Avenir (typeface)

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AvenirSP.png
Category Sans-serif
Classification Geometric sans-serif Humanist sans-serif
Designer(s) Adrian Frutiger
Foundry Linotype GmbH
Date released 1988

Avenir is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1988 and released by Linotype GmbH, now a subsidiary of Monotype Corporation.

The word avenir is French for "future". The font takes inspiration from the early geometric sans-serif typefaces Erbar (1922), designed by Jakob Erbar, and Futura (1927), designed by Paul Renner. Frutiger intended Avenir to be a more organic, humanist interpretation of these highly geometric types. While similarities can be seen with Futura, the two-story lowercase a is more like Erbar, and also recalls Frutiger’s earlier namesake typeface, Frutiger.

Avenir was originally released in 1988 with three weights, each with a roman and oblique version, and used Frutiger's two-digit weight and width convention for names: 45 (book), 46 (book oblique), 55 (text weight), 56 (text weight oblique), 75 (bold), and 76 (bold oblique). The typeface family was later expanded to six weights, each with a roman and an oblique version.

Avenir Next[edit]

In 2004, Frutiger, together with Linotype's in-house type designer Akira Kobayashi, reworked the Avenir family to address on-screen display issues. The result was titled Avenir Next.

The initial release of the typeface family was increased to 24 fonts: six weights, each with a roman and italic version, in two widths (normal and condensed). Frutiger's numbering system was abandoned in favor of more conventional weight names. The glyph set was expanded to include small caps, old-style figures, subscript and superscripts, and ligatures.

Two extra font weights (light and thin) were added to the widest font width for the release of Avenir Next W1G, for a total of 28 fonts.

Janna[edit]

Janna is an Arabic variant designed by Nadine Chahine, based on the original Avenir. Janna (Arabic: جنّة‎), which means "heaven" in Arabic, was first designed in 2004 as a signage face for the American University of Beirut. The Arabic glyphs are based on the previously released Frutiger Arabic, but were made more angular.

Two roman fonts, in regular and bold weights, were produced. The typeface supports ISO Adobe 2, Latin Extended, Arabic, Persian, and Urdu characters, and tabular numerals for the supported languages.

Avenir Next W1G[edit]

It is a version of Avenir Next with support of Greek and Cyrillic texts.

The font family includes 16 fonts in 8 weights (ultralight, light, thin, regular, medium, demi, bold, heavy) and 1 width (based on normal width), with complementary italics. OpenType features include numerator and denominator, fractions, standard ligatures, lining and old-style figures, localized forms, scientific inferiors, subscript and superscript, and small caps.

Avenir Next Rounded (2012)[edit]

It is a version of Avenir Next with rounded terminals, designed by Akira Kobayashi and Sandra Winter.[1][2]

The family includes 8 fonts in 4 weights (regular, medium, demi, and bold) and 1 width (based on normal width), with complementary italics. OpenType features include numerator and denominator, fractions, standard ligatures, lining and old-style figures, localized forms, scientific inferiors, subscript and superscript, and small caps.

Usage[edit]

  • The city of Amsterdam uses Avenir as the principal typeface in its corporate identity. The font was chosen when design bureau Eden Design & Communication won a citywide competition. Eden contracted Thonik for the new design.[3]
  • BBC Two has also begun to use Avenir as its main corporate font in its logo and identity, another shift away from the once universal use of Gill Sans across the BBC's material.
  • In 2008, Wake Forest University adopted Avenir as its primary sans-serif typeface as part of a project to update the university's visual identity, noting that the font "conveys the balance, simplicity and strength of our University."[4]
  • Avenir is used by the Eurovision Song Contest in all its brand communication materials.[5]
  • A modified version of Avenir Next was created for Best Buy. This version, called "Avenir Next for Best Buy", is used in most Best Buy advertising and promotional material; the collection consists of 12 weights. [6]
  • The AT&T logo as of late 2005 uses Avenir. The font is also used in the company's advertising.
  • Since 2011, the Hofmann balancing group [7] (American Hofmann Corporation and Hofmann Mess- und Auswuchttechnik) have used Avenir for their logo and as their official font.
  • Apple uses Avenir for its Maps app and some Siri screens in iOS 6.[8] OS X Mountain Lion and iWork for iCloud also come pre-loaded with various weights of Avenir and Avenir Next.
  • François Hollande used Avenir on his campaign materials during the 2012 French presidential election.[9]

References[edit]

  • Blackwell, Lewis. 20th Century Type. Yale University Press: 2004. ISBN 0-300-10073-6.
  • Fiedl, Frederich, Nicholas Ott and Bernard Stein. Typography: An Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Through History. Black Dog & Leventhal: 1998. ISBN 1-57912-023-7.
  • Macmillan, Neil. An A–Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press: 2006. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.

External links[edit]