In drawing the Avenir® typeface, Adrian Frutiger looked to both the past and the future for inspiration. His goal was to reinterpret the geometric sans serif designs of the early part of the 20th century in a typeface that would portend aesthetics of the 21st century. He succeeded handsomely. In doing so, Frutiger added a bit of organic humanism to the design, freeing Avenir from the rigid geometric overtones of the earlier designs.
Avenir was originally released in 1988 with three weights, each with a roman and oblique version, all using Frutiger’s two-digit weight and width convention for names. The typeface family was later expanded to six weights, each with a roman and oblique version. Together with Akira Kobayashi, Frutiger completely reworked the Avenir family in 2004. The result is Avenir Next.
The original Avenir family is made up of designs with gradual weight changes in order to satisfy the needs of specific text applications. While the book and light weights have similar stroke widths, the book weight is well suited for body text, whereas the light was designed for captions and subhead text.
Featured Font: Avenir
Dwell magazine switched to Avenir during a 2007 rebrand.
Key Bank adopted Avenir for advertising and in-bank signage. Japan Airlines, Banrisul, Scottish Water, Susquehanna International Group and Red Lion Hotels use Avenir for corporate branding.
Avenir is employed on signage at Dallas Fort Worth and Hong Kong international airports. The city of Amsterdam adopted Avenir as its corporate typeface in 2003. The Girl Scouts of America created a modified version of Avenir for its 2010 rebrand.
LG Electronics uses Avenir extensively in branding, advertising and hardware such as cell phone keypads.