Like so many notable early twentieth century type designs, Albertus owes its existence to the encouragement of Stanley Morison.
Morison saw an example of Berthold Wolpe’s inscriptual lettering and liked it so much that he commissioned Wolpe to create a typeface based on the letters. Wolpe began work on the project in 1932. Titling caps were released first, in 1935, followed by a roman upper and lowercase in 1938 and a light weight in 1940.
Wolpe’s typeface retains the chiseled feel of his design model. The original, inscriptual letters were raised – carved from the surface of bronze tablets, rather than being engraved into the metal. Since the letters were cut from the outside in (not built from the inside out), there is a bold simplicity to the design and serifs are kept to a minimum.
Wolpe was born in Germany and was a student of Rudolf Koch. He began his career at the Klingspor foundry in Offenbach, and moved to England in 1932. Wolpe designed several typefaces, but is best known for the many book jackets he designed for Faber and Faber publishers. Wolpe died in 1989 at the age of 84.
Now the Albertus family is available as a suite of OpenType Pro fonts. Graphic communicators can work with this versatile design while taking advantage of OpenType’s capabilities.
The new Albertus Pro fonts also offer an extended character set, which supports most Central European and many Eastern European languages.