A collaborative design effort between Adrian Frutiger and Akira Kobayashi, Neue Frutiger has the power and grace of a Waikiki wave. The suite of typefaces takes Adrian Frutiger’s original design, refines it, expands it and makes it a classic for the 21st century.
The Frutiger typestyle is a classic. The design dates back to 1968, when Adrian Frutiger was commissioned to develop a typeface for the signage of the then-new Charles de Gaulle International Airport at Roissy, France. Frutiger's goal was to create a sans serif typeface with the rationality and clean lines of his Univers, softened with organic, almost calligraphic, nuances. The result was a seminal design that changed forever how we looked at sans serif type. The Frutiger typestyle is logical though not rigid, distinctive without being mannered, and warm with no loss of sophistication.
The typeface design was completed in 1975, installed at Charles de Gaulle Airport the same year, and released as film fonts the following year. Since then, Frutiger has been translated into digital fonts, all the while becoming one of the most popular typefaces for branding, advertising and corporate communication.
The Frutiger family was modified in 1997 for signage at the Alte Pinakothek art museum in Munich. The new version, named Frutiger Next, incorporated a number of subtle detail changes, and a few not so subtle – like the creation of a cursive italic that replaced the oblique roman of Frutiger’s original. While this new design met the needs of the Alte Pinakothek, Adrian Frutiger preferred the earlier version.
Ten years later, in collaboration with Akira Kobayashi, the master type designer accepted the challenge of revitalizing and improving the family’s range. In doing so, Frutiger went back to his original work for the design foundation. He took the cursive italic back to its simple, sloped roman roots and made countless careful adjustments to character shapes and proportions. He and Kobayashi also added five new weights to the family, vastly widening its range of use and improving the gradation between designs in the series. In addition, Frutiger and Kobayashi took Frutiger Serif into account when creating the new sans, so that now the two designs complement each other with verve and grace.
The end result, Neue Frutiger, maintains all that is good about the 1975 design and adds to this the refinements and enhancements to make it a classic for the 21st century.