Adrian Frutiger was born in Switzerland in 1928 and experimented with type creation from an early age – possibly as a rebellion against the very stiff, formal cursive style taught in Swiss schools of the time. The early love of design turned into a desire to become a sculptor – an aspiration which was later channeled into the unique, classy and sometimes unusual font designs he produced.
Frutiger began his career as a typographer at the Deberny Et Peignot foundry in Paris, later going on to the Bauer company and finally to Linotype, with whom he has a creative business relationship to this day.
The original Frutiger font was commissioned by the brand new Charles De Gaulle International Airport at Roissy (France) in 1968 and when completed in 1975, became the official type for all the signage and printed material. As the airport’s corporate brand, the font was known as Roissy; it got the name Frutiger upon its general release in 1976.
Frutiger Next was initially a request from the Alte Pinakothek, an art museum in Munich and appeared on its signage in 1997. Published by Linotype in 2000, Frutiger Next included Cyrillic letters and a number of special characters (such as the ¢, ©, &, ß and Ω signs). It also came with bonus small caps, old style figures, case forms and proportional lining figures among other features. Crucially, Frutiger Next no longer used Frutiger’s inventive type numbering system, instead choosing to rename font variations.
Monotype Imaging: Adrian Frutiger
Linotype: Font Designer – Adrian Frutiger
Identifont: Adrian Frutiger
Adrian Frutiger, 1928-Present
Identifont: Frutiger Next
The Frutiger and Frutiger Next font families have proven themselves very enduring within creative circles, chiefly because their designs are so timelessly flawless. For that reason, Frutiger and Frutiger Next are familiar faces in general society, having been adopted by a large number of companies and educational institutions the world over.
The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain uses Frutiger as its official typeface, as does the Citizens Advice Bureau (also in Britain). Arriva and the Bay Area Rapid Transit company both also use the font. Educational facilities employing Frutiger or Frutiger Next in their branding include the University of Lausanne, Emmanuel College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the London School of Economics and the Central Washington University.
When the Alte Pinakothek in Munich approached Adrian Frutiger and Linotype with a request for an updated Frutiger font, it proved not only a good deal for the Alte Pinakothek but also for the Frutiger typeface. Originally sporting modified roman characters instead of true italics, the font could now be expanded in style and its character map increased to include support for various glyphs as well as symbols not included with the 1976 release.
When the Frutiger Next face became commercially available in 2000, it was greeted with applause by the design community. Even if a certain individual designer chose to continue using the original Frutiger, they would then be able to match the extended alphabet and symbolism more easily.
Adrian Frutiger’s long standing association with Linotype has been the conduit for a lot of new and original typographic endeavors. Initially beginning his partnership with the firm in the 1970s, Frutiger, along with several talented members of the Linotype team have not only created new fonts but made useful and ingenious updates to existing ones.
Other fonts by Adrian Frutiger under a Linotype license include the Avenir®, Linotype Didot®, Egyptienne F™, Icone™, Iridium®, Meridien®, Serifa® and Westside™ faces. Frutiger continues to work with Linotype GmbH at the present time, particularly with Type Director Akira Kobayashi who is himself a talented and accomplished typographer.