The following text is an excerpt of the podium discussion between Adrian Frutiger and Friedrich Friedl at the presentation of the new Linotype Univers at the typo[media] 97 in Frankfurt am Main.
: Between 1957 and 1987, did you ever have the impression that you could have done something better or different with Univers?
: No, not with the original version. For me, Univers was a typeface of the 50s. I had a good conscience. I made it as well as possible. Back then, we cut 45,000 punches, for the entire family. And I saw all of the smoke proofs. But for me, it was a finished project. I would like to say that it would never have occurred to me to work on Univers again, in that sense. The wheel of time simply turned – as I already said: one thing followed the other.
: I agree with you there. The old Univers is absolutely perfect. Nevertheless, the changes in technology, esthetics, and business problems suddenly offered the possibility of taking Univers further, creating the work that we now have before us. How did it also come to be in your interest to allow the sudden expansion of the old Univers’ relatively meager weights? What is your view on this?
: Yes, I believe that Univers – without exaggerating – is a classic typeface. But a classic typeface of the 50s, as Futura® is a classic typeface of the 30s. There have always been classics that correspond to the spirit of the age. And therefore I stand completely behind Univers, but I also stand completely behind Helvetica®. Univers was already a bit more nuanced, maybe a little closer to humanist typefaces, and naturally had the advantage that all of the heights were in agreement. But we have to be clear that every epoch creates its classics.
: In closing, one more question which interests me personally. Have you actually corrected and looked over every one of the 63 weights of the new Univers?
: It was fun to help my friends from Linotype, but I didn’t make clean drawings like before – because I also didn’t want any money for it.
Univers® Next (formerly Linotype Univers), along with Avenir® Next, Compatil®, Eurostile® Next, Frutiger® Next, Optima® nova, Sabon Next, Palatino® nova and Syntax® Next (formerly Linotype Syntax) belongs to the typefaces of the Linotype Platinum Collection.
These fonts were carefully digitized and have the high quality demanded by professional typography. All fonts of the Platinum Collection were produced according to the Linotype tradition of quality.
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offer these fonts as Platinum Collections CDs or as single fonts or value packs.
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