FS Alvar

FS Alvar

is the modernist type
3 fonts / Standard / Desktop / Web / App
Download specimen sheet (PDF)
Family £150.00 / Single weight £80.00

FS Alvar Family

FS Alvar Features

FS Alvar grew out of a library of pure modular shapes gathered by Fontsmith’s master of the abstract starting point, Mr Phil Garnham. “It was a collection that just had to be explored and brought to life in a typographic voice.

“We debated long and hard about this. It was big decision to make a shift away from the typefaces that people knew us for. And we didn’t want to compromise our reputation of well crafted typographic quality”.

The classic modernist

A headline font that’s both graphic and functional, in the modernist tradition, FS Alvar focused Fontsmith’s eyes on the bigger issue of what makes a font show its age.

“Looking at those fonts from the 1980s that were supposed to represent the ‘future’,” says Phil, “they looked so dated now. With Alvar, we weren’t concerned with creating future-thinking typography but with exploring form for form’s sake, and how that can evolve to create letterforms. Modular forms with a typographic eye.”

Modular forms

The concept for Alvar first materialised back in 2001 with some sketches Phil made while still at Middlesex University. Eight years later, something made him dig them out again.

“There was something really nice about the proportions of that first design. Working on it again, I thought about it properly, but it still needed something to give it that edge.

“Jason stood up in the studio and supplied the missing link: ‘Why don’t we make it stencilled?’ He didn’t mean in an obvious way, but by building a kind of architectural stencil into the form. It worked and the idea of using an architect’s name (Alvar Aalto) to describe the font felt perfect.”


The three weights of FS Alvar are made for standout headlines in advertising campaigns and magazines. Alvar has had a starring role in campaigns for brands from Nike to Amnesty International, as well as on CD covers, record labels and packaging.

Featured in...
Want to use FS Alvar as your brand font?

Standard Vs. Pro

Fontsmith offers two kinds of fonts: Standard and Pro. If you work exclusively with Latin-based languages our Standard character set is designed to meet your requirements. However, if you work with Cyrillic and Greek typography please use our Pro fonts.

Standard Vs. Pro
Tabular Lining
Punctuation & Marks
Language support
Uppercase Yes
Lowercase Yes
Accents Yes
Tabular Lining Yes
Punctuation & Marks Yes
Language support

Both Standard and Pro font versions include a wealth of typographic features and are available to use in supporting OpenType applications such as Adobe Illustrator®, Indesign® and Photoshop®.