Great Pairs

Nocturno & Venus

March 09, 2016 by
David Sudweeks
David Sudweeks

Nocturno’s absorbing text and brilliant display weights pair with Venus’ hand-drawn warmth and haphazard rhythm to create a relationship that accentuates the rough and smooth in each.

Above: Nocturno Display and Nocturno [Text] styles shown side by side; and below that, three columns of [Venus](/search?utf8=✓&q=venus) from [URW](/families/urw-venus), [Creative Alliance](/families/venus), and [Scangraphic](/families/sg-venus), respectively.
Above: Nocturno Display and Nocturno [Text] styles shown side by side; and below that, three columns of Venus from URW, Creative Alliance, and Scangraphic, respectively.

Nikola Djurek released Nocturno in 2013 in both text and display cuts. One of the first things you’ll notice about it is the darkness and sheer depth of its texture, particularly in its book weight, shown below. Its alluring display cuts make distinctive and elegant headers in fashion and editorial applications.

Venus was initially released by Bauer Type Foundry in Frankfurt, presumably a team effort, since Bauersche Giesserei is all that’s listed in its ‘by’ line (‘Bauersche Giesserei’ is German for Bauer Type Foundry). The Fonts In Use description gives design credit to Wagner & Schmidt, though I admit I’m unfamiliar with its story. The typeface draws from cartographic alphabets produced by hand, giving it unusually strict, eccentric forms, and a fun, unpredictable texture. Rare to type is its reclined or backslanted style, which was used on maps to label rivers.

There is no cohesive set of Venus’ original styles available as a retail package; all vary in which weights and styles they offer, and more generally, in quality. If you’re looking for a just one package though, I recommend the URW set since it comes in the widest range of styles and includes true italics. Don’t however overlook the tastefulness of that one Creative Alliance backslanted style.

Interleaved [URW Venus Medium Italic](/families/urw-venus/buy) and [Venus Reclining](/families/venus/buy) from Creative Alliance.
Interleaved URW Venus Medium Italic and Venus Reclining from Creative Alliance.

Venus sets copy of moderate length quite well. The lightest weights of Venus from URW and Scangraphic are compared below. Also note how the Scangraphic interpretation introduces a more conventional lowercase y form.

Together Nocturno and Venus play up each other’s strengths while flaunting their own weaknesses. As a starting point, I went ahead and packaged a few of the most useful styles for you—just follow the link, below left.

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