Skip to main content

Rotis® Sans Serif

By Monotype

Otl Aicher
Monotype

The Rotis® Sans Serif font family is arguably the most ubiquitous and prominent of the Rotis® Font Superfamily. Designed to work alongside the Rotis® Serif font family, the Rotis® Semi Serif font family, and the Rotis® Semi Sans font family, Rotis Sans Serif has come to define many aspects of European commercial design.

Frustrated with the conservative mentality of many typographers who were determined to draw a clearly defined line between serif and sans serif typefaces, Otl Aicher, an iconoclast of German graphic design during much of the 20th century, set out to develop a typeface that would challenge those traditionalists assumptions. He sought to create transitional elements within a super font family that would blend serif and sans serif designs.

The result was the Rotis superfamily. The standout amongst this superfamily of four was Rotis Sans Serif. Its controlled transitions and high legibility quickly earned it a place in logotype designs across Europe, while making it a go-to for body text as well. It is an entrenched part of the zeitgeist; in Germany, especially, it is almost impossible to encounter any media that does not contain Rotis Sans Serif.

Otl Aicher continued to work at the studio where Rotis was created until his untimely death in 1991. Since that time, Monotype Imaging has purchased and reissued Rotis Sans Serif and the rest of the Rotis superfamily.

References:
Linotype: Rotis
Erik Spiekermann: Rotis
Rotis Sans

Rotis Sans is used in the branding elements and descriptive text for many international beauty brands like L’Oreal. It is prominent in advertising, street signage, and even publishing body text across Europe. Finnish technology giant Nokia was using Rotis Sans primarily until very recently when they switch to their own custom sans typeface.

Humanistic Sans
Sans Serif
#42 in Best Sellers