Last week I announced a new category over there on the right: 52 fonts you could use instead of helvetica. So this is where it starts: two fonts beginning with the letter A. (And I'll do two more fonts every two weeks until we've gone right through the alphabet. Which will take exactly a year. Neat, eh?)
But, before I start, let's get something straight. Don't expect in-depth critiques on this blog. If you really want to get serious about typography, then there are better places to go: like I love typography or Dalton Maag. And if you're simply looking for a particular font, then try Indentifont.
No, this is about variety: a sort 'Joy of Text'. The design equivalent of 'there's more to life than the missionary position'. Because, speaking as a designer, it's very easy to get caught in a rut of using a few favourite fonts. Even more so if you work for clients who have a brand identity: because then you'll very often be told to adhere to guidelines which will specify the fonts that you're allowed to use. Usually one serif and one sans serif. Which is fine up to a point. But it probably wasn't why we became designers in the first place.
So this is an encouragement to let ourselves go. Loosen up those brand requirements. And have a bit of font fun (and, no, that doesn't mean you're allowed to use the one that dare not pass a designer's lips).
First up is Albertus. Designed by Berthold Wolpe in 1940. Lovely isn't it? And just look at that wonderful ampersand. Apparently Wolpe designed over 1,500 book jackets for Faber & Faber between 1941 and 1975. On many of those he will have used Albertus, maybe even these two:-
But it's not a font that you see used much nowadays. Which is a shame.
Designed in 1988 by the great Swiss type designer Adrian Frutiger. It's based on Futura (which I'm sure will turn up again when I get to the letter F): Avenir means 'future' in French. And it was completely revised in 2004 to include additional weights and italics, and released by Linotype as Avenir Next.
Next up will be the letter B (and you can bet your bottom dollar that Bodoni will be one of them).