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Univers History


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Univers was designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1956 and released by the Deberny & Pe ignot type foundry in 1957. It is a neo-grotesque sans serif; it features optica lly even stroke weights and a large x-height to improve legibility. It s become kn own for the variety of weights and set-widths included in the family. At the tim e it was designed it included 21 variations, and was the first type family to im plement a numbering system as opposed to using names. Today there are over 27 di fferent variations of Univers available. Univers is an extremely diverse typefac e that has the ability to work very well at large display sizes for applications such as headlines and mastheads as well as in small sizes for body copy. During the 1990s, Adrian Frutiger worked together with Linotype to expand his cl assic Univers family. The result, Linotype Univers, includes 63 different weight s, each drawn carefully to ensure compatibility with all the others. > ================================================================================ Adrian Frutiger is best known as a type-designer. He has produced some of the mo st well known and widely used typefaces. He was born in 1928 in Interlaken, Swit zerland, and by the age of 16 was working as a printer's apprentice near his hom e town. Following this he moved to Zurich where he studied at the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts, under Professor Walter Kach. After his education in Zurich, Frutiger moved to Paris where he started to work at the Deberny & Peignot typefoundry. Here he helped the foundry move classic ty pefaces used with traditional printing methods to newer phototypesetting technol ogies. At the same time Frutiger started to design his own typefaces, a few of which be came very significant, and this earned him his status as a great type designer. Throughout his career he has produced a number of books, such as: Type, Sign, Symbol (1980) Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning (1989) The International Type Book (1990) Geometry of Feelings (1998) The Development of Western Type Carved in Wood Plates (1999) Forms and Counterforms (1999) Life Cycle (1999) The Univers (1999) Symbols and Signs: Explorations (1999) Today his typefaces are readily available from a number of different foundries. He is still alive (2005) and has worked on revisions with Linotype of a number o f his typefaces. Such recent collaborations have resulted in Frutiger Next and A venir Next, which have included refined forms and true italics. Presently Frutiger lives in Bern, Switzerland and is working with woodcuts. The Types of Adrian Frutiger: President (1952), Phoebus (1953), Ondine (1954), Méridien (1955), Egyptienne (1956 ), Univers (1956), Apollo (1962), Serifa (1967), OCR-B (1968), Iridium (1975), F rutiger (1975), Glypha (1979), Icone (1980), Breughel (1982), Versailles (1982), Avenir (1988), Vectora (1990) ================================================================================ Adrian Frutiger (born May 24, 1928 in Unterseen, Canton of Bern) is one of the p rominent typeface designers of the 20th century, who continues to influence the direction of digital typography in the 21st century; he is best known for creating the typefaces Univers and Frutiger. Adrian Frutiger was born in Unterseen, Canton of Bern, as the son of a weaver. A s a boy, he experimented with invented scripts and stylized handwriting in negat ive reaction to the formal, cursive penmanship then required by Swiss schools. H is early interest in sculpture was discouraged by his father and by his secondar y school teachers; they encouraged him to work in printing. Though in the world of print, he maintains the love of sculpture that has influenced his type forms. At the age of sixteen, he was apprenticed four years, as a compositor, to the pr inter Otto Schaerffli in Interlaken; between 1949 and 1951 he studied under Walt er Käch and Alfred Willimann in the Kunstgewerbeschule (school of applied arts) in Zürich, where students studied monumental inscriptions from Roman forum rubbings. At the Kunstgewerbeschule, Frutiger primarily concentrated on calligraphy a cra ft favouring the nib and the brush, instead of drafting tools. Charles Peignot, of the Paris foundry Deberny Et Peignot, recruited Frutiger bas ed upon the quality of the illustrated essay Schrift / Écriture / Lettering: the d evelopment of European letter types carved in wood. Frutiger's wood-engraved ill ustrations of the essay demonstrated his skill, meticulousness, and knowledge of letterforms. At Deberny & Peignot foundry, Frutiger designed the typefaces "Prési dent", "Méridien", and "Ondine". In the event, Charles Peignot set Frutiger to wor k upon converting extant typefaces for the new phototypesetting Linotype equipme nt. Adrian