The Aviano hyperfamily by Jeremy Dooley: variations on the theme of Copperplate Gothic suitable for use in innumerable applicationsIn the early years of the 20th century, Frederic W. Goudy designed a quite remarkable Grotesque typeface for American Type Founders in Jersey City. The proportions of the expansive characters of this capital-only font are based on those of the square. Although strictly speaking the font belongs to the family of Grotesque typefaces, its horizontal and vertical strokes display tiny and very fine serifs. These serifs recall the effect of engraved copperplate text and they not only give the typeface its highly individual and stylish character but provided the inspiration for its name – Copperplate Gothic. The engraved English calligraphic scripts of the 16th century are still known as “copperplate”, but these should not be confused with Copperplate Gothic. Goudy’s Copperplate Gothic rapidly set a precedent and came to be the model for many later typefaces that have since become particularly popular, especially in the business and advertising sectors.
Among the various typefaces inspired by Copperplate Gothic is the hyperfamily Aviano designed by Jeremy Dooley. Dooley has repeatedly rung the changes on the concept of Copperplate Gothic, producing numerous different families and establishing an extensive and varied collection of interpretations of this typeface suitable for use in innumerable applications.
Very broad characters, extreme contrasts in line weights and exceptionally slender, linear serifs characterise this variant of Aviano. This particularly stylish typeface is not only available in five different weights but also has numerous variant glyphs, including swash capitals, terminal characters and a large selection of ligatures.
The identifying characteristic of Aviano is the contrast between the formal effect generated by orientation on a rectangular model and the dynamism of the line structure. The sharply tipped serifs exhibit a marked curve where they join the letter strokes, enhancing the elegant but business-like effect of the typeface. Three of the four weights of Aviano are also available as serif-accentuated slab variants, in which the serifs of the much bolder characters have a block-like form.
The characters of Aviano Serif are very similar to those of Aviano, but line structure and serifs are somewhat sharper in form overall and there are fewer curves, so that the formal aspects of the font are emphasized. This family also boasts alternative glyphs, such as swash variants of the letters “A”, “K” and “R”.
In the case of Aviano Sans, the broad characters that are so typical of Aviano have neither serifs nor contrast in line weight. The neutral nature of this typeface is further highlighted by the horizontal and vertical line terminals.
The characters of Aviano Future have been constructed from linear elements. The font thus has a stencil-like and somewhat futuristic appearance. But variations on this basic theme can be achieved by use of the numerous glyph alternatives that can be accessed through OpenType features. Hence, in addition to the standard form with lines that exhibit almost imperceptible curvature, there are also variants with a purely geometric structure or that take their inspiration from the forms of Art Deco. Aviano Future is the only member of the Aviano hyperfamily that has an italic variant, which is here called “Fast”.
Aviano Flare has also been designed without overt serifs. Slight contrasts in line weight and, more specifically, the subtly tapering line terminals determine its appearance. Aviano Flair not only lends a luxurious elegance to designs, but can be infinitely varied thanks to the availability of alternative glyphs and ligatures.
The formal and fairly rigid-seeming characters of Aviano Contrast may lack serifs, but have marked contrasts in line weights. The curved legs, for example of the “K” and the “R”, are a special feature of the typeface that also serves to tone down its starkness.