Univers

Univers is a sans-serif typeface that I have always liked. It has a clean modern look and is available in a wide variety of faces. For years I have used it in all types of projects, so it is only logical that Univers made it to my list of interesting fonts.

What does Univers look like?

Univers 55 Roman

Univers 55 Roman

Univers 65 Bold

Univers 65 Bold

Univers 55 Oblique

Univers 55 Oblique

Univers 75 Black

Univers 75 Black

Univers 45 Light

Univers 45 Light

What do you use Univers for?

Univers is a font family that includes a wide variety of weights and styles. This makes it suitable for many types of jobs. It is an interesting alternative to Helvetica – I have even heard someone refer to it as ‘the thinking man’s Helvetica.’ It looks a bit more modern and is just as suitable for body text. There is a fixed-width version of Univers, called Linotype Univers Typewriter, which can be very useful for working with tables.

Bitstream Zurich is a Univers look-alike. There are a number of freeware copies as well but they don’t offer the same extensive character set and number of faces as the original.

The history of Univers

Adrian Frutiger designed Univers in 1957 for Deberny & Peignot. It was passed along to a number of foundries but currently is owned by Linotype. In 1997 Frutiger reworked the entire Univers family. This updated version is called Linotype Univers.

Trivia

In the 60’s and 70s, you could get Univers for the IBM Selectric typewriters. Until 2007, Apple used Univers for the keycaps on many of its keyboards.

Other sources of information

The Wikipedia page on Univers is quite interesting.

7 January 2017

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