AE Verve

AE Verve® is a 7-weight family of condensed fonts

verve the archetype of the millenniumVerve is the fourth in an on-going series of condensed typefaces that I’ve been designing since 1989. My concept was to create an elegant condensed typeface that would be a “typeface for the millennium,” in style and functionality.

Since faces like Brody’s Arcadia, Industria from Letraset, and FF Dome have been popular throughout the 80’s and 90’s, new faces with these ultra-condensed characteristics are few and far between. Most are very recognizable, and while not yet dated, have become ubiquitous. At the very core of all my designs is a typographic problem I wanted to solve, or a market niche that I think needs filled. Verve addresses both of those concerns, without copying or borrowing from its predecessors.

There’s the challenge of creating a rich and interesting typeface with an austerity of line and elegance of form. I’m a minimalist by nature – but I wanted Verve to have a sensuous feel in certain respects – yet have that sensuality balanced by the uniformity of the uniform character widths. Gottfried Pott always stresses “theme and variation,” and “point and counterpoint,” and that’s what I’m doing in Verve. What one finds in musical composition is evident in Verve.

Verve has little historical reference. I used a previous two-axis multiple master typeface which I had designed as the conceptual basis for the letterforms, and started varying from that. The first MM to which I refer was a very stylized blackletter-inspired typeface, but completely rooted in this century. Where that typeface was very rectilinear (no curves at all), Verve is softened, yet maintains a design edge through its distinct verticality.

Verve is available in OpenType in the following weights:

Extra Light 200


Verve Extralight (200) is the lightest weight in the Verve family. It's like your skinny cousin.

Download Verve 200 »


Cedarville Athletic Branding

‎"Verve was the perfect font for the Cedarville University Yellowjackets mascot. Believe me, we looked at many. While most display fonts have a limited shelf life, Verve balances the unique features but with a timeless, comfortable feel. Verve is also a great font to customize and manipulate for custom logo marks. It has many repeating features allowing the designer to cut and paste various parts to create ligatures and special characters." — Jeremy Slagle, designer

Verve was deconstructed by Aydin Mohseni, to "to find the main modular components that compose it, document(ed) them, and derive(d) the algorithms by which the type face was assembled." It is in essence, a "typeface modularity analysis."

Astounding. I had no idea my work could be deconstructed in such a manner, but the result is brilliant and is quite remarkable.


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Certain typefaces which I design are textural, ie when set in copy they create a background pattern for other elements to work with. Verve creates that texture by the pattern the vertical strokes create, yet works very well as a content-carrying medium. Verve was designed to be used often, in a variety of settings. It’s not a typeface I want people to use once, but to discover new uses for it everywhere.

I chose to leave some letterforms very soft, such as the “s,” because it’s not what would be expected with this typeface.

While I study historical reference for the construction of letterforms, and other typefaces by nature serve as inspirational models, I strive to create letterforms which are new. I avoid anything that hints of derivation or revival.

I consider this typeface to be very calligraphic – those who are familiar with the behavior of the pen and how it would create a stroke can see that in the letterforms.

Verve is perfect for many design solutions: book covers, CD packaging, club flyers, retail packaging (especially bottles!), brand identity, multimedia and the web. The adventurous can try it in text, but it will give you a headache. The beauty of Verve is that it’s multi-weight variations can create a rich typographic texture in this font.

The name is not terribly significant. Verve means liveliness and spirit. It’s an esoteric joke for me to name faces opposite of what they appear to be.

Explore these online references to AE Verve®

Explore other Altered Ego® brand typefaces, such as Veritas (a popular Bible font) and Lil Milton.

Verve® is a registered trademark of Altered Ego Fonts. Accept no substitutes.


Additional Info

  • Available Formats:: Available font formats will be displayed on purchasing page, along with any available packages. We recommend OpenType format; not all fonts are available in older formats such as Postscript and TypeOne.