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"He saw the type designer as a kind of public servant"
October 3, 2007 10:27 PM   Subscribe

It’s easy to talk about Adrian Frutiger in the past tense, since his most influential fonts – Univers, Egyptienne, and the eponymous Frutiger – are all at least thirty years old. But he is still alive, and in the summer of 2006, as he was presented with the Society for Typographic Aficionados’ annual Typography Award, type designer Mark Simonson gave a presentation on how Frutiger [pdf, 18 MB] affected, and continues to affect, him and all others who benefit from good typography.
posted by tepidmonkey (14 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Eponygraphical.
posted by Poolio at 10:36 PM on October 3, 2007


For some reason I'd always assumed that Frutiger was some kind of 16th century printer from Geneva. Thanks for the post.
posted by nasreddin at 10:37 PM on October 3, 2007


I'm loving the parody newspaper Mark showed as his first experience in typography. I had something like that too in high school, though I used lame Microsoft Publisher. His way would have been a lot cooler.
posted by ALongDecember at 10:49 PM on October 3, 2007


Canadians (and interested non-Canadians) will know Frutiger as "that sexy font that the CBC uses for everything.
posted by blacklite at 12:23 AM on October 4, 2007


"

dammit
posted by blacklite at 12:23 AM on October 4, 2007


In an alternate universe somewhere in the eighth dimension, a Swiss typographer toils endless hours at perfecting Comic Sans.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:26 AM on October 4, 2007


It's always inspiring to learn of the birthplace of one man's passion - nice find, tepidmonkey!
posted by elphTeq at 12:34 AM on October 4, 2007


This is a good post. I miss the days of Metafilter being this.

Thanks for the post, tepidmonkey.
posted by travis vocino at 12:51 AM on October 4, 2007


I concur that this post is great. I had just read Simonson's pdf from his presentation, and I liked his reflections on how Frutiger's method for optical scaling of fonts foreshadows the algorithms in use today. Type Sign Symbol is a bit pricey now, luckily my university's library rocks!
posted by kandinski at 2:39 AM on October 4, 2007


This is one of those posts that won't get many comments because it's good and interesting and non-controversial. So I'll add mine and say: great post, thanks.

Also, God sucks.
posted by athenian at 3:40 AM on October 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Any post that highlights great typography gets a "Favorite" from me.

Just last night, my daughter's soccer team had their "senior recognition" night. One of the mothers had put together season-highlight booklets for the each girl and, while her layout was remarkably clean and restrained, her use throughout of some bizarre Papyrus/Mistral/Zapf Chancery hybrid bastard font made the ghost of Eric Gill weep.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:08 AM on October 4, 2007


Thanks for digging all of these up. I never thought I'd find typography that interesting, but as I scrolled through Mark Simonson's PDF, I was enthralled.

In case anytone is interested, there is also a documnetary out right now about Univers' rival, Helvetica. When I saw posters for it before I couldn't imagine going to see it, but after this post it's a bit tempting, honestly.
posted by piratebowling at 6:47 AM on October 4, 2007


In case anytone is interested, there is also a documnetary out right now about Univers' rival, Helvetica. When I saw posters for it before I couldn't imagine going to see it, but after this post it's a bit tempting, honestly.

Believe it or not, Entertainment Weekly loved it.

Wonder if it's playing anywhere nearby...
posted by pupdog at 7:34 AM on October 4, 2007


I was sitting in one of the front rows for Mark's presentation. It was terrific and a little bit heartbreaking to know this tender, kind craftsman is/was not in good health and may not be with us for another generation of type designers to study under.

I wish I could have been with the SoTA board when they gave the award to Mr. Frutiger. I've always wanted to meet him.

Thanks for this post.
posted by luriete at 12:13 AM on October 5, 2007


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