Adrian Frutiger is a very well known typographical designer in the 20th Century. He has been a leading force in the typeface industry for years and is best known for his creation of the Frutiger and Univers Fonts.
Frutiger first experienced his fascination with type in his youth when most text was fashioned out of metal on signs of building walls. This set his mind to pursue the greatest most efficient and easiest method of achieving legibility. After a while, text technology moved from the relief metal lettering to lettering produced by light and film one a flat surface. This was where Frutiger begins to work his magic.
With this new-found technology, Frutiger spawned the Univers Font which is so commonly used today and would soon grow to father many more variations of text which would skyrocket his name to the top of the list of contributors to the design on type!
Here's a direct quote from the man himself to illustrate what advice he has to offer: "From all these experiences the most important thing I have learned is that legibility and beauty stand close together and that type design, in its restraint, should be only felt but not perceived by the reader. In the course of my professional life I have aquired knowledge and manual skill. To pass on what I had learned and achieved to the next generation became a necessity."
The UNIVERS Font:
The Univers font is so popular because it has a simplicity that allows for very high legibility and can be applied to almost ANY typographical situation, BUT it also has a wide array of weights and typographic colors in its repertoire, giving it a unique variety once compared to other texts. So, it accomplishes both the job of being simple while simultaneously accomplishing the job of being unique and aesthetically pleasing. Very impressive!!
The UNIVERS Grid:
*Quoted from: http://saraminor.blogspot.com/2008/09/adrian-frutigers-univers.html *
"At the age of 16 Adrian Frutiger worked as an apprentice for a compositor for a printer near his hometown of Interlaken, Switzerland. Frutiger was born in 1928 and is one of the most prominent typeface designers around. With the early start to his career that he got from being an apprentice his moved on from that experience to attending the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts. One of the first jobs that he acquired after attending school in Zurich was a typefoundry job in Paris. He worked on moving typefaces used with traditional printing methods to the new phototypesetting technology that had been developed. At the same time Frutiger started designing original typefaces. Although he is most notably known for his Univers font Frutiger's first commercial font was President. Along with his famous Univers font he has created 17 typefaces.
Univers is Adrian Frutiger's most notable typeface. He created a typeface that allowed for variations of different weights all within the same family. A unique number system is also used to identify the different variations within the typeface. Right now the Univers type family consists of 44 faces, with 16 uniquely numbered weight, width, position combinations. 20 fonts have oblique positions. All of these different variations can be seen in the Univers grid. The grid shows the variations and how each variation differs slightly to get to the next."