The dress rehearsal for the first moon landing was conducted with military precision. Shortly after reaching lunar orbit, Commander Thomas Stafford
undocked the lunar module “Snoopy” from the spacecraft, and Snoopy descended to within 14 km of the moon’s surface. Shining in the sun on its outer shell was the insignia of the Apollo 10 mission
with the names of the three astronauts Stafford/Young/Cernanan
, set in the typeface Eurostile. The date was 23 May 1969, and 80 million people were following the events on television, viewing them in colour for the first time.
Eurostile is a child of the age of television
: landscape format letters, curved like a television screen. Its precursor Microgramma
was created in 1952 already, an upper case only font for bank printing designed by Alessandro Butti
and Aldo Novarese
. Ten years later, Novarese added the lower case characters and renamed the typeface “Eurostile”. This was the font family’s big break, and Eurostile went on to help shape the typographical landscape of the 1960s.
The Eurostile typeface in the insignia of the Apollo 10 mission (Image: NASA)