Venus (typeface)

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Venus Bold on an American metal type specimen sheet.

Venus or Venus-Grotesk is a sans-serif typeface family released by the Bauer Type Foundry of Frankfurt am Main, Germany from 1907 onwards.[1][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.[3][4][5][6]

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.[7] The x-height is relatively low, suitable for body text, and the 'g' single-storey.[8] 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.[9] A prominent use of it was Jan Tschichold's second book, Eine Stunde Druckgestaltung, (1930), which used it for body text.[7] It was also used in other avant-garde printing of the period.[10] Monotype's Monotype Grotesque, created for their hot metal typesetting system, was reportedly loosely based on it.[11]

A number of digitisations have been released based on some styles of the family.[12]


  1. ^ Alexander S. Lawson (January 1990). Anatomy of a Typeface. David R. Godine Publisher. pp. 298–305. ISBN 978-0-87923-333-4.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Barnes, Paul; Schwartz, Christian. "Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes deep in the archives: Venus 1907-27". Eye magazine. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Kupferschmid, Indra. "The True Typefaces of the Bauhaus". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b Walter Tracy (January 2003). Letters of Credit: A View of Type Design. D.R. Godine. pp. 97–9. ISBN 978-1-56792-240-0.
  8. ^ Majoor, Martin (Spring 2007). "Inclined to be dull". Eye. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  9. ^ Heidrun Osterer; Philipp Stamm (8 May 2014). Adrian Frutiger – Typefaces: The Complete Works. Birkhäuser. p. 96. ISBN 978-3-03821-260-7.
  10. ^ Angela Kottke. Die Auswirkungen des Bauhauses auf die Buchgestaltung der zwanziger Jahre. pp. 86–7. ISBN 978-3-8324-4869-1.
  11. ^ Mosley, James. "The Nymph and the Grot, an update". Type Foundry (blog). Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Venus". Fonts in Use. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  1. ^ Some sources say 1906.[2]

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