Frutiger's first, commercial typeface was Président a set of titling capita l letters with small, bracketed serifs, released in 1954. A calligraphic, inform al, script face, Ondine ("wave" in French), also was released in 1954. In 1955, Méridien, a glyphic, old-style, serif text face was released. The typeface shows i nspiration by Nicholas Jenson, and, in the Méridien type, Frutiger's ideas of lett er construction, unity, and organic form, are first expressed together. In 1956, he designed his first-of-three, slab-serif typefaces Egyptienne, on the Clarend on model; after Univers, it was the second, new text face commissioned for photo composition processing. Charles Peignot envisioned a large, unified font family, that might be set in bo th the metal and the photocomposition systems. Impressed by the success of the B auer foundry's Futura typeface, Peignot encouraged a new, geometric sans-serif t ype in competition. Frutiger disliked the regimentation of Futura, and persuaded Peignot that the new sans-serif should be based on the realist (neo-grotesque) model. The 1896 face, Akzidenz Grotesk, is cited as the primary model. To mainta in unity across the 21 variants, each weight and width, in roman and italic, was drawn and approved before any matrices were cut. In the Univers font, Frutiger introduced his two-digit numeration; the first digit (3 though 8) indicates the weight, "3" the lightest, "8" the heaviest. The second digit indicates the facewidth and either roman or oblique. The response to Univers was immediate and pos itive; he claimed it became the model for his future typefaces: Serifa (1967) an d Glypha (1977) are based upon it. In the early 1970s, the RATP, the public transport authority of Paris, asked him to examine the Paris Metro signage.[1] He created a Univers font variation a se t of capitals and numbers specifically for white-on-dark-blue backgrounds in poo r light. The success of this modern, yet human, typeface, spurred the French air port authority's commissioning a "way-finding signage" alphabet for the new Char les de Gaulle International Airport in the Roissy suburb of Paris. The "way-find ing-signage" commission brief required a typeface both legible from afar and fro m an angle. Frutiger considered adapting Univers, but decided it was dated as to o Sixties. The resultant typeface is an amalgamation of Univers tempered with or ganic influences of the Gill Sans, a humanist sans-serif typeface by Eric Gill, and Edward Johnston's type for the London Transport, and Roger Excoffon's Antique Olive. Originally titled Roissy, the typeface was renamed Frutiger when the Me rgenthaler Linotype Company released it for public use in 1976. Frutiger's 1984 typeface Versailles is an old-style serif text with capitals lik e those in the earlier Président. In Versailles, the serifs are small and glyphic. In 1988, Frutiger completed Avenir ("future" in French), inspired by Futura, with structural likeness to the neo-grotesques; Avenir has a full series of unifie d weights. In 1991, he finished Vectora, a design influenced by Morris Fuller Be nton's type faces Franklin Gothic and News Gothic. The resultant face has a tall x-height and is legible in small-point sizes. In the late 1990s, Frutiger began collaborating on refining and expanding the Un ivers, Frutiger, and Avenir, in addressing hinting for screen display. Univers w as reissued with sixty-three variants; Frutiger was reissued as Frutiger Next wi th true italic and additional weights. Collaborating with Linotype designer Akir a Kobayashi,[2][3] Frutiger expanded the Avenir font family with light weights, heavy weights, and a condensed version that were released as the Avenir Next fon t. Adrian Frutiger's career and typeface development spans the hot metal, phototype setting, and digital typesetting eras. Currently, he lives near Bern. > ================================================================================ Univers is the name of a realist sans-serif typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1954.[1] Originally conceived and released by Deberny & Peignot in 1957, the type library was acquired in 1972 by Haas. Haas'sche Schriftgiesserei (Haas Type Foundry) wa s later folded into the D. Stempel AG and Linotype collection in 1985 and 1989 r espectively. Univers is one of a group of neo-grotesque sans-serif typefaces, all released in 1957,[2] that includes Folio and Neue Haas Grotesk (later renamed Helvetica). T hese three faces are sometimes confused with each other, because each is based o n the 1898 typeface Akzidenz-Grotesk. These typefaces figure prominently in the Swiss Style of graphic design. Different weights and variations within the type family are designated by the us e of numbers rather than names, a system since adopted by Frutiger for other typ e designs. Frutiger envisioned a large family with multiple widths and weights t hat maintained a unified design idiom. However, the actual typeface names within Univers family include both number and letter suffixes. Currently, Univers type family consists of 44 faces, with 16 uniquely numbered w eight, width, position combinations. 