What are Frutiger (typeface) distinctive characters and personality?

battlefield's picture

I'm doing a little research on the typeface Frutiger.
I've read plenty about Adrian himself unfortunately for me I need information about the typeface
He doesnt mention the face Frutiger much, though I have found some information about the typeface he designed for the airport in France called; Roissy which is i think Frutiger but it doesnt say much.

I need a little information on how to distict this typeface (Frutiger) with popular typefaces like Helvetica, Univers(Adrian again), etc. etc.

Or maybe something about its personality.
I found a few little companies that use Frutiger on the corporate identity.
However i'm sure a lot of companies use Frutiger for many things.

Any help will be appreciated, thank you type lovers.

Nick Shinn's picture

IMO it's the lack of distinct characters and the subtlety, dare one say blandness, of the face that provide its personality.

blank's picture

It’s not simply the blandness of the face, but the way that lack of distinction combines with the generous proportions of the forms and counterforms. Frutiger is a very airy typeface with huge counters and wide letterspacing; its black weight could pass for bold in some families. So it also lends itself to great readability in many circumstances.

Si_Daniels's picture

Rather than blandness you could say neutrality. Wasn't Myriad's codename Generica?

Nick Shinn's picture

Rather than blandness you could say neutrality.

But I didn't.
Frutiger is pleasantly bland, unassuming, gentle and well-mannered.
Neutral is nothing much of anything.

blank's picture

I don’t think Frutiger tries to be neutral. It gives off an unassuming warmth that’s perfect for making large organizations seem smaller and less impersonal. It’s sort of the Unitarian sans.

ncaleffi's picture

Speaking of Adrian Frutiger, a big book about his work has just been published by the Swiss Foundation Type and Typography:

"Adrian Frutiger - Typefaces: The Complete Works"

I guess this must be a very good starting point for any research on the matter.

"Only when the design fails does it draw attention to itself; when it succeeds, it's invisible." (John D. Berry)

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Check out the dvd The Man of Black and White, it is a great documentary.

eliason's picture

It’s sort of the Unitarian sans.

That's good!

battlefield's picture

Thank you guys (Nick Shinn, James Puckett, ncaleffi and Alessandro Segalini) for sharing your opinions/knowledge on Frutiger.

ncaleffi; helpful quote, i might also get the book (bit expensive tho) thanks!

Has anyone seen the Frutiger film or own the book?

nina's picture

I've seen excerpts of the film, which seems to be very interesting – I'd love to see the whole thing.

Re examples of usage: The Swiss Post has used Frutiger in its branding for as long as I can remember; in fact, every time I see Frutiger Bold, I think mail (which is how I indentify Frutiger!). Unfortunately, they don't have a lot of branded PDFs or anything online; here is their logo, which has actually just recently been tweaked a little, departing from the classic Frutiger lettershapes. I think their web site still has the old one though.

German Wikipedia lists a whole slew of companies that use Frutiger here – ranging from the German Army (Bundeswehr) to a certain failed Swiss Bank (which combines it with Walbaum in their printed matters) as well as Germany's largest (I think) trade union.
English Wikipedia also lists a few.

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