The Avenir family that ships with Mac OS X comes with twelve faces. Avenir Book and Avenir Roman both have 400 weight, normal font-stretch, and are not italicized.

I'm building a product that lets users write text in custom fonts that they upload. Is there a standard way to determine which font in a family should be used by default? Is there some kind of setting in the fonts themselves that I'm missing that would tell me that?

  • 1
    Book. That should be the standard, default version of the font.
    – Vincent
    Nov 10, 2015 at 22:59
  • For this particular font, yes. I'm wondering if I should always favor a face named "book," or if perhaps there's some more general rule.
    – Ben Dilts
    Nov 10, 2015 at 23:00
  • 5
    I generally prefer "Regular" or "Medium". I find "Book" to be a lighter face. But it does all depend upon what that foundry set as "Book", "Regular" or "Medium" and if any or all of them are even available. So, in short.... depends upon the font and what you are after :)
    – Scott
    Nov 10, 2015 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


As suggested by Scott, it really depends on what the font foundry decided to name the variants. 'Book', 'Regular', 'Medium' or even 'Normal' are variants I have encountered. Variants named 'Book' may be as heavy as other foundry's 'Medium' and vice versa.

tl;dr There's no fixed rule, let yourself be guided by the font face names but don't be bound by them.

  • 1
    The real trouble starts when you have fonts that have both a Book, a Regular, and a Normal weight (I came across one recently, though I don’t recall what it was). That’s when you start seriously scratching your head. Nov 11, 2015 at 20:43

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