Adrian Frutiger, typeface designer, died at 87

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Adrian Frutiger, born on May 24, 1928 and died September 12, 2015.

Adrian was a typeface designer who influenced the direction of digital typography in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st.

He is best known for creating the Univers and Frutiger typefaces.

Adrian Frutiger was born in Unterseen, Canton of Bern, the son of a weaver.

As a boy, he experimented with invented scripts and stylized handwriting in negative reaction to the formal, cursive penmanship then required by Swiss schools.

His early interest in sculpture was discouraged by his father and by his secondary school teachers; they encouraged him to work in printing.

Though in the world of print, he maintained the love of sculpture that influenced his type forms.

At the age of sixteen, Adrian was apprenticed for four years, as a compositor, to the printer Otto Schlaeffli in Interlaken.

From 1944 till 1948 he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule (school of applied arts) in Zurich, under Walter Zerbe, followed by an employment as a compositor at Gebr.

Fretz in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1949 Adrian returned to the Kunstwerbeschule, where he studied under Walter Kach, Karl Schmid and Alfred Willimann until 1951.

Students there studied monumental inscriptions from Roman forum rubbings.

At the Kunstgewerbeschule, Frutiger primarily concentrated on calligraphy – a craft favouring the nib and the brush, instead of drafting tools.

Adrian Frutiger died at age 87 on September 12, 2015.