The lettering in science fiction cinema can sometimes be more memorable than the movies themselves. Just about anyone in America would recognize the Star Wars logo, even if they haven't seen all nine films. As is the case with most of my logo posts, it's been fun to pick up on the trends. There's the trick where they remove the segments from the top half of the letters like Blade Runner, or the embossed brushed metal of Robocop. Glowing letters were a big trend that started in the late 80s, most likely set off by the Alien franchise. And I can never get enough of the 3D type in early films.

There are a lot of movies out there, so I ended up setting some guidelines on what to include, the first being no movies past the year 2000. That eliminated a bunch of superhero movies (which really should just be a genre of their own), and a bunch of mediocre lettering for great films (do you really care to see the typeface for Arrival?). In short, I made up some guidelines to make it more digestible and interesting. If I left one out, it's not a knock on the movie itself. But if you do find a nice little piece of lettering that I missed, reach out on Twitter and let me know.


  • 4D Man

    1959

  • 12 Monkeys

    1995

  • 12 to the Moon

    1960

  • 1984

    1984

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    1968

  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact

    1984

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

    1954

  • The Abyss

    1989

  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

    1984

  • Akira

    1988

  • Alien

    1979

  • Aliens

    1986

  • Alien3

    1992

  • Alien Resurrection

    1997

  • Alien Nation

    1988

  • The Alligator People

    1959

  • Alphaville

    1965

  • Altered States

    1980

  • The Andromeda Strain

    1969

  • The Angry Red Planet

    1960

  • Atlantis, the Lost Continent

    1961

  • Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

    1958

  • Back to the Future

    1985

  • Back to the Future Part II

    1989

  • Back to the Future Part III

    1990

  • Barbarella

    1968

  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes

    1973

  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes

    1970

  • The Black Hole

    1979

  • Blade Runner

    1982

  • The Blob

    1958

  • The Blob

    1988

  • The Bride of Frankenstein

    1935

  • Brazil

    1985

  • Cat-Women of the Moon

    1953

  • A Clockwork Orange

    1971

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    1977

  • Cocoon

    1985

  • The Colossus of New York

    1958

  • The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes

    1969

  • Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

    1972

  • Contact

    1997

  • The Crawling Eye

    1958

  • Dark City

    1998

  • Dark Star

    1974

  • The Day of the Triffids

    1962

  • The Day the Earth Stood Still

    1951

  • The Deadly Mantis

    1957

  • Death Race 2000

    1975

  • Demolition Man

    1993

  • Destination Moon

    1950

  • Dollman

    1991

  • Dune

    1984

  • Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers

    1956

  • Enemy Mine

    1985

  • Escape from New York

    1981

  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes

    1971

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    1982

  • Explorers

    1985

  • Fantastic Planet

    1973

  • Fantastic Voyage

    1966

  • Farenheit 451

    1966

  • First Men in the Moon

    1964

  • Five Million Years to Earth

    1967

  • Flash Gordon

    1980

  • The Fly

    1958

  • The Fly

    1986

  • Forbidden Planet

    1956

  • Fortress

    1992

  • Frankenstein

    1931

  • Future Cop

    1984

  • Galaxy Quest

    1999

  • Gattaca

    1997

  • Ghost in the Shell

    1995

  • Ghostbusters

    1984

  • Ghostbusters II

    1989

  • Godzilla

    1954

  • The Green Slime

    1968

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    1989

  • I Married a Monster from Outer Space

    1958

  • The Incredible Shrinking Man

    1957

  • Independence Day

    1996

  • Innerspace

    1987

  • Invaders From Mars

    1953

  • Invaders From Mars

    1986

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    1956

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    1978

  • The Invisible Man

    1933

  • The Iron Giant

    1999

  • It Came from Outer Space

    1953

  • It Conquered the World

    1956

  • Johnny Mnemonic

    1995

  • Journey to the Far Side of the Sun

    1969

  • Judge Dredd

    1995

  • Jurassic Park

    1993

  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park

    1997

  • The Last Starfighter

    1984

  • Lifeforce

    1985

  • Liquid Sky

    1982

  • Logan's Run

    1976

  • Mad Max (Australia)

    1979

  • Mad Max (US)

    1979

  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (Australia)

    1981

  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (US)

    1981

  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

    1985

  • The Man from Planet X

    1951

  • The Man Who Fell to Earth

    1976

  • Marooned

    1969

  • Mars Attacks!

    1996

  • The Matrix

    1999

  • Men In Black

    1997

  • Metropolis

    1927

  • Not of This Earth

    1957

  • The Omega Man

    1971

  • Outland

    1981

  • Phase IV

    1974

  • Plan 9 from Outer Space

    1959

  • Planet of the Apes

    1968

  • Predator

    1987

  • Repo Man

    1984

  • Robinson Crusoe on Mars

    1964

  • Robocop

    1987

  • Rocketship X-M

    1950

  • Rollerball

    1975

  • The Running Man

    1987

  • Seconds

    1966

  • Silent Running

    1972

  • Sleeper

    1973

  • Solaris

    1972

  • Soylent Green

    1973

  • Spaceballs

    1987

  • Species

    1995

  • Sphere

    1998

  • Stalker

    1979

  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    1979

  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    1982

  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

    1984

  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

    1986

  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

    1989

  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    1991

  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (Howard Chaykin Version)

    1977

  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (Dan Perri Version)

    1977

  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

    1977

  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

    1980

  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (Alternate Version)

    1980

  • Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

    1983

  • Stargate

    1994

  • Starman

    1984

  • Starship Troopers

    1997

  • Stepford Wives

    1975

  • Superman: The Movie

    1978

  • Superman II

    1980

  • Superman III

    1983

  • The Terminator

    1984

  • The Terminator (College Roadshow Version)

    1984

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    1991

  • Them

    1954

  • They Live

    1988

  • The Thing

    1982

  • The Thing (Title Screen Version)

    1982

  • The Thing from Another World

    1951

  • Things to Come

    1936

  • This Island Earth

    1955

  • THX 1138

    1971

  • The Time Machine

    1960

  • Time Bandits

    1981

  • Total Recall

    1990

  • Tron

    1982

  • Voyage to the Moon

    1902

  • The War of the Worlds

    1953

  • Westworld

    1973

  • When Worlds Collide

    1951

  • The X-Files: Fight the Future

    1998

  • Zardoz

    1974