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Adrian Frutiger, (1928–)

Goudy Award Winner 20, 1988

Adrian Frutiger is a native of Interlaken, Switzerland and was trained as a typographer in that country. He attended the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts from 1949 to 1950, studying under Walter Kach and Alfred Willimann. His first typefaces were designed while working as art director for the Deberny & Peignot Typefoundry from 1952 to 1954. These faces included President, Phoebus, Ondine, and Meridien, his first typeface. From 1954 to 1955 he designed his sans serif typeface family, Univers, and extended this design into Cyrillic and Greek type characters. Subsequently, he designed the type, face Centennial.

In 1962 he established his studio in Paris along with two associates, and by 1965 he had five additional associates working with him. During this period, up to 1967, the faces Opera, Concorde, Egyptienne, Apollo, and Serifa were designed. Since 1963, Mr. Frutiger has consulted with IBM in the adaptation of type styles for the typewriter field. Consulting with Mergenthaler Linotype and the Stempel Typefoundry, the typeface Iridium was released in 1972. In 1973 he finished designing the standard typeface, OCR-B, for optical character recognition. The typefaces Frutiger and Glypha followed in 1976 and 1979. Leone, a series of types with chisel-shaped serifs were designed in 1980.

In addition to these and other typographic endeavors, Mr. Frutiger has designed numerous logotypes for various companies, created woodcut sequences, illustrated books, constructed sculptures, and produced numerous publicantions during his many years of teaching activity. From 1952-1968 he was active in teaching at the Estienne School and the National University of the Decorative Arts in Paris.

In 1987 he received the Type Directors Club Medal in New York City. In receiving this award, Mr. Frutiger was cited by Steve Byers of the Linotype Group as being successful because of his understanding of the imaging technologies that would be used to reproduce his designs. His unusual versatility was also cited as a strength along with his understanding of imaging technologies whether he was designing type elements for the electronic typewriter, editing bit maps for laser printers, editing outline characters using Ikarus or Laserfont formats, or designing a complete public sign system for the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.