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"The only place Avant Garde looks good is in the words Avant Garde."
      Ed Benguiat
Graphic Design Publishing - Herb Lubalin's Avant Garde

To those who would use

Avant Garde...

I'm not responding just because I'm a great fan of both Herb Lubalin and Frank Stellar, but because you've brought up several very important points.

Your colleague is right. For use in extensive text the font's rigid, uniform strokes will create eye problems right away. Additionally, the perfect circles in the round characters begin to form light spots or 'holes' in the text that disturb the calm texture of columns of type. The character count is so extended that in order to fit copy you have to run it at 8 or 9 point, which is not acceptable for comfortable reading. Bumping it up to 10 or 12 generates ugly text at best.

I'd have to say it's character design is too severe for use as your anchor typeface. Short bursts of type, perhaps. Special applications where a logotype is crafted from the special characters, maybe yes. As the corporate typeface... NO. But please don't take my word for it. When your question hit my desk I instantly thought about our good friend and and one of the world's leading typography experts Alex White. So I thought I'd take a chance and ask.

You're in luck. I called and found Alex in his new digs in New York City and he amazingly enough did have a few minutes to reply via email with the following comments.

Alex White comments on Avant Garde...


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