Avenir is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1988 and released by Linotype GmbH, now a subsidiary of Monotype Corporation. The word Avenir means “future” in French and hints that the typeface owes some of its interpretation to Futura. But unlike Futura , Avenir is not purely geometric; it has vertical strokes that are thicker than the horizontals, an “o” that is not a perfect circle, and shortened ascenders.
Avenir was originally released in 1988 with three weights, each with a roman and oblique version, and used Frutiger’s two-digit weight and width convention for names: 45 (book), 46 (book oblique), 55 (text weight), 56 (text weight oblique), (75)85 (heavy), and (76)86 (heavy oblique). The typeface family was later expanded to six weights, each with a roman and an oblique version.
These nuances aid in legibility and give Avenir a harmonious and sensible appearance for both texts and headlines. Frutiger intended Avenir to be a more organic, humanist interpretation of these highly geometric types.
You can check some alternative fonts to Avenir below. The following fonts are highly similar to Avenir and they are all Google fonts so you can use for both personal and commercial projects.
Avenir Alternative Fonts
The original release of Avenir has weights grouped very close together, with the difference barely distinguishable. In his autobiography, Frutiger explains that this was a response to the effects of how people perceive colour. He intended the slightly bolder designs for white-on-black text, so they would look the same to a viewer as black-on-white.