of the Galaxy typeface –

Ah, that’s probably why the new logo looks so thin and inconsiderable in comparison…:D

91. rumpcuż - March 16, 2009

The new logo is MEH. Bring back italics and get rid of that lame spacing

92. James Heaney - Wowbagger - March 16, 2009

A weirdly offbeat article we could get nowhere but here.

Thanks, cool font guy. Thanks, Anthony.

93. thorsten - March 16, 2009



94. Chris Pike - March 16, 2009

Always loved the orignal font, it should have been used throughout all Trek, it is as distinctive as the Star Wars font/logo and hope they now stick to it. Great art design.
Agree with #91, don’t like the latest as much as the previous trailer versions, standard TOS italic, not as distinctive.

95. Jai1138 - March 16, 2009

I don’t know if it has been noted here but the colors over the ST VI titles turn into the hue of the pink-purple Klingon blood that plays an important narrative and thematic point in the film.

96. LoyalStarTrekFan - March 16, 2009

4, I agree. It could have been done easily.

94, it is indeed as recognizable as the Star Wars logo. They made the smart decision to never change it. Star Trek should have done the same.

97. ucdom - March 16, 2009

Great article, thanks. I actually found it really interesting.

Did anyone else notice, by the way, that the trailer running before Watchmen in the UK (in addition to the extra Uhura bit) has the italic titles with Star on top of Trek, not the metallized uber-spaced ones shown above.

And, AGREE BIG TIME for a piece about the music of trek.

98. thorsten - March 16, 2009


very good point, thanks Jai.

99. Øystein Håvard Færder - March 16, 2009

cool video. the new title is definitely best

but why didn’t they show the titles for TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT?

100. radroz - March 16, 2009

The font for TNG’s logo was Bitstream’s Sonic, and the title fonts were in Crillee. Serpentine Bold was used on some of the marketing for the first three TNG films.

There are, however, plenty of similarities between Crillee (the font used for TNG title & opening credits) and Serpentine, which makes the confusion between that and Serpentine understandable.

The name for the TOS font is Horizon.

101. Randy H. - March 16, 2009

The original TMP logo typeface was not named “Galaxy” when it was first used. It was designed specifically for the film as a calligraphic font by Richard Foy and was actually PATENTED by Paramount. After the patent lapsed it was co-opted, apparently, into “Galaxy”.

See http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=D262037.PN.&OS=PN/D262037&RS=PN/D262037

102. Dr. Image - March 16, 2009

#101 Yes. True.
Great article. As a graphic designer in the “old days,” I can relate.
I actually used the WOK font on my business card, and still retain the typeface today.
The title font was the BEST thing about Nemesis.
And yes, originally TMP had hard-cut title transitions which sucked.
Only Kubrick could get away with something like that and make it work!

103. Ensign Ro- (short for Roland) - March 16, 2009

I concur with some of the comments above. I’m a part-time graphic designer and have always had a love and fascination with font design. I enjoyed this article very much. A nice, nostalgic look at Trek over the years through the various typefaces used…very cool.

104. Check the Circuit - March 16, 2009

We don’t even know for sure if the new logo will actually appear on screen. We seen pre-release materials in the past using logos that don’t make it into the final film. I guess we’ll have to wait until May 8th to know for sure.

105. History of Star Trek Title Logos | MissTheda.com - March 16, 2009

[…] TrekMovie.com also has a rundown of the history of each variation of the Star Trek title logo. MORE… […]

106. Mike - March 16, 2009

The Galaxy typeface will always be the “real” Star Trek font imo. But it was interesting to learn that (apart from the original font, I guess?), none of these were designed expressly for the Trek franchise. Fascinating. :-)

107. Jarod - March 16, 2009

You are comparing the title logos from each movie’s opening title sequence with the logo used in trailers of the new movie. I assure you the opening title will look different.

108. Krik Semaj - March 16, 2009

Oh brother.

109. Drapera - March 16, 2009

Speaking of fonts and graphics…anybody understand the markings on the graphics on the walls shown on the new corridors???

110. Krik Semaj - March 16, 2009

The corridor signs say ” If you can read this sign – you must be a Trekkie that has way too much time on your hands. Pay attention to the movie and stop wasting your time on minutia”
At least this is what it should say.

111. thorsten - March 16, 2009

It used to be so easy to find your way on the ship…


112. Kev-1 - March 16, 2009

That TMP font always seemed very classy and unusual and dynamic. Really like those letters. Didn’t Richard Foy do those? I know they patented the typeface. On the Shatner suppositon about his changing the typeface — is that a fact? If not, should it be in the article?

