Albertus (typeface)

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Monotype Albertus
Category Serif
Classification Glyphic
Designer(s) Berthold Wolpe
Commissioned by Stanley Morison
Foundry Monotype Corporation
Date created 1932

Albertus is a glyphic serif typeface designed by Berthold Wolpe in the period 1932 to 1940 for the British branch of the printing company Monotype. Wolpe named the font after Albertus Magnus, the thirteenth-century German philosopher and theologian.

Wolpe studied as a metal engraver, and Albertus was modeled to resemble letters carved into bronze. The face began as titling capitals. Eventually a lowercase roman was added, and later a strongly cursive, narrow italic. Albertus has slight glyphic serifs. It is available in light and italic varieties.

The project began in 1932. Titling caps were released first, and the Monotype Recorder of summer 1935 presented the capitals as an advance showing.[1] Other characters and a lower case were added by 1940.


A metal-type specimen for Albertus, showing three alternative characters: a variant "M", "W" and ampersand.
  • In the uppercase "M" the middle strokes descend only partway, not reaching the baseline, in the default version.
  • The uppercase "U" has a stem on the right side.
  • Figures are lining.

In the metal type period, Albertus was offered with alternate characters, including a different 'J' that stops at the baseline, an 'M' that reaches the baseline, and a different ampersand, similar to that used on Dwiggins' Metro.[2][3]

Wolpe later designed Pegasus, a spiky serif design intended to complement Albertus for body text. It was never particularly popular and has not been released digitally, although Matthew Carter has digitised it and added a bold and italic as part of a commemorative exhibition project.[4][5]

Phototypesetting copies[edit]

Finsbury Circus - City of London - Street Sign

Albertus' popularity has continued right. During the phototypesetting period, it was made available for photocomposition by Monotype and other vendors.


Monotype has released a digital version.[6] Albertus digitisations have also been sold by Adobe, Bitstream, Fontsite, SoftMaker and others.[7][8] (As many early digitisations were sublicensed, several of these may represent the same digitisation marketed by different rights-holders, possibly upgraded with modern features such as contextual ligature substitution.)

URW++ released a lookalike version known as A028 for free for use with Ghostscript and TeX. Featuring medium and extra-bold weights but no italics, A028 is widely available on Linux systems and other open source environments.


Berthold Wolpe's cover art for A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin, published by Faber and Faber in 1965, showing Albertus on the right. (details)
An RSC blue plaque using Albertus.

See also[edit]

Albertus has no connection to Albertina, a crisp Dutch serif font created for Monotype by calligrapher Chris Brand in 1965.[10][11][12]


  1. ^ "Front cover" (PDF). Monotype Recorder. 34 (2): 1–2. 1935. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Coles, Stephen; Fidlin, Noah. "Parachutes by Coldplay". Fonts In Use. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Coles, Stephen. "Albertus 481". Flickr. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Shaw, Paul. "Overlooked Typefaces". Print magazine. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Margaret Re; Johanna Drucker; James Mosley; Matthew Carter (1 July 2003). Typographically Speaking: The Art of Matthew Carter. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 6, 73. ISBN 978-1-56898-427-8. 
  6. ^ "Albertus MT". MyFonts. Monotype. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Flareserif 821". MyFonts. Bitstream. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "Adelon Serial". MyFonts. Softmaker. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "Other Dune Fonts". 
  10. ^ Middendorp, Jan (2004). Dutch type. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. pp. 144–149. ISBN 9789064504600. 
  11. ^ Brand, Chris. "Albertina". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "DTL Albertina". Dutch Type Library. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  • 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.
  • Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopædia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X.
  • Macmillan, Neil. An A–Z of Type Designers. Yale University Press: 2006. ISBN 0-300-11151-7.
  • Williams, Owen Berthold Wolpe and His Typeface Albertus Letter Arts Review, Vol 20 No 1, 2006

External links[edit]