Athelas in use in Gutes tun oder es besser lassen

October 2023

Athelas, designed by José Scaglione, has been used in the Swiss publication “Gutes tun oder es besser lassen?”, a non-fiction book about philanthropy.


The  publication Gutes tun oder es besser lassen?  (loosely translated as “Doing good or better leave it? Philanthropy between criticism and praise”) is a compendium of essays that analyses the concept of philanthropy — the positive, beneficial actions of individuals for a charitable purpose — and its place in today’s modern and democratic societies.

The book was edited by Georg von Schnurbein, professor of foundation management and founding director of the Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) at the University Basel, and was published in 2023 by the Swiss publishing house Christoph Merian Verlag.

Res Eichenberger Design, an independent graphic design consultancy specialising in fine books, posters, and brand identities, was in charge of designing the book, and he choose Athelas as the sole typeface for this task. As an exercise of restraint, the book only uses a single Regular and Italic style, breathing a wonderful aesthetic texture onto the page in Eichenberger’s expert hands.

However, finding the right typeface was not a simple job as Eichenberger explains. “The search for the right typeface started when the idea for the cover was born. I looked through hundreds of typefaces to find the most beautiful question mark that can be mirrored to create the perfect shape of a heart without manipulating the curves. Furthermore, the proportion of the question mark had to be ideal for the cover. At the same time the typeface also had to be the right choice for all texts and charts in the book. Athelas was the right answer — Athelas actually did it!”

Inspired by Britain’s classic literature, Athelas is an elegant book font family for screen and print. It takes full advantage of typographic tranquility and breathes peacefully on the page to usher the reader into the wordsmith’s art.

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