Type – Adapted to Everyday Life

The simplicity of this explanation is what makes it so revealing. Yet there are decades of work and experience with type, shapes and human behavior which have gone into this seemingly unspectacular comparison. Frutiger was never interested in type for its own sake. He has always considered type to be subordinate to the purpose it has to fulfill – type is there to serve human needs. As a result, Adrian Frutiger has provided the field of typography with decisive impulses in its evolution and to this day is ranked amongst the elite in type design. Yet fame was never a measure of success for Adrian Frutiger. Reader-friendliness and the efficient conveying of content have always been the paramount goals he has pursued, undeterred by the passing fashions of the time.

Yet it can arguably be said that, when it comes to type and typography, Frutiger has contributed to the visual character of our era as no other. International type classics like Univers, Meridien, Avenir, Frutiger, OCR B or Centennial are only a small selection from Frutiger’s rich typographical oeuvre – and only go to show how he has always been at the top of his time.

Friends and admirers agree: unlike any other, in his artistic work and type design, Frutiger has managed to capture the essence of his time in molding forms which are sublime, useful, meaningful, harmonious and goal-oriented, without ever becoming banal. Bruno Steinert, Managing Director at Linotype, describes Frutiger’s complete works and overall effect on the industry as epochal. “Through his typefaces, Adrian Frutiger is omnipresent – even in the farthest reaches of our planet. His work has dramatically affected the world of communication.”

It is enough to look at the many typefaces Frutiger has designed to see that Steinert is right. In 1994, Kurt Weidemann also noted: “His work with type encompasses a fair number of valid alphabets. And these will outlive telephone books of type samples, filled with banalities and irrelevancies.” Unfortunately, only a small circle of experts truly recognizes his significance. Yet Adrian Frutiger remains a person whose modesty can put many other designers to shame: “I have no halo over my head. I was always only a child of my times, over which I had no influence whatsoever,” he said on his 70th birthday. Today as well, at 76, Adrian Frutiger enchants and fascinates his conversation partners without the slightest hint of vanity, luring them into the universe of type and typography, a subject many otherwise find quite dry, with fascinating fables and anecdotes.
as for design purposes – or even for signs in public spaces.

Search with the keyword for ‘Frutiger’ to find all fonts in the Linotype Library designed by Adrian Frutiger.

more ... Serving a purpose