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ABOUT







Adrian Frutiger

Famous type designer born in 1928 in Unterseen, Switzerland, who died in September 2015. He closely cooperated with Linotype-Hell AG, after having been artistic director at Deberny-Peignot in Paris since 1952. He established his own studio in 1962 with André Gürtler and Bruno Pfaftli. Art director for Editions Hermann, Paris 1957 to 1967. Frutiger lived near Bern, Switzerland, and was very interested in woodcuts. In 2009, Heidrun Osterer and Philipp Stamm coedited Adrian Frutiger Typefaces The Complete Works (Birkhäuser Verlag), a 460-page opus based on conversations with Frutiger himself and on extensive research in France, England, Germany, and Switzerland. Quote: Helvetica is the jeans, and Univers the dinner jacket. Helvetica is here to stay. He designed over 100 fonts. Here is a partial list:

  • Président (Deberny&Peignot, 1954). Digitized by Linotype in 2003.
  • Delta.
  • Phoebus (Deberny&Peignot, 1953).
  • Element-Grotesk.
  • Federduktus.
  • Ondine (Deberny&Peignot, 1953-1954). The Bitstream version of this font is Formal Script 421. Adobe, Linotype and URW++ each have digital versions called Ondine. Bitstream's Calligraphic 421 is slightly different.
  • Méridien (Deberny&Peignot, 1955-1957). Digitized by Adobe/Linotype in 1989.
  • Caractères Lumitype.
  • Univers (Deberny&Peignot, 1957). About the name, Frutiger wrote I liked the name Monde because of the simplicity of the sequence of letters. The name Europe was also discussed; but Charles Peignot had international sales plans for the typeface and had to consider the effect of the name in other languages. Monde was unsuitable for German, in which der Mond means "the moon". I suggested "Universal", whereupon Peignot decided, in all modesty, that "Univers" was the most all-embracing name!. Univers IBM Composer followed. In 2010, Linotype published Univers Next, which includes 59 Linotype Univers weights and 4 monospaced Linotype Univers Typewriter weights, and can be rented for a mere 2675 Euros.
  • Egyptienne F (1955, Fonderie Deberny&Peignot; 1960, for the Photon/Lumitype machine).
  • Opéra (1959-1961, Sofratype).
  • Alphabet Orly (1959, Aéroport d'Orly).
  • Apollo (1962-1964, Monotype): the first type designed for the new Monotype photosetting equipment.
  • Alphabet Entreprise Francis Bouygues.
  • Concorde (1959, Sofratype, with André Gürtler).
  • Serifen-Grotesk/Gespannte Grotesk.
  • Alphabet Algol.
  • Astra Frutiger. A typeface variant of Frutiger licensed under Linotype. It is the font used on the highways in Switzerland.
  • Serifa (1967-1968, Bauersche Giesserei). URW++ lists the serif family in its 2008 on-line catalog. Other names include OPTI Silver (Castcraft), Ares Serif 94, and Sierra. Bitstream published the digital typeface Serifa BT. But it is also sold by Adobe, Tilde, Linotype, URW++, Scangraphic, and Elsner & Flake. The slab serif is robust and is based on the letterforms of Univers.
  • OCR-B (1966-1968, European Computer Manufacturers Association).
  • Alphabet EDF-GDF (1959, Électricité de France, Gaz de France).
  • Katalog.
  • Devanagari (1967) and Tamil (1970), both done for Monotype Corporation.
  • Alpha BP (1965, British Petroleum&Co.).
  • Dokumenta (1969, Journal National Zeitung Suisse).
  • Alphabet Facom (1971).
  • Alphabet Roissy (1970, Aéroport de Roissy Charles de Gaulle).
  • Alphabet Brancher (1972, Brancher).
  • Iridium (1972, Stempel). A didone with slight flaring.
  • Alphabet Métro (1973, RATP): for the subway in Paris.
  • Alphabet Centre Georges Pompidou. The CGP typeface (first called Beaubourg) used in the Centre Georges Pompidou from 1976-1994 is by Hans-Jörg Hunziker and Adrian Frutiger, and was developed as part of the visual identity program of Jean Widmer. It is said that André Baldinger digitized it in 1997.