20 fonts have oblique positions. 8 fonts su pport Central European character set. 8 support Cyrillic character set. In 1997 Frutiger reworked the whole Univers family in cooperation with Linotype, thus creating the Linotype Univers, which consists of 63 fonts. By reworking th e Univers more "extreme" weights as Ultra Light or Extended Heavy were added as well as some monospaced typefaces. The numbering system was extended to three di gits to reflect the larger number of variations in the family. In addition to extra font width and weight combinations, the fonts are digitally interpolated, so that character widths scale uniformly with changing font weigh ts. For fonts within a specific font weight, caps height, x-height, ascender and descender heights are the same. For oblique fonts, the slope is increased from 12° to 16°, and the character widths were adjusted optically. In addition, character s such as &, ®, euro sign, are redesigned. Adrian Frutiger designed his unique classification system to eliminate naming an d specifying confusion. It was first used with Univers, and was adopted for use in the Frutiger, Avenir, and Neue Helvetica typeface families. The number used in a font is a concatenation of two numbers. The first set defin es weight, while the second defines width and position. Univers enjoyed great popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. It is used in a modifie d version by the new Swiss International Air Lines (previously, Swissair used th e typeface Futura), Munich Re Group (which also uses a personalized version), Deutsche Bank and for signage all over the world. General Electric used the font f rom 1986 to 2004 before switching to GE Inspira.[4] Apple Inc. previously used t his typeface as well as its condensed oblique variant for the keycaps on many of its keyboards, before completely switching to VAG Rounded in August 2007 with t he introduction of new keyboards and the new iMac (their notebook computers alre ady featured that typeface since 1999). Univers is known for its clear lines and legibility at great distances. The Montreal Metro, San Francisco BART,[5] various Toronto Transit Commission su bway stations, Frankfurt airport and the Walt Disney World road system also make extensive use of this typeface. Some but not all London boroughs use Univers Bo ld Condensed for street signs.[6][7] The Royal Air Force adopted the font for al l merchandising material in 2006 to complement its new corporate logo. Ordnance Survey also adapted Univers for use on their maps (added tails on the lowercase l and t, and other small changes to help distinguish the type from the map detai ls) of which they own all rights to. In 2006, the Office of Fair Trading adopted Univers as its corporate typographic voice in size 12-point so that visually im paired people can more easily read its publications. The font is also used in the UK for School Tests and exams extensively, due to i ts clear differences between characters like I and 1 that prevents confusion bet ween letterforms. Rand McNally once used Univers on their maps and atlases from the 1970s to 2004 when they adopted use of Frutiger. Univers is embedded in the HP LaserJet 1100 Printer. Installing a LaserJet 1100 on a Windows system will also add several new fonts to the list, with a printer icon near their names. This icon means that the selected font is a printer font (processed by the printer), instead of a system font (processed and rasterized b y the system, such as a TrueType or OpenType typeface). Since early 2009, CNN Domestic and CNN International have adopted several weight s of Univers in their on-screen graphics. CNN International used Helvetica until the switch to Univers, while CNN Domestic previously used many different typefa ces. ESPN also used Univers as its main font for their on-screen graphics from 2004 t o 2010. However in their broadcasts of NFL's Monday Night Football, NBA on ESPN and ESPN Major League Baseball, they changed to Franklin Gothic in the 2006-07 s eason. SportsCenter and other ESPN-related programming gradually switched to Kla vika in their on-screen graphics in 2009, later followed by the network's flagsh ip live programs. Frutiger (with Howard "Bud" Kettler[8]) adapted[9] Univers for the 9-unit escape ment system on the IBM Selectric Composer widely used for in-house typesetting i n the 1960-70s. Univers 45, 55, 65, 57, 67, 53, 63 are incorporated in PostScript standard as Po stScript 3 core fonts. Audi Sans is a variant based on Univers,[10] designed by Ole Schäfer.[11] It becam e Audi's corporate identity font in 1990s,[12] when Audi contracted MetaDesign t o support Audi's brand management strategy.[13] >

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