I'm really feeling it!

Of all the things that one might expect to wind up as a Last-Gen Hero, fonts would probably be the last thing anybody would think of. Music? Yes. Specific games? Of course! But fonts? Why?

Fonts are more important that people may realize. For those who don't know, fonts are the various styles and shapes you can use when making text. The word Kotaku in this body of text appears very differently from the one in the logo itself despite using the same letters; that's down to using fonts. Fonts help set the mood of a piece of work just as much as music and lighting might. In titles they are to help tell the audience just what kind of approach the item is trying to go for; the clean, simple lines of the XBOX 360/One font suggests a modern, easy to use aesthetic. Using the wrong font can give the wrong message and/or confuse anybody who reads it.


There are probably only three fonts that anybody actually knows about. The first is Comic Sans, and people only know about it either because they hate it or because they heard that other people hate it. Helvetica is up there for similar reasons; a modern-looking font that people tend to rip on because of how often it's used. The third is 1979, also known as "that font Sony used for Spider-Man and PLAYSTATION 3".

​But the two fonts that I want to honour here are Microgramma Bold Extended and Korataki. Both are the primary fonts used in Ratchet & Clank and Mass Effect, respectively, and they are used for menu titles and the like. They are both rather square-like fonts, although Korataki is not as widespread as Microgramma is. Here are some recognizable uses of Korataki in Mass Effect:

A widespread font change actually occurred for Mass Effect 2, in that the body text changed from Handel Goth D Bold to Myriad Pro Regular. This changed the aesthetic of the game from what felt like a rather plasticy, stuffy and mostly old-fashioned sci-fi into a much fresher and modern-feeling science fiction game. Again, here's an example, with Handel up top and Myriad down the bottom:


Microgramma, much like Korataki in Mass Effect, is used primarily for titles in menus in Ratchet & Clank, and isn't really suited for "body" text that can get into full sentences and paragraphs. It was designed by Aldo Novarese and Alessandro Butti in 1952, and appeared quite a bit in Star Trek media, particularly merchandise and the movies. Novarese would later make the Eurostile font, which Ratchet & Clank has used as its body text font since 2007. Here's some examples of Microgramma that you may recognize:


As seen above, it has been used in Starcraft II, Red Dwarf, The Incredibles, and a heavily modified version has been used for the Dead Space logos.

Fonts I think deserve a bit more recognition, and hopefully this entry has helped promote that. Got any fonts you like or those you want to know the name of? Let it be heard in the comments!

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