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Albertus®

By Monotype

Berthold Wolpe
Monotype
Berthold Wolpe designed Albertus from 1932 to 1940, with Albertus Titling being released first, and the lowercase a few years later. Stanley Morison commissioned the face for Monotype in England and named it after Albert the Great, medieval scientist and philosopher. Wolpe based the type on the lettering he did on bronze tablets. Such inscriptions were made by cutting back the ground around the letters and shaping them from the outside of their forms, rather than the inside, as incised letters in stone are done. Wolpe said his technique made for bold simplicity and reduced the serifs to a bare minimum. This sharp chisel stroke at the terminations of the main strokes was said to make the alphabet stand midway between classical letters and the modern sans serif. Albertus is available in three weights, and makes a strong graphic statement of originality and integrity.

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.

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