View Full Version : Herb Lubalin on Avant Garde

10-19-2005, 12:14 PM
Writing in U&lc no. 1, Avant Garde Gothic designer (well, co-designer and most able user) Herb Lubalin comments on the typeface. He began by quoting a passage from the promotional booklet on Avant Garde written by Aaron Burns:
Avant Garde is truly avant gard. There has rarely been a typeface so flexible, so responsive to the creative needs of art directors and designers. The extraordinary variety of alternate characters stimulates the imagination of the user, and leads to new and exciting design solutions.
Then Lubalin concluded:
Unfortunately it also leads to undistinguished and, in some cases, downright rotten solutions.

It is almost as if the built-in innovations in this typeface are motivating many undiscerning designers to vent their creative fury, unrestrained, on a poor, unsuspecting public. In my travels around the world, I never cease to be amazed at the extent of the misuse of Avant Garde.
I always knew that Lubalin was unhappy with the way Avant Garde was often misused. Now I actually know what he said. (Or perhaps just one of the things he said.)