February 1, 2009

The Quiet Designer of Typefaces: Adrian Frutiger

Image credit: jgb, Flickr

Before Helvetica (see The Cyclical Life of Helvetica: Revive, Resist, Rinse, Repeat), there was Univers. Designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1954, Univers will always remain a creation of its time and a distinct part of visul communication. Last May, Frutiger celebrated his 80th birthday. Another landmark moment of that month was the publication of Adrian Frutiger–Typefaces. The Complete Works. Its 400+ pages reveal the process behind Frutiger’s typographic designs. Though the title expresses finality, Mr. Univers is still sharpening his craft. From the little that I’ve read about him and his work, I realized that there isn’t much fanfare about Frutiger. This speaks to what I glean to be his quiet nature: industriously working and then working some more.