Frutiger ascends, type communicates
The distinguished contemporary Swiss designer, Adrian Frutiger, passed on September 12th, 2015. After a lifetime of developing, forging and crafting near 80 font families, this type designer has left a legacy of typography that has nurtured design of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Having work that pervades public life in street signs and public transportation as well through major global brands, Frutiger has ascended into a lofty class of great designers who live on through their work.
“On my career path I learned to understand that beauty and readability — and up to a certain point, banality — are close bedfellows: the best typeface is the one that impinges least on the reader’s consciousness, becoming the sole tool that communicates the meaning of the writer to the understanding of the reader.”
Quoted from Adrian Frutiger Typefaces: The Complete Works
Typography is the method of arranging type to enhance the meaning of the written message and to compliment the overall visual communication. By selecting the proper typeface, weight, point size, leading (line-spacing), kerning (adjusting the space between letter pairs), tracking (letter-spacing) and measure (line length), the typography and greater design system or work should be symbiotic.
From subtle to extreme differences in typographic choices, one can change the style of the work from elegant to innocent, high-tech to playful, bold to bashful and personal to formal. These ideas or concepts are innately perceived by viewers whether or not they can discuss them formally.
As Frutiger noted, typographic choices that affect a viewer’s awareness least whereby they compliment the overall system and do not stand out or juxtapose, are the goal for the communicator.
That is unless, of course, juxtaposition is the intention.