Albertus - Graphic Design Font discovery #2


*credit left to right: ©Thomas Brown, Egyd Studio  * click to enlarge


The Albertus typeface was created in 1932, it takes its name from the 13th century German philosopher Albertus Magnus. The font was ordered from the typographer German Berthold Wolpe by the British branch of the Monotype foundry.

Wolpe's bronze letterpresses had captured the attention of typographer Stanley Morison, who at the time was an adviser for Monotype, Wolpe therefore created Albertus from the characters developed for his bronze letterpress. Inspired by these hand-carved letters, we notice the manual aspect through the small serif triangular and sharp angles of the alphabet.


*business card with Albertus

The transition from carved type to font in lead required several adjustments, the original characters were not very detailed since they were created to be engraved rather than drawn. Albertus was primarily made up of characters in capitals, it was mainly used for titles, until 1940 when Monotype introduced the characters in lowercase.

Eventually an italic version was also added to the family, which originally only included versions
regular and light. In 2017, Monotype launched a collection of five Berthold Wolpe fonts digitized by the designer Toshi Omagari. Bearing the name of Albertus Nova, the new family includes alternative versions of a few characters, as well as three new weights: thin, bold and black.


*Albertus Specimen

Foundry website:


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