Font of Dune: the mystery of the science fiction series' classic book cover typeface

Originally published at: Font of Dune: the mystery of the science fiction series' classic book cover typeface | Boing Boing


Growing up in Britain, I got this look instead. My Dune!

Yeah - that’s my Dune, too. None of those fancy curlicues for us down-to-EarthArrakis Brits!


Though I can see why the British artwork was not used for the US editions.

Pointy hats, covered faces, and long robes might have different connotations on either side of the pond.


I don’t understand why the post’s headline describes this as a “mystery.” As a designer I’ve always modified some of the letterforms – in dozens of logos and in main titles on a handful of program books for SF cons.

Also, calligraphers are always making unique lettering.

IOW, not all lettering is a typeface.


The real mystery is how they managed to get the font so full; when sandtrout activity emptied all of Arrakis’ surface water sources millennia before.


I miss the old Typophile, Yves and the ID group would nail the typeface in no time, you had to be really sharp to get in ahead of some of them. I have a feeling Florian Hardwig was one of the contributors too.

I wondered what the headline was going on about until I saw that the UK version was very different. The one used here just screams “late 60s or 1970s” at you, with those chunky slabs and rounded forms. You half expect Arrakis to have an orange and brown colour scheme with psychedelic posters and beanbag chairs when you see it.


You know each sietch had a central conversation pit


The Dune font was also used for the covers of FH’s non-Dune (at least) paperback issues: The Godmakers; Man of Two World’s; The Ascension Factor; Destination: Void; and The Jesus Incident. There may be others.

I have those editions and had no idea they were this old (Or had this unique of a font on them!)! Awesome.

My partner and I have been keeping fewer and fewer dead-tree books around because despite our love of books, we’ve begun to realize that we’d much rather pick up an iPad to read one than flip through a book, especially without needing to worry about lighting and whatnot. A lot of the ones we’ve kept either hold sentimental value (I’m looking at you, original Dragonlance Chronicles) or because they’re beautiful in their own right. This set of Dune books is both for us. :slight_smile:

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