The Avenir® Next font family was designed by Adrian Frutiger in collaboration with Monotype Type Director Akira Kobayashi. It was an expanded reworking of the original font family (released as an OpenType font with both oldstyle and lining figures) and received considerable acclaim upon its publication by Linotype in 2004.
Adrian Frutiger was destined for typographical greatness well before his entrance into the world of commercial typeface production. Very creative from an early age, Frutiger dabbled in sculpture and type design, in particular, alternatives to the stiff, formal cursive taught at his native Swiss schools.
Arguably, Frutiger’s most famous font, the Univers® family, was produced as a reaction to Paul Renner’s 1927 Futura® typeface. Frutiger did not feel comfortable with the manner in which Futura sat upon the page, feeling it was too disciplined. Preferring a more humanist approach to typeface creation, he persuaded his then-employer Charles Peignot to allow him to create a new face based on different criteria.
The Avenir (French for “future”) font was produced as another real alternative to the Futura design and the original face was available in three weights with accompanying italic variants. This limited variety led to the reworking of the type in the early twenty-first century by Frutiger and Kobayashi. The Avenir Next design was subsequently released in twenty-four different styles including Regular, Italic, Condensed and Condensed Italic variants and published by Linotype in 2004. Legible and eminently flexible, designers the world over have embraced the Avenir Next face for a wide variety of different projects.
Since its release, the Avenir Next design has been immensely popular for an extensive range of different applications. The font was instantly successful in print and with its expanded range of characters and specific optimization, equally successful as an on-screen font. Many companies have adopted the font for use in official literature as well as logotype.
LG currently use the Avenir Next design on cell phone buttons because of its excellent readability – something very important in everyday use and emergency situations. The British television channel BBC2 recently shifted its corporate typeface from the Gill Sans® font to the Avenir Next font, breaking away from the typographic image formerly used by all BBC channels.