Venus or Venus-Grotesk is a sans-serif typeface family released by the Bauer Type Foundry of Frankfurt am Main, Germany from 1907 onwards.[a] Released in a large range of styles, including condensed and extended weights, it was very popular in the early-to-mid twentieth century, particularly in Germany; it was also imported to other countries such as the United States.
Like other "grotesque" typefaces of the period such as Akzidenz-Grotesk of the Berthold Type Foundry, Venus has a minimal, 'neutral' design, with a monoline structure and an absence of flourishes. However, it has the distinctive motif of unusually high-waisted capitals, visible in the 'R', 'G' and 'E'. Walter Tracy describes this as similar to some of the much more adorned Art Nouveau and Secessionist lettering of the period. The x-height is relatively low, suitable for body text, and the 'g' single-storey. Compared to many later sans-serifs it has a more irregular design, with stroke terminals at a variety of angles rather than mostly exactly horizontal or vertical. A prominent use of it was Jan Tschichold's second book, Eine Stunde Druckgestaltung, (1930), which used it for body text. It was also used in other avant-garde printing of the period. Monotype's Monotype Grotesque, created for their hot metal typesetting system, was reportedly loosely based on it.
A number of digitisations have been released based on some styles of the family.
- Alexander S. Lawson (January 1990). Anatomy of a Typeface. David R. Godine Publisher. pp. 298–305. ISBN 978-0-87923-333-4.
- Leonard, Charles C. "Paul Renner and Futura: The Effects of Culture, Technology, and Social Continuity on the Design of Type for Printing". Scholarworks. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Barnes, Paul; Schwartz, Christian. "Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes deep in the archives: Venus 1907-27". Eye magazine. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Jeremy Aynsley; Wolfsonian-Florida International University (2000). Graphic Design in Germany: 1890-1945. University of California Press. pp. 103–8. ISBN 978-0-520-22796-5.
- Kupferschmid, Indra. "The True Typefaces of the Bauhaus". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Philip B. Meggs; Rob Carter (15 December 1993). Typographic Specimens: The Great Typefaces. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-0-471-28429-1.
- Walter Tracy (January 2003). Letters of Credit: A View of Type Design. D.R. Godine. pp. 97–9. ISBN 978-1-56792-240-0.
- Majoor, Martin (Spring 2007). "Inclined to be dull". Eye. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- Heidrun Osterer; Philipp Stamm (8 May 2014). Adrian Frutiger – Typefaces: The Complete Works. Birkhäuser. p. 96. ISBN 978-3-03821-260-7.
- Angela Kottke. Die Auswirkungen des Bauhauses auf die Buchgestaltung der zwanziger Jahre. Diplom.de. pp. 86–7. ISBN 978-3-8324-4869-1.
- Mosley, James. "The Nymph and the Grot, an update". Type Foundry (blog). Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "Venus". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Some sources say 1906.