113. Shatner_Fan_Prime - March 16, 2009

I’m sure Shatner did change the font size, people. I heard he also catered the set each day and personally delivered every print of the movie to theaters…

114. Gary - March 16, 2009

There are 2 fonts that I have always thought captured the essence of their respective series. The first of course is the original series Star Trek font. The motion picture fonts just do not compare IMHO. The 2nd font I have always appreciated is the one used for Planet of The Apes.

115. thorsten - March 16, 2009


here is one version of Apes, Gary.
It’s not perfect, but a free download ;))


116. Ian Watson - March 16, 2009

Yay, typeface nerdery!

I think Nemesis could have fared better using Exocet Heavy rather than Exocet Light.

For the gamers out there, Exocet first came into the spotlight (for me, at least) with the release of 1994’s Planescape, a bizarre D&D setting where belief affects reality. It later went on to be used as source material for 1999’s Planescape: Torment computer game.

In 2000, it became the main font used in the Revised Edition of Mage: The Ascension (okay, technically it was Visitation, but it looks *very* similar to Exocet Light). It mirrored the look of many of the alchemically-inspired symbols used throughout the game. Mage was part of White Wolf’s World of Darkness setting, and depicted a world where (wait for it) belief affects reality.

Serpentine was also extensively used throughout Babylon 5.

117. Drapera - March 16, 2009

Uh..thanks #110.

Anybody else wanna chime in on the graphics on the walls? Are they directional arrows with decks?

I am of fan of the work Lee Cole did for TMP. Those you could figure out…

118. Commodore Lurker - March 16, 2009

Thorsten, very well done. I, also, am glad to see the return of the TOS font. }:-D>

119. thorsten - March 16, 2009


Drapera, clearly the wall icons are part of an orientation system…
but it’s tough to figure them out because we caught only glimpses of the deck on the bridge level yet…

120. thorsten - March 16, 2009


danke, CL!

121. DesiluTrek - March 16, 2009

Cool piece … unfortunately there is a fundamental flaw to this rundown. This assumes the title as seen in the new film’s trailer is the same as what will appear in the movie. All the other examples are the in-show/in-movie titles. The new film’s is from the trailer, and may not represent the title in the film itself. Remember, for example, that TWOK trailers used TMP font.

I know this is incredibly picky, but speaking as a professional copy editor and an original series die-hard, if the trailer’s title is what will be used in the new film, I will be disappointed that the top left of the E in TREK is not rounded … an all-too-common error when using the TOS font. And it’s strange because the other uses for this movie have had that correct. It’s not much, but somehow without that rounded E, plus no italics, the title looks a little harsh.

122. Matches - March 16, 2009

The ‘S’ and the ‘E’ from the new logo look strange.

123. Keith - March 16, 2009

Great story, I love visual histories like this!

124. SerenityActual - March 16, 2009

Great article. Thanks for your hard work.

125. Author of The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers - March 16, 2009


126. Jamie - March 16, 2009

#121 DesiluTrek,

I agree about the ‘E’. Non-italic is drastic enough without making the ‘E’ more angular. The rounded ‘E’ is very charming.

127. Trek Nerd Central - March 16, 2009

Wow, Anthony. I am in awe.

128. OneBuckFilms - March 16, 2009

The logo for Star Trek: TMP Directors Edition was created by Darren Cochterman based on the movie poster logo.

The rest of the credits in the Directors Edition used the original as elements, making the Black transparrent, setting the color to Yellow, and using a horizontal Blur In and Fadeout effect on the text elements.

The background, of course, was a moving CG Starfield, which matches the starfield seen in several Warp shots of the 1979 visual effects.

The Prologue was actually a shortened version of Ilia’s Theme, and showed the stars going backwards, away from the camera.

Originally, this was simply a black background.

And that’s all I have to add :-)

129. Carlg - March 16, 2009

That goofy “quasi-Goth” font from Nemesis should have been my first clue that something was off about that movie…

130. Simon Belfast - March 16, 2009

Great article, enjoyed this, thanks! More like this please.

131. Christine - March 16, 2009

#129, and others :: How come no one liked “Nemesis”? Sure, it wasn’t the greatest, but I definitely thought it was a lot better than TMP, TFF, Generations, and Insurrection.

And I think the font’s kind of cool. Not very Trek-y, but interesting enough.

132. BaronByng - March 16, 2009

The Wrath of Khan font is URW Corporate, not ‘urwtnor’. URW is a German type foundry; the suffix “T Normal,” abbreviated “tnor,” stands for Text Normal, meaning it is a normal weight (vs. bold/italic/outline etc.) intended for body copy use. Although really, this is a display font and ought to be “D Normal,” I can’t imagine reading a book set in it…

Also, the other Insurrection face appears to be Univers Condensed that has been digitally narrowed even further.

