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LUC DEVROYE


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TheSans versus Frutiger

Discussion at Typophile on Frutiger-like fonts, including DeGroot's TheSans. Visual check. Frutiger started out as Roissy, a typeface for Charles De Gaulle airport. Quotes:

  • William Berkson: "I suspect that Frutiger has been the single most influential typeface in the past thirty years. It established a pattern of opening the counters of the round letters c, e, etc., which has been widely followed, including by de Groot's Thesis. You can see it in many, many other sans, including Myriad - which is more humanist than Frutiger, though. I recently ran across Adsans of Walter Tracy, which opens the counters in a similar way, and is a decade older. I don't think it is artistically as successful, but it is a similar idea. Thesis TheSans, compared to Frutiger, not only opens up the c and e more, but straightens the arms, and alters the shapes of the pdq to match; the hmn look narrower, it has a binocular g, etc. I don't think it is that close to Frutiger, compared to many others who also show Frutiger's (or is it Adsans?) heritage."
  • Hrant Papazian: "Frutiger has indeed been hugely influentiable, but de Groot's stuff is of a different school. As for Adsans, it's not supposed to be "pretty" - and technically it's many notches above Frutiger. "School" probably makes de Groot sound more conformist than he is - he's certainly not a slave to the Noordzij school for example, although my point was exactly that his stuff is more humanist than Frutiger, which is like a not-humanist-enough derivation of Univers (the latter being a neo-grotesk)."
  • Eric Olson: "Don't forget Syntax. It was released in 1968. Seeing as Linotype released it, I'm guessing Frutiger was very aware of it and in turn at least a little influenced by it. Just a guess."

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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html