The website idsgn.org has been running a series called "Know Your Type" that delves into the history and contemporary applications of famous typefaces. I particularly enjoyed the post about Futura, a personal favorite of mine.
It traces the design from the Bauhaus philosophy and the designer Paul Renner's desire to avoid any unnecessary elements, making for a completely clean and modern typeface. Futura was the first typeface to land on the moon, as it was used for the commemorative plaque signed by the astronauts of Apollo 11 and placed on the moon's surface in 1969.
It has remained popular from 1924, when it was first conceived, up until the present day. It is used in many contemporary logos and products, including Red Bull (which I'm drinking as I type this--ah, finals), Louis Vuitton, Absolut Vodka and the Costco logo.
Altogether it is a font that has retained its relevance for nearly a century, and continues to look fresh and modern in today's design. Truly a remarkable typeface.
Two other typefaces in the series: Verlag and DIN.