Frutiger: Wikis


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Category Humanist Sans-serif
Designer(s) Adrian Frutiger
Foundry Linotype
Variations Frutiger Next

Frutiger (pronounced with a hard g) is a series of typefaces named after its designer, Adrian Frutiger. Initially available as a sans serif, it was later expanded to include ornamental and serif typefaces.



New Swiss road signs use the typeface Frutiger

Frutiger is a sans-serif typeface by the Swiss type designer Adrian Frutiger. It was commissioned in 1968 by the newly built Charles De Gaulle International Airport at Roissy, France, which needed a new directional sign system. Instead of using one of his previously designed typefaces like Univers, Frutiger chose to design a new one. The new typeface, originally called Roissy, was completed in 1975 and installed at the airport the same year.

Frutiger's goal was to create a sans serif typeface with the rationality and cleanliness of Univers, but with the organic and proportional aspects of Gill Sans. The result is that Frutiger is a distinctive and legible typeface. The letter properties were suited to the needs of Charles De Gaulle – modern appearance and legibility at various angles, sizes, and distances. Ascenders and descenders are very prominent, and apertures are wide to easily distinguish letters from each other.

The Frutiger family was released publicly in 1976, by the Stempel type foundry in conjunction with Linotype. Frutiger's simple and legible, yet warm and casual character has made it popular today in advertising and small print. Some major uses of Frutiger are in the corporate identity of Raytheon, the National Health Service in England, Telefónica O2, the British Royal Navy, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Conservative Party of Canada, the Banco Bradesco in Brazil, the Finnish Defence Forces and on road signs in Switzerland. The typeface has also been used across the public transport network in Oslo, Norway since the 1980s. In 2008 it was the fifth best-selling typeface of the Linotype foundry.[1]

Frutiger is also used by DHL Globally and by DPWN Deutsche Post in Germany.

Frutiger was also produced by Bitstream under the name 'Humanist 777'.

Frutiger Linotype

This is a version of the original Frutiger font family licensed to Microsoft. This family consists of Frutiger 55, 56, 65, 66. It does not include OpenType features and kerning, but it adds support to Latin Extended-B and Greek characters, with Frutiger 55 supporting extra IPA characters, spacing modifier letters. In opposite to Frutiger the digits of Frutiger Linotype are in the typeset of Text figures as of medieval numerals.

Frutiger Linotype can be found in Microsoft products featuring Microsoft Reader, as well as the standalone Microsoft Reader package.


This is a variant of Frutiger used by Swiss authorities as the new font for traffic signs, replacing VSS since 2003.[2] It was based on Frutiger 57 Condensed, but with widening up- and down-strokes, which are intended to give the eye a better hold than was the case with the earlier version.

A family of two fonts were made, called ASTRA-Frutiger-Standard/standard, and ASTRA-Frutiger-Autobahn/autoroute.

Frutiger Next

The Frutiger family was updated in 1997 for signage at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. The new version, named Frutiger Next, changed a number of details and adds a true italic style in place of the oblique roman of the original.

Frutiger Next was commercially available in 2000 under Linotype. The family include 6 font weights, with bonus Ultra Light weight for the OpenType version. It supports ISO Adobe 2, Adobe CE, Latin Extended characters. OpenType features include small caps, old style figures, superscript/subscript, ordinals, proportional lining figures, case forms. Fonts names are no longer numbered with the Frutiger system. Frutiger Black was renamed to Frutiger Next Heavy, and Frutiger Ultra Black was changed to Frutiger Next Black. Condensed fonts no longer include italic variants. In addition to italic type, characters such as cent sign (¢), copyright symbol (©), ampersand (&), at sign (@), sharp S (ß), Omega (Ω) and integral symbol (∫) are redesigned. Cyrillic letters had not been produced until Frutiger Next W1G.

Frutiger Next Greek (2005)

This is a variant of Frutiger Next designed with Eva Masoura for Linotype, originally published as a TDC2 2006 entry.

