Typographic Anachronisms in Film – The Renaissance Anomaly

Do you notice the problems in the screenshot from Da Vinci’s Demons? A particularly interesting set of posts on Mark Simonson’s blog titled Son of Typecasting focuses on fonts used in film. Mark’s post Renaissance Anomaly stood out to me for pointing out the not-so-obvious errors in the image above. This is what Mark had to say:

First of all, the typeface Gotham (released in 2002) has no place in Renaissance Italy. Gotham is based on mid-twentieth century American vernacular styles. In the Renaissance, the prevailing style, if it were painted on a wall, would have been something more along the lines of the versal hand (for example, something resembling Goudy Lombardic).

Goudy Lombardic Font

That said, the idea that a large painted sign would appear on a building, as shown here, is almost more anachronistic than the choice of Gotham. Signs like this didn’t really exist until the nineteenth century after the industrial revolution and the rise of commercial enterprise and advertising.

I suggest you read the rest of the Renaissance Anomaly post and check out Mark Simonson’s beautiful fonts.

Dennis "Fox" Bonilla has been a user experience designer, software developer, and digital strategist collaborating with some of the most successful and high-tech organizations in the world. Fox is a co-founder and the Chief Technology Officer at Baltu Technologies where he is helping create next generation workforce development tools. Fox started Unified Pop Theory with his friends in attempt to bookmark and comment on novel intersections of technology, science, and the arts. Fox is a trend finder and idea maker who is inspired by individuals that believe the world can be changed one great project at a time. Fox can be reached on LinkedIn and Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. That looks so out of place, it makes me feel… dirty. I can’t…

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