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Old 03-02-2005, 05:52 AM   #1
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Default Adrian Frutiger documentary [PR]

If you’re not a fan of Adrian Frutiger’s work it may be because you don’t know much about it. He is not a film star sort of type designer — he is kind of retiring, in fact.

But he is at least arguably the key type designer still alive, especially when it comes to sans serif fonts. People often say Hermann Zapf is the most pirated designer — because Palatino has been ripped off so often — but I’m not sure he is actually ahead of Frutiger.

Adrian Frutiger designed Univers, the first family with a designed collection of weights and styles designated by numbers. It has been adapted for many technologies, including the IBM (strike-on) Composer system. He designed Roissy for the Paris airport, then developed it as the eponymous Frutiger family — which has spawned many lookalikes, clones, and (yes) knockoffs over the years as so-called humanist sans-serif fonts have gained popularity.

Now you can buy a 47-minute movie of Frutiger’s life and work on DVD, produced by his nephew, Christoph Frutiger and journalist Christine Kopp. Unfortunately, although the documentary costs only $20 U.S., postage to the U.S. is $25; may be a better deal for Europeans, and I’ll try to find a U.S. source.

Unfortunately, Adrian Frutiger is 77 and reportedly not in good health. It is wonderful to have a film documenting his life and work.

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