‘Avatar’ and the controversy with the typography of the film

The new trailer for Avatar: The Way of the Waterthe second film in the universe composed by james cameron, generated good impressions for its staging. An aperitif aimed at promoting one of the most anticipated films of the year. But it wasn’t just a sequence of images and a preview of some of the technology the production will have. A conversation was also generated regarding the Avatar 2 logo. ççç

When it comes to productions so followed by the media and which have a base of subscribers attentive to those who can be generated about them, the analysis and study of these proposals reach a level of detail that may surprise yourself and strangers. Avatarreleased in 2009, was one of those objects to scrutinize.

To start, you have to find your way around the logo chosen to present the first film. At that time, thirteen years ago, it was recognized that the typeface used for this design was Papyrus. The detail surprised locals and foreigners alike, under one premise: Why didn’t a production in which a huge amount of money was invested have a logo with its own typography?

Avatar: The Way of the Water,
the new logo and the new typography: what has changed?

This logo, made with Papyrus, has become something of a common joke. It was understood as an absurdity: the highest-grossing film in history did not have a logo with its own typography. Enough information to make memes and jokes with this idea, both on television and on the networks.

Based on this experience, James Cameron decided to avoid a similar story and, to Avatar 2 adjusted a small detail: the production team added Josh Rhoshell, the designer responsible for the new proposal that could be seen in the trailer and the poster of the film. How was this discovered? Because the creator himself commented on his blog, in a text entitled: “Yes, I created the new AVATAR font(Yes, I created the new AVATAR font).

The first paragraph of this text begins as follows:

“Last year I got one of the craziest calls I’ve ever had. It was the team Lightstorm EntertainmentJames Cameron’s company, who wanted to know if he could help them create a font for “an upcoming project”.

Of course Josh Rhoshell was drawn to it and at the same time remembered the background related to the first logo. About this he wrote:

“Unlike a lot of typeface nerds, I think Papyrus is actually a pretty cool typeface and I have to admit it wasn’t a bad choice for the original Avatar logo, even though it also appears on the merchandise from Shakira and in unbranded tea.

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The designer’s work was not just a logo. Josh Rhoshell is responsible for all the alphabet used for production. This includes letters on the poster, logo, anything related Avatar: The Way of the Water. James Cameron takes revenge for these criticisms and jokes, and the creator has had what is perhaps his life’s professional dream.

How did the step by step go?

The creative detailed on his blog how much of the process he was immersed in was. Here are the steps:

  1. He cleaned up the outlines of the reference they had sent him. As he explained, “to make them look better as a source. I removed duplicate and unnecessary points and made them parts of the sample were more pronounced so they look better in typical font sizes.
  2. The next step was to incorporate the capital letters into the logo and other samples provided. The work was complicated with tiny letters. Josh Rhoshell wondered: “Should it be a traditional lowercase? Lowercase? Uncial (a medieval mix of high and low)? I sketched letters, then scanned them and made them into words“.
  3. In solving the previous step, Rhoshell explained, “We chose three alphabets: uppercase, small uppercase, and lowercase.” On top of that, the designer drew more slanted versions of the lowercases. “I liked where it was going, but they thought it was too extreme. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll do something about it…”
  4. In conclusion, the alphabet is composed of what the author defines as “four weights: Light, LightSmallcaps, Regular Yes RegularSmallcaps“.

In his blog you can see some of the sketches he worked on.