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 MOTION PICTURE (1979)
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.
THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982)
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.
THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK (1984)
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.
THE VOYAGE HOME (1986)
Again the Galaxy font in white, but a bit more reminiscent of the Motion Picture design.
THE FINAL FRONTIER (1989)
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.
THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (1991)
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 (1996)
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’ 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.
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.