Futura is a geometric sans-serif, meaning (a) that it has no serifs—those little feet you see on Garamond and Caslon—and (b) it’s made of simple shapes—circles, triangles, and rectangles—as opposed to other faces, which are meant to look at least a bit like hand writing.
Designed by Paul Renner in 1927, Futura echoed many of the views of its time—the reduction to basic shapes and a lack of stroke contrast make it a nice companion to many of the teachings of the Bauhaus, though it wasn’t directly linked.
Futura’s moderately low x-height lends itself well to use in body text. Now, many people will tell you not to use a sans serif in body text, but they’re probably full of it. Futura looks perfectly handsome in body text.