This week the type community lost a hero - Adrian Frutiger. Who leaves us with a vast legacy of some of the most resonate typefaces of the last century. Univers was one of the first faces I exploded using my kit-of-parts type interrogation process. At the time rather than using pencil I used scissors as Fruitger has been quoted on numerous occasions as saying he uses cutting implements the most useful type design tools. His work taught me about the balance, rhythm, and weight distribution of type. He also had a strong influence on the language of design, the effectiveness of symbols, how we communicate visually, and the relationship between weight and hierarchy of text.
His typefaces demonstrate a mastery of black and white shapes that I do not believe any other Type Designer in the 20th century has balanced as skillfully. In an interview with Eye Magazine he shared ‘I was fortunate. Early in life, I understood that my world was a two-dimensional one. At sixteen I knew that my work would be in black and white.’
I spent this weekend revisiting 'Adrian Frutiger Typefaces The Complete Works' which profiles not only each of his typefaces in detail but also goes deep into his production process - If you don't have a copy on your shelf you absolutely should invest, and digest this book... It is relevant not only to the hard-core type enthusiast, I believe studying and celebrating Adrian's work will make us all better designers and communicators.