(here endeth the font nerdery)

133. Shatner_Fan_Prime - March 16, 2009

#131 Christine … “How come no one liked Nemesis?”

I think it suffers from being too derivative, for one thing. It tried to be TWOK, and it showed. No matter how well some of the ideas were executed, longtime fans couldn’t help feeling we’d seen it before.

Although I am primarily a TOS fan, I did enjoy TNG, and felt it got cheated on the big screen in general (fault lies with Rick Berman for this). They never got a script that was worthy of the intelligence of their tv adventures, and were stuck in four movies in a row that never offered any truly bold ideas or took any chances. There was a stereotypical ‘bad guy who must be destroyed’ in every one. The TNG movies could’ve benfitted from some creative tension and fresh ideas, as the TOS series did via Meyer, Bennet, Nimoy, etc.

I think in time you may come to appreciate TMP more. Though slowly paced, it really is a terrific film in many ways, with a very Star Trek message at its heart. As for TFF, I can’t really defend that one as much
:-) …… but I did feel it had some wonderful moments sprinkled throughout for the Big 3.

134. thorsten - March 17, 2009


Yes, BB, you are right, URW++ in Hamburg sell the Khan font as “Corporate”, for the bargain price of € 29,–
As designer they list Phil Martin, who made another 32 font families for URW++…

135. Holger - March 17, 2009

Watched Watchmen yesterday in Germany (one of the coolest movies I’ve ever seen BTW), and the Star Trek trailer came with the title in classic italics.

136. steve - March 17, 2009

Bear in mind that the ST09 title won’t actually look like that.

There’s a difference between a poster version, and what we’ll see in the opening credits. The latter will be far simpler I imagine, 2D and probably just white text.

137. Tiberius - March 17, 2009

Watched Watchmen last week in Peru and the Star Trek trailer came with the title in classic italics. I liked it better in Italics!

138. Blowback - March 18, 2009

How about a history of theme songs next????

139. ChristopherPike - March 19, 2009

Of course, we’ve only seen the font used for Star Trek 2009’s trailer…

Fonts from trailers and poster art often differ from that used for the title sequence.

140. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine - March 19, 2009

I remember seeing TMP on opening day. After the mood setting overture of Ilia’s Theme, those original titles were pretty awful. Not the font, mind you. The font is great. But the title cards looked like someone’s vacation slides.

141. Keir - March 21, 2009

It’s a tad frustrating to read “it’s” for “its” throughout.

142. Free Star Trek fonts | Photoframd.com - May 7, 2009

[…] Some related discussions of the various Star Trek fonts is available here. […]

143. jaj - May 17, 2009

why did spock mum died in the latest movie .when in a earlier movie she was referred to to spock by his father.

144. My Control Is Excellent - June 3, 2009

Galaxy/TMP font, the inspiration for ETIHAD and SINGAPORE AIRLINES logos?

145. mike - May 22, 2010

#121 Yes, as a professional Graphic Designer, I’m a fan of the rounded E myself. IIRC, the closing credits of TOS (probably Season 3) used the non-italic version, which did not have the rounded E, so I think it’s a variation that only appears in the italic version.

#100 From MyFonts.com: “Horizon was inspired by the style of the lettering used in the original Star Trek TV series. It was designed in 1992 by Bitstream staff designers.” Does anyone know what the font was originally called, and if it was specifically created for TOS (like TMP was)?

#101 You are correct. I remember researching this myself many years ago, and was disappointed to learn that it was originally referred to as “calligraphic font”, without an actual name. I even had the US Patent Office send me a printout of the font (for a fee, of course) because I was so in love with it (especially that R). I also got to see the lower-case letters for the first time, years before they were used on-screen in STVI:TUC.

BTW, does anyone know what font was used for the subtitle “THE MOTION PICTURE”? It is clearly not Galaxy. Looks like an extended version of Handel Sans EF, for those of you who know.

Great article, Thorsten! Would like to see a similar one on ST TV titles, starting with “The Cage”.

146. Imrahil - June 16, 2010

#145 – Thanks for the tip on the TMP subtitles. I found a free font–Koshgarian–which mimics it quite effectively.

147. Robert Burden - September 16, 2010

Are there any plans to make a sequel to JJ Abrams’ version of “The Star Trek Movie”?

148. flam3 - November 25, 2010

might be a retarded question… but where does Star Trek: Of Gods and Men; come into the series of movies???

149. criss - June 11, 2011

i like watching movies in order so my question is where does star trek fall in the order? it is a prequil that doesnt actually set up the rest of the franchise so where do i watch it beginning or end?

150. QLink - September 27, 2011


does anyone know what the font is called which is used in the star trek 2009 film for displaying the names of the planets during the film? the names are displayed in the top left corner…

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