Adrian Frutiger was a Swiss typeface designer known for his iconic typefaces such as Univers, Frutiger, and Avenir. He was born on May 24, 1928, in Unterseen, Switzerland, and passed away on September 10, 2015, in Bremgarten, Switzerland.
Frutiger started his career as an apprentice typesetter in Interlaken, Switzerland, where he learned the art of typography. He later moved to Zurich to work as a typesetter and graphic designer. In the 1950s, Frutiger worked for the Deberny & Peignot type foundry in Paris, where he designed his first typeface, Président.
In the 1960s, Frutiger designed Univers, a sans-serif typeface that became widely popular and is still used today. In the 1970s, he designed Frutiger, a humanist sans-serif typeface that is known for its legibility and has been used in many international airports around the world. In the 1980s, Frutiger designed Avenir, a geometric sans-serif typeface that has become popular in both print and digital media.
Frutiger was known for his attention to detail and his ability to create typefaces that were both functional and beautiful. He received many awards for his work, including the Prix Charles Peignot, the Gutenberg Prize, and the Type Directors Club Medal. He was also awarded the Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) by the Royal Society of Arts in London.
Frutiger continued to work on typeface design until his death in 2015 at the age of 87. His legacy lives on through his iconic typefaces, which continue to be used by designers around the world.
Adrian Frutiger Quotes
Typography must be as beautiful as a forest, not like the concrete jungle of the tenements It gives distance between the trees, the room to breathe and allow for life.
The whole point with type is for you not to be aware it is there. If you remember the shape of a spoon with which you just ate some soup, then the spoon had a poor shape.
From all these experiences the most important thing I have learned is that legibility and beauty stand close together and that type design, in its restraint, should be only felt but not perceived by the reader.
The material of typography is the black, and it is the designer’s task with the help of this black to capture space, to create harmonious whites inside the letters as well as between them.
Helvetica is the jeans, and Univers the dinner jacket. Helvetica is here to stay.
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.
I am sure in some years from now you will see new posters with just white space and four lines in Garamond.