Type Tuesday: That ’70s Showcase That is BC Retroduktor
Viktor Mizera’s BC Retroduktor is a typeface rooted in a time and place—in more ways than one.
First, it celebrates Akihiko Seki’s Akilines, originally released in the early 1970s. Though there have been different reissues over the years, Briefcase Type Foundry’s BC Retroduktor involves more than 100 masters, producing 24 static fonts and four variable fonts.
And then there’s the heavy influence of the multisensory disco scene of the day. After the introduction of smoke machines, lasers and 3D lighting brought clubs to a whole new level—and the rigs eventually became automated. As the foundry notes, “these movements—awkward, not exactly graceful, but still quite precise—are the ones Retroduktor copies in its morphology.”
The disco scene at the time had become a safe space where the gay community could find a sense of self-confidence. It was also a platform for a new sexual liberation. Gloria Gaynor’s megahit ‘I Will Survive’ was both an expression of female power and an anthem of the gay scene in 1978. It was music that worked in the clubs, but to a certain extent it also worked in broad daylight. Both metaphorically and literally. Because the lights didn’t slice and blink into one’s eyes, it did not dazzle, but drew visitors through the room. It helped them. Figuratively speaking, it showed the way through the darkness—through all the inner confusion—and it could be followed.
The foundry notes that the typeface is an ideal fit for motion and advertising—and the specimens below indeed back that up.
Pick up a copy here.
Specimens designed by Marius Corradini