Watch: Matthew Carter on the very Swiss legacy of Adrian Frutiger for TDC
Adrian Johann Frutiger (1928 – 2015) was a Swiss typeface designer who influenced the direction of type design in the second half of the 20th century.
His career spanned the hot metal, phototypesetting and digital typesetting eras with his iconic typefaces Univers, Frutiger and Avenir.
These landmark sans-serif families span the three main genres of sans-serif typefaces (neogrotesque, humanist and geometric) and his legacy is evident throughout type as we know it.
“Adrian Frutiger was born on May 24th, 1928, in Unterseen near Interlaken, Switzerland. After attending school, he was a typesetter’s apprentice from 1944 to 1948 at the printing press Otto Schlaefli AG in Interlaken. After this, he attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (College of Technical Arts) in Zurich for three years. In 1952, he moved to Paris and became the artistic director of the type foundry Deberny & Peignot. After 10 years of successful work, he left the foundry to open a studio for graphic arts together with Andre Gürtler and Bruno Pfäffli in Arcueil near Paris” writes Type Directors Club of the Swiss designer who created numerous world-famous typefaces, signets, logos, corporate typefaces and corporate identities for various publishers and industrial enterprises.
“For the airport in Paris Orly and the Paris Metro he conceived new lettering systems and he created a new information system for the Charles de Gaulle airport. And whoever drives on a highway through Switzerland will constantly be confronted with his type as well. Plus, his computer type OCR B for automatic reading became a worldwide standard in 1973” adds TDC.
Frutiger, who once described creating sans-serif types as his “main life's work” partially due to the difficulty in designing them compared to serif fonts, is just one of the legendary Swiss type designers.
To celebrate his legacy watch renowned type designer Matthew Carter commemorating the life and work of TDC medalist Frutiger at the Parsons School of Design for Type Directors Club.
Watch the video and learn more about Frutiger's extremely Swiss legacy here.