  • Frutiger (1975-1976, Stempel, with Hans-Jörg Hunziker). In 1999, Frutiger Next was published by Linotype. In 2009, that was followed by Neue Frutiger (a cooperation between Frutiger and Linotype's Akira Kobayashi). In fact, Frutiger, the typeface was made for the Charles De Gaulle Airport in 1968 for signage---it was originally called Roissy, and had to be similar to Univers. It was released publically as Frutiger in 1976. The modern Bitstream version is called Humanist 777. Frutiger Next Greek (with Eva Masoura) won an award at TDC 2006. Other digital implementations of Frutiger: M690 (SoftMaker), Quebec Serial (SoftMaker), Frutus (URW), Provencale (Autologic), Frontiere (Compugraphic), Freeborn (Scangraphic), Siegfried (Varityper). Poster by Devin Lindsay.
  • Glypha (1979, Stempel). See Gentleman in the Scangraphic collection).
  • Icône (1980-1982, Stempel, Linotype). Digitized by Linotype in 2003.
  • Breughel (1982, Stempel; 1988, Linotype).
  • Dolmen.
  • Tiemann.
  • Versailles (1983, Stempel).
  • Linotype Centennial (1986). Based on Morris Fuller Benton's didone typeface Century, Linotype Centennial was designed for Linotype's 100th birthday.
  • Avenir (1988, Linotype). In 2004, Linotype Avenir Next was published, under the supervision of Akira Kobayashi, and with the help of a few others. Lovely poster by Ines Vital (2011).
  • Westside.
  • Vectora (1991, Linotype).
  • Linotype Didot (1991). See also Linotype Didot eText Pro (2013), which was optimized by Linotype for use on screens and small devices.
  • Herculanum (1989, Linotype): a stone age font.
  • Shiseido (1992).
  • Frutiger Capitalis (2006, Linotype): a further exploration in the style of Herculanum, Pompeijana and Rusticana. Linotype trademarked that name even though at least five fonts by the name Capitalis already exist.
  • Pompeijana (1993, Linotype).
  • Rusticana (1993, Linotype).
  • Frutiger Stones (1998, Linotype) and Frutiger Symbols.
  • Frutiger Neonscript.
  • Courier New, based on Howard Kettler's Courier, was one of Frutiger's projects he was involved in ca. 2000.
  • AstraFrutiger (2002): a new signage typeface for the Swiss roads. Erich Alb comments: With a Frutiger condensed Type and illuminated signs during night it is mutch better readable.
  • Nami (2008) is a chiseled-stone sans family, made with the help of Linotype's Akira Kobayashi.
  • Neue Frutiger (2009, with Akira Kobayashi) has twice as many weights as the original Frutiger family.
Bio by Nicholas Fabian. Erich Alb wrote a book about his work: Adrian Frutiger Formen und Gegenformen/Forms and Counterforms (Cham, 1998). Winner of the Gutenberg Prize in 1986 and the 006 Typography Award from The Society for Typographic Aficionados (SOTA). Famous quote (from a conversation in 1990 between Frutiger and Maxim Zhukov about Hermann Zapf's URW Grotesk): Hermann ist nicht ein Groteskermann. A quote from his keynote speech at ATypI1990: If you remember the shape of your spoon at lunch, it has to be the wrong shape. The spoon and the letter are tools; one to take food from the bowl, the other to take information off the page... When it is a good design, the reader has to feel comfortable because the letter is both banal and beautiful.

Frutiger's books include Type Sign Symbol and Signs and Symbols. Their Design and Meaning (1989, with Andrew Bluhm, published by Studio Editions, London; Amazon link).

Linotype link. FontShop link. Adrian Frutiger, sa carrière française (2008) is Adèle Houssin's graduation thesis at Estienne.

Klingspor link. Wikipedia link. View Adrian Frutiger's typefaces.

View some digital versions of Avenir. Vimeo movie on Frutiger by Christine Kopp and Christoph Frutiger entitled "Der Mann von Schwarz und weiss: Adrian Frutiger". More Vimeo movies.

EXTERNAL LINKS
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INTERNAL LINKS
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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