Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The History of Avenir

        Avenir is a geometric sans-serif typeface that was created in 1988 by French typographic designer Adrian Frutiger.  In french, Avenir means "the future", and it was inspired by the typeface Erbar, which was a geometric sans-serif typeface designed in the early 1920's.  Intended to be an organic, humanist interpretation of very reductive geometric shapes, Frutiger considers Avenir to be his finest work.  Reflecting on the typeface, Frutiger has stated that the "quality of the draughtmanship--rather than the intellectual idea behind it--is my masterpiece.  It was the hardest typeface I have worked on in my life.  Working on it, I always had human nature in mind.  And what's crucial is that I developed the typeface alone, in peace and quiet--with no drafting assistants, no one was there.  My personality is stamped upon it.  I'm very proud I was able to create Avenir.
        When the typeface was originally released, it included three different weights, each with a roman and oblique version.  It was later expanded in 2007 to six different weights, again with each including a roman and oblique version.


Sources


  • Adrian Frutiger, Typefaces: The Complete Works, (Basel: Birkhauser Verlag, 2008), 337.
  • http://hfour.ca/portfolio/historical-influences-of-avenir/
  • http://fontslate.info/typefaces/avenir.html



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