Frutiger Next W1G (2009)

This is an expanded version of Frutiger Next W1G. It added Greek (from Frutiger Next Greek) and Cyrillic character sets, but advertised OpenType features were reduced to superscript/subscript. Only OpenType version has been produced.

Frutiger Stones (1998)

This is a family of casual fonts inspired by natural elements. Using polished pebbles as the boundary, the family consists of Regular, Positive, Negative fonts. Frutiger Stones Positive is Regular without the stone outline, while Negative is a reverse fill of the Regular.

Frutiger Symbols (1998)

This is a family of symbol fonts. The fonts contain plants, animals and stars as well as religious and mythological symbols. Naming convention follows Frutiger Stones.

Frutiger Capitalis (2005)

This is a family of casual fonts consists of Regular, Outline, Signs fonts. Frutiger Capitalis Outline is the outline version of Frutiger Capitalis Regular. Frutiger Capitalis contains only ornamental glyphs of religions, hand signs, astrological signs.

Frutiger Arabic (2007)

This is a font family designed by Lebanese designer Nadine Chahine as a companion to the Latin typeface Frutiger and with the consulting of Adrian Frutiger. It is based on the Kufi style but incorporates aspects of Ruqaa and Naskh in the letter form designs, which results in what Linotype called 'humanist Kufi'. The fonts consist of Basic Latin and ISO-Latin characters derived from the original Frutiger family, with Arabic characters supporting presentation forms A and B. 4 font weights were produced.

Frutiger Serif (2008)

This is a serif font family designed by Adrian Frutiger and Akira Kobayashi. It is a re-envisioning of the metal type version of Meridien, a typeface first released by Deberny & Peignot during the 1950s.

The family consists of roman and italic fonts in 5 weights and 2 widths each.

Neue Frutiger (2009)

This is an expanded version of the original Frutiger family designed by Adrian Frutiger and Akira Kobayashi. Unlike the original family, the Frutiger numbering scheme is not used.

The family has 20 fonts in 10 weights and 1 width, with complementary oblique. It supports ISO Adobe, Adobe CE, Latin Extended characters. OpenType features include subscript/superscript.

Similar types

As with all successful designs, Frutiger has been much imitated. Adobe's Myriad and Microsoft's Segoe UI are two prominent typefaces whose similarities to Frutiger have aroused controversy. However, in an interview, Adrian Frutiger commended the work of Myriad's designer, Robert Slimbach, "except the unnecessary doubt concerning Myriad, his work is also very good."[3]

Others include:

  • "M+ 2P" - a freeware font designed in Japan [4], [5]


Frutiger Next won bukva:raz! competition under the Latin category.[4]

Frutiger Next Greek won the TDC2 2006 award under the Type System / Superfamily category.[5]

Frutiger in branding

The National Health Service in England currently uses the Frutiger font as its standard typeface. [6]

The Dutch Amsterdam Airport (Schiphol) uses Frutiger as their main font for house style and signage.

The Danish Guide- and Scout Association uses Frutiger.

The Chicago Transit Authority uses Frutiger as the typeface on all of its system maps.

The Energy Saving Trust uses Frutiger as the typeface in its communications.

UBS AG uses Frutiger as their corporate font for all client presentation materials.

The University of Lausanne uses Frutiger as its official typeface. [7]

The University of Iceland uses Frutiger as its official typeface. [8]

The Connexions (agency) in the UK also uses Frutiger as its official type face [9]

The Finnish Defence Forces uses Frutiger as its official type face [10]



  • Meggs, Philip, and Rob Carter. Typographic Specimens: The Great Typefaces. Van Nostrand Reinhold: 1993, p. 163. ISBN 0-442-00758-2.
  • Gibson, Jennifer. "Univers and Frutiger." Revival of the Fittest: Digital Versions of Classical Typefaces, Ed. Philip Meggs and Roy McKelvey. RC Publications: 2000, pp. 176–177. ISBN 1-883915-08-2.

See also

External links

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