Someone left a comment last week asking, “Cathy, what are some of your favorite fonts? Do you have a blog post that covers that?” and my answer was, “No, but that’s a really great idea.” Ergo, a new blog series called CZ Font Faves. My goal with each post is to highlight a favorite font, maybe give a little history on it and definitely show you ways I’ve used it. Many of my favorites are old standards that I’ve used for years. But I’m also going to seek out cool new fonts and share those here as well. Should we get started? One old favorite and one new find. Here we go.
I wish I could remember the first time I laid eyes on this font. I’m sure it was in the early 1990s, when I was working as a lowly designer for a debt collection trade association. Or maybe it was later, during my brief but glorious stint as a senior designer at the Science Museum of Minnesota, but I can tell you this: I knew it was the one font I would take with me to a deserted island so I could live out the rest of my days in typographic bliss.
Created by Swiss designer Adrian Frutiger in 1988, Avenir is a sans serif font and is quite simply a perfect typeface. It’s modern without being too trendy. It’s minimal without being boring. It lends itself to both titles and journaling. I personally use this font more than any I own. I love it so much that a variation of it—Avenir Next—is the font used in my 2014 brand overhaul. You’ll see it in my CZ Design packaging, branding and class materials.
I’m sure a renowned type designer like Frutiger never imagined his typefaces would grace the pages of a middle aged scrapbooker, but there you go. I go to this typeface time and again for its versatility and it’s ability to communicate a story without drawing too much attention to itself. Therein lies the beauty of typography. It doesn’t have to hit you over the head.
Here are a few pages featuring Avenir.
USAGE: title and journaling. Want instant font harmony on a page? Use just one font for the title and the journaling. (Layout template here.)
USAGE: journaling. Avenir is such a great story font. Here I used Avenir Roman (my go-to choice for journaling) and it balances nicely with the funkier Helvetica Rounded Condensed in the title. (Layout template here.)
USAGE: journaling. When I have a long story to tell, I like how easy Avenir is to read. Of course, a generous leading—the space between lines—and breaking the text into two columns definitely helps boost that readability. (Also, I haven’t read this page in years and I’m sorry, but… damn, that’s some good memory keeping.)
USAGE: journaling. Here I used another font—Interstate Bold Compressed—to create these journal cards. (Layout template here.) Avenir creates a non-attention grabbing compliment to the font on the cards.
So that’s my font fave for this edition. Now for a fun new font find.
How fun is this font? Now I’m not usually smitten by display fonts. Display fonts are your more decorative typefaces; they’re fun, a bit dramatic and occasionally a bit over the top. But used in small amounts, that can be really cool, especially for things like scrapbooking page titles.
Perfograma is free, too! So go download and make something fun with it. Just don’t use it to journal, deal?
Well, that felt pretty good. I’ve got many more font faves to share over the coming months, so stay tuned.