What classification would you give to FS Albert

rnicaeel's picture

I'm trying to classify FS Albert.

I think it's a (Neo)-grotesque font, but then it doesn't have tight apertures and 'g' you might expect.

Anybody got any suggestions?

PublishingMojo's picture

Rounded sans serif.

Albert Jan Pool's picture

Taking the large apertures in account, I think FT Albert could also be classified as a rounded humanist sans serif. Also, its interrupted construction is more common to the humanist sans serif as to the modern sans. Compare the join of the horizontal curved stroke of ‘n’ in Syntax, a typical humanist sans, with Univers, a typical modern sans / neo-grotesque.

rnicaeel's picture

Not sure I would classify it as rounded.

Humanist is an interesting call. However, do you think the lack of calligraphic contrast in the strokes takes it out of that class?

Albert Jan Pool's picture

I do not think that ‘calligraphic contrast’ should be regarded as unique to the humanist sans. Gill Sans would not fit into that class anymore when ‘calligraphic contrast’ becomes a must. That would be a strange idea, after all, the existence of Gill Sans (and Johnston) and was the main reason why the Brits came up with Humanist Sans at all. People like Johnston and Gill were the ones that practically re-introduced broad nib handwriting to Great Britain again. No wonder that they followed the broad nib model when they designed their sans serif typefaces.
I think the idea of including typefaces with ‘calligraphic contrast’ was launched to be able to include typefaces like Optima or even Pascal. Which makes sense when you desperately want to take in these typefaces in a main Vox class, but a bad idea when you look at typefaces like Britannic. That is rather a Grotesque or Neo-Grotesque with higher contrast. Either one should allow sans serif with higher contrast in all sans serif classes or give them a descriptor of their own. And then allow to couple that descriptor with all sans serif classes. Just as one can combine ‘rounded’ with all classes. By the way, the contrast of Britannic is a as ‘calligraphic’ as Optima. It is just another calligraphic pen which determines its contrast. Calligraphy and calligraphic contrast are not exclusive to the broad nib. When you look at 18th and 19th century calligraphy (Baskerville, Snell, Champion, Bickham etc.), you’ll notice that in those days, the flexible pointed nib ‘ruled the waves’. Take off the serifs from Bodoni and you’ll almost end up with Britannic ;–)
Considering Round and Rounded: I think true round sans serifs should be called Round (…) Sans Serif, whereas those with rounded corners should be called Rounded (…) Sans Serif. Until someone comes up with a better proposal of course :–)

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