Nameplate set in Orwellian by Shiva Nallaperumal. Your typeface could be next. Learn more.
Ads via The Deck
Adelle Sans font family
Typeface Review

Adelle Sans

Reviewed by Nadine Chahine on March 13, 2013

Adelle Sans is a feel-good typeface. It’s not your typical description, to say that this typeface is a happy one, but it really is. Although typefaces are usually indicative of personalities or traits (and we often talk of the friendly or the formal, masculine or feminine), Adelle Sans manages to capture one of the most desired of human emotions: cheerfulness.

It pulls you in with the promise of good tidings to come, and captures your attention with its simplicity of form and elegance of movement. This a typeface meant for reading and for communication. It’s a delicate balance that works wonderfully well in this design.

Adelle Sans is uncomplicated and friendly, and its applications are varied. This is a typeface that is well crafted and very nicely thought out. Especially interesting are the obliques in all of the available weights. It’s a rare occurrence to find a typeface family where the obliques/italics offer such a tempting alternative to the upright, but this is one such occasion. Adelle Sans is not an upright design that got lumped with an oblique version; it’s a family of both upright and oblique variants that are equally compelling in their own right.

Dr. Nadine Chahine is an award winning Lebanese type designer working as the Arabic Specialist at Linotype and Monotype. She studied Graphic Design at the American University of Beirut, has an MA in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK, and a PhD from Leiden University, The Netherlands. In 2005 she joined Linotype, Germany, as the Arabic specialist and has been living in Germany since then. Nadine’s research focus is on legibility studies for the Arabic script. She has won an Award for Excellence in Type Design from the Type Directors Club in New York in 2008 and 2011. Her typefaces include: the best-selling Frutiger Arabic, Neue Helvetica Arabic, Univers Next Arabic, Palatino and Palatino Sans Arabic, Koufiya, and BigVesta Arabic. Nadine's work has been featured in the 5th edition of Megg's History of Graphic Design and in 2012 she was selected by Fast Company as one of its 100 Most Creative People in Business.

3 Comments

  1. Hrant says:

    Nice review, Nadine. You can indeed see the cheerfulness in the heart glyph for example!

    Needless to say, Adelle Sans will need an Arabic extension… :-)

  2. It’s interesting that you find Adelle friendly and cheerful. Incidentally, I didn’t like Adelle (Sans) at first because I felt it was too whimsical. Seeing it in use here on Typographica has changed my mind. There’s something about the not-quite-superellipse/not-quite-round and sometimes-strict/sometimes-loose shapes that really works. It has flavour, but it is still serious.

    Perhaps the impression is different because I only see the light weight? The heavier minuscle a’s, for example, look ‘sloppy’ to my eyes. Its left side is weak, while the right side is strong. This is a purely subjective opinion. I see the same thing in ‘s’ but I think it works there because the spine is so strict, almost horizontal, and somehow manages to keep the less strict terminals in cheque. More balanced, perhaps?

    IMO, the heart shape sums it all up — strict, with a tiny dash of flair.

    Btw: Isn’t that black ‘g’ a tad bit too heavy in the cellar?

  3. I would also object that the small caps looks too small for an editorial-geared typeface like this. I suspect they will attract attention instead of blending in at text sizes.

Post a Comment

Comments at Typographica are moderated and copyedited, just like a “Letter to the Editor” in a newspaper. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be published. Compliments are appreciated, but will not be published unless they add to the conversation. Thank you!

Colophon

Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

Set in Bureau Grot by Font Bureau, Nocturno Display by Nikola Djurek, Fern (unreleased) by David Jonathan Ross, and JAF Bernini Sans by Tim Ahrens.

Brought to you by this month’s nameplate sponsor, FontShop, MyFonts, FontFont, Wordpress, Fused, and the letter B. Read our editorial policy.

Elsewhere