Adrian Frutiger was born on May 24th, 1928, in Unterseen near Interlaken, Switzerland. After attending school, he was a typesetter’s apprentice from 1944 to 1948 at the printing press Otto Schlaefli AG in Interlaken. After this, he attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (College of Technical Arts) in Zurich for three years. In 1952, he moved to Paris and became the artistic director of the type foundry Deberny & Peignot. After 10 years of successful work, he left the foundry to open a studio for graphic arts together with Andre Gürtler and Bruno Pfäffli in Arcueil near Paris.
Aside from the large number of his now world famous typefaces, he has also created signets, logos, corporate typefaces and corporate identities for various publishers and industrial enterprises. For the airport in Paris Orly and the Paris Metro he conceived new lettering systems and he created a new information system for the Charles de Gaulle airport. And whoever drives on a highway through Switzerland will constantly be confronted with his type as well.
Plus, his computer type OCR B for automatic reading became a worldwide standard in 1973. Adrian Frutiger was a lecturer for ten years at the Ecole Estienne and for eight years at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, both in Paris. In addition, he has given numerous seminars around the world. From 1963 to 1981, he was responsible for the design and adaptation of typewriter and composer fonts at the IBM World Fair.
In 1968, Adrian Frutiger became an official advisor for D. Stempel AG in Frankfurt, Germany, and therefore also for its successor companies such as Mergenthaler, Linotype, Linotype-Hell and today the Heidelberg subsidiary, Linotype, Bad Homburg, for which he has been an active type designer for over thirty years. In this time, such timeless typefaces have been created like Centennial, Versailles, Frutiger, Avenir, Vectora, Univers and many more.
To commemorate the life and work of Adrian Frutiger, the Type Directors Club asked renowned type designer Matthew Carter to speak about his friend, which can be viewed here.