The Quiet Genius Of Adrian Frutiger

By Peter Cronin | Thursday, September 24, 2015 | No Comments

Adrian Frutiger died a couple of weeks back. You may not recognize the name, but chances are you’ve experienced the clarity of the deceivingly simple and iconic typefaces (including one named after himself) he designed over the course of his long and distinguished career.

“Frutiger is basically the best signage type in the world because there’s not too much ‘noise’ in it, so it doesn’t call attention to itself,” Erik Spiekermann, a prominent German type designer and friend of Mr. Frutiger, told the New York Times in a recent retrospective. “It makes itself invisible, but physically it’s actually incredibly legible.”

Here’s Frutiger himself from an interview on the Linotype Company’s website: “The whole point with type is for you not to be aware it is there. If you remember the shape of a spoon with which you just ate some soup, then the spoon had a poor shape. Spoons and letters are tools. The first we need to ingest bodily nourishment from a bowl, the latter we need to ingest mental nourishment from a piece of paper.”

These two quotes say a lot about Adrian Frutiger and his wonderful work, and they’re so in sync with Cronin Creative’s Clarity By Design philosophy, that we had to share. You can (and you should) read more about Frutiger in The New York Times here, and on the Linotype website here.

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