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
Finsbury Circus - City of London - Street Sign
Albertus used in a coat of arms.

Albertus is a glyphic, serif typeface designed by Berthold Wolpe in the period 1932 to 1940 for the Monotype Corporation type foundry. 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.


  • In the uppercase M the middle strokes descend only partway, not reaching the baseline.
  • The uppercase U has a stem on the right side, evocative of lowercase.
  • Figures are lining.

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.[2]

Phototypesetting copies[edit]

Albertus' popularity and usefulness continued right through the phototypesetting era and was made available for photocomposition by Monotype and perhaps other vendors as well.

Digital Type copies[edit]

Monotype has released a digital version. Albertus is also sold by Adobe, Bitstream, Fontsite and others. (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.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ "Front cover" (PDF). Monotype Recorder 34 (2): 1–2. 1935. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Shaw, Paul. "Overlooked Typefaces". Print magazine. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Other Dune Fonts". 
  4. ^ Middendorp, Jan (2004). Dutch type. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. pp. 144–149. ISBN 9789064504600. 
  5. ^ Brand, Chris. "Albertina". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "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]