Looking for a new typeface to use in print or digital products? The Avería typeface might be just the ticket: it is friendly and easy on the eye. Yesterday @amandahstaub (with hat tip to @jesshartley) pointed out this fairly new typeface so I decided to try it out. It looks quite nice on its website here. But, would it look good on maps? To test this I downloaded and installed the regular flavor–there are many flavors including bold, italic, and even separate sans and serifs–and used it for all the labels on the test map (click for larger version):
The street labels are at 8pt and they don’t look very nice. The Irondale label did turn out pretty well though. From this admittedly brief testing I’d posit that the font looks best at 10-18pt sizes. Any smaller or larger and the ragged edges of the font make it look too rough. In large text-blocks at 10-18pt size, however, it does look quite nice as long as you are okay with an informal style, including extremely varied line weights:
Definitely check out the site, linked to above, to read the story behind how Avería was created. It is basically an amalgam of all the fonts that the designer (“iotic” is all I can get of his/her name) had: 725 for the main font, a different font count for the other flavors. You can read about the various hang-ups that were encountered along the way and the decisions that had to be made. Even if you aren’t much into typefaces, this is worth the read.
The font software is freely available for any type of use, including commercial. Note that it is also available as Avería Libre in Google Web Fonts.