(x) modern font used for book typesetting - Alpha Sans {Franz}

george's picture

I have recently come across this beautiful font and I seem to be lost so as to what it could possibly be. I can't seem to get a hint even as far as a possible designer of it or a typefoundry releasing it.

Thanks for your kind support.

george's picture

here's a larger scan that (hopefully) might help more.


franz's picture

Arrgh, this one is killing me.. I know I've seen it before. It's like a melody in your head that you can't place. :-(

george's picture

The font is from Adams Morioka's

Logo design Workbook

bowfinpw's picture

Did you hunt around in the book credits for any mention of typefaces used? In graphics books this is more likely than in normal 'Trade' books, it seems to me.

I have been searching Sans Serif fonts since you posted this, and I have not been able to find it. I'm starting to wonder if this could be a freeware font, created by selective 'mutilation' of something like Meta, or Officina, as Tiff suggested.

bowfinpw's picture

I'll tell you how bad this is getting to me - I'm starting to see pieces of it in different places. The 'y' looks like Conduit. The 'g' look like News Gothic. And most of the rest of the letters look like they could be made from URW Transport by adding some square-cornered terminals, and some straight line segments in places (like the 'a'), and then removing the stems on a few letters, like the b & d (or get them from FF Dax). The 'e' (most common letter) would be the one with the most 'mutilation', but it seems like it would be easy.

I think this was a customized font. The 'e' and 'a' look too clumsy for something that seems so nicely weighted and kerned. Tranport has many of the right letterforms, and it sure has a very similar 'feel' to the sample type.

I think I need to go think about something else, this is making me paranoid, or something!

franz's picture

Mike, I'm with you -- I've been looking through books and websites for several hours straight now, it's driving me mad!
Not to mention that I should be working instead..

I still feel like I've seen this before though, and I really hope someone recognizes it.

franz's picture

Ok, I believe this is a face called Alfa Sans, or Alpha Sans, depending on who you ask, and it was
designed by Jens Gehlhaar of brandnewschool.com. (Bonus trivia: Who studied at the same
obscure German design school I'm currently at.)

Lead #1: I dug around and found this ancient thread. I believe the sample posted is a black cut of our
mystery typeface.

Lead #2: The very same team of designers who designed the book our sample was taken from
submitted a different publication to the AIGA in 2003. The typeface used for that publication,
according to the AIGA website, is Alpha Sans Beta.

Coincidence? I think not! (Cue X-Files theme)

franz's picture

Follow-up: Kristin from Rockport Publishers got back to me and confirmed that it is indeed Alfa Sans by Jens Gehlhaar. The face seems to be a favorite at AdamsMorioka.

James Gareth's picture

So is this available publically or not?

franz's picture

Well, considering I couldn't even find one single image of the font anywhere on the web (and believe me, I searched forever).. I would say it's not (yet?) available to the public. :-(

bowfinpw's picture

Apparently Jens Gelhaar has a lot of output that is not getting into circulation, but I did find one of his fonts that is a bit similar in some features to this one. It is called Cornwall. I followed the link to the Apply site, but they don't help you find Gelhaar's works. I cycled through most of their offerings and thought Cornwall was the most like Alfa (Alpha?) Sans.

bowfinpw's picture

Pardon me, it seems that Identifont lists his fonts (the first link I found there didn't)

It seems Cornwall is still closest, to my eye -- it resembles a grungy sibling of Alpha Sans, I might say.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Although it isn't a match to ITC Officina, it has the same color. Where did you get this sample from?

Bald Condensed's picture

You've seen this one before because it popped up on this
very board quite a while ago. We weren't able to identify it
then, so...

I have a feeling this might be some proprietary font.

Stephen Coles's picture

Has anyone tried emailing Jens at his brandnewschool address?

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