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Adrian Frutiger

1928 Interlaken

Adrian Frutiger, a Swiss national, one one of the greatest typographers and typeface designers of the 20th century. He developed more than one hundred and seventy typefaces, of which many have become standard fonts, are now in daily use, and shape our reading habits. Born in Unterseen near Interlaken in 1928, Adrian Frutiger served an apprenticeship as a compositor at Schäfli, a printer in Interlaken. From 1948 to 1951 Adrian Frutiger studied sculpture and graphic design at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich. From 1952 Adrian Frutiger worked in Paris at the Deberny & Peignot type foundry.
In 1962 Adrian Frutiger joined André Gürtler and Bruno Pfäffli in establishing a graphic design studio in Arcueil, a suburb of Paris. As a freelance typographer, Adrian Frutiger designed logos, fonts, and the corporate image of numerous companies. Adrian Frutiger gave top priority to legibility, the efficient transmission of content, as well as beauty in designing all his typefaces. "When I put my pen to a blank sheet, black isn't added but rather the white sheet is deprived of light. [...] Thus I also grasped that the empty spaces are the most important aspect of a typeface."
In 1957 Adrian Frutiger developed Univers, a linear Antiqua typeface without serifs; it was supposed to be universally applicable due to its reticent, neutral form and today it is one of the most commonly used standard typefaces.
In 1969 Frutiger typeface was created specially for the sign system at Charles de Gaulle, the Paris airport. Frutiger is regarded as a typeface that is extremely easy to read because it is so clear, ideal for rapid recognition. Consequently, it is also used for motorway signs in both France and Switzerland. Adrian Frutiger taught typography and illustration for some years at the École Estienne and the École Nationale Superieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
In 1978 Adrian Frutiger's book "Der Mensch und seine Zeichen", a standard work on typography, was published. Since 1992 Adrian Frutiger has again lived in Switzerland.

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
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