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MASTERS 20th Century



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TWO MASTERS 20th Century Typographers

ry tial ntu uen infl 0th ce t s mo the 2 a and he of er s of t ers o me tyle d Tw aph the sa rent s r g r an e p tyo xist in tly diff rutige d e F s a uce ian can ave v Adr h prod have h . t s e t d , er y tren lin bo aces sign and Luba f typef pe de b ty o Her thora erous s, and f le le m eo a p ed nu tor ro har c k s r e r r i o di w r fa art , hei s. ghs and had t rou cesse e h t v k c a u ha s e br and till a hic rap ments are s e g o typ mplish , there at serv es. t h o yl acc ite tha ings t ent st that p th er f gs f i n i Des er of d b eir t th h n m t a nu ir ific rm nfo t sign er and r is the s to i g e i o t h m ru ot ith The rates F each nce w e a i m r p o d e r e f n s xp alin eir lly a de Lub groun chnica ll as th k e e bac both t y as w ll e typ ssiona re. fe ltu pro n’s cu o i nat




bL Her

ir the ed d l ou phy. sm e ing pogra abl h t wo n ty gs are n a t o e s s in The sophie ese th tries o form lo un in th o e c phi k ad d. r i the y inste eir fiel ch l o u M m e h r t h ,t of nfo to i r scale asters typog e e o m g r m w la sa wo et se t h thes in the cation ir e h t e lo oug sted e th nd Alth rs exi ture a efin er. d e l o h h u t rap heir c oved e anot r n ,t era ately p rom o m tf i r t l a u p es a styl

rnte in U land, 8 r 2 19 tze th, Swi who y 24 laken er a f h n M se to rap tion o r g o p a B o o d l e r y c n t n a ec na r see r is h th oder e t e i g v i w t m e e ng Fru dited most hav ri t e u r e a D c h h is of t onts t eyes. a, e t er o som ional f orld’s tha t n w d t eli c e the swiss ntinu fun b d e em f o c gra ime’s o aphy c and un r t , the pog tive s ty objec 8). s i sw lain, r, 8 p tige be (Fru d e lish

Adrian Frutiger



LET’S TA Unsaitisfied with the formal and cursive penmanship that swiss schools required, Frutiger experimented a lot with his own invented scripts. The shapes of letterforms fascinated Frutiger, and this fascination was what paved his career to designing and developing typefaces for the letterpress and eventual move to phototype setting. His first typesettting apprenticeship would be at Otto Schaefi AG, where he printed in interlaken Switzerland. Frutiger’s typefaces Univers and Frutiger are supposedly his strongest due to the extensive families, distinctiveness, and legibility.

"I think, for instance, that observation is one of the most important things. You have to look at things and you have not to forget them, but to store them up in your brain which is like a bank of knowledge." 6

- Herb Lubalin

S ALK Herb Lubalin was born in 1918 in New York City, 10 years earlier than Frutiger. Similar to Frutiger, Lubalin is also reknowned for making what some call the most abused type face ever. Lubalin was likely just as enamored with letterforms as Frutiger was, and spent his time in the American art school Cooper Union. His productions for the Eros, Fact, and Avant Garde magazines stood out from the work of other post-modern professionals and printers in the midst of the counterculture of the 1960s (NVCC).

Unlike Frutiger though, Lubalin did not actually have a history in metal type. Despite that, he is still most known for the typefaces that came out his magazine productions, most notably ITC Avant Garde of the 1970s.





On th hist e sub ory, ject con F o side rutige f typo r is gra also red p m a of s known mod ostly hic e wis f r o n r i s fu s dor bei Tow nc ng t, but p ard is ap for , 114). tional F r r o utig s the i o sm F en er’s (Mi duct in t bjectiv unctio o f in dde he Uni d of t ity nali t e r he v n a e r sm des e nd nat alm prin a ig e ion rs bec 1950 cip a s, a tha n did of typ fficien imed l l e t m s he , an tw e cy Uni s were tyle w e par ith d st , and Bla t t h B e a t e a h s d dop ill ck a n it w uh e si S s ted n mp does, iss unj left aus G tates j lest usti d whi in just e u t r h s t m fi t e e of m tex e a i a h r p d f n t a i ho ,b nflu e t, ve e enc design r the spa consc locks togra ans. bef had t e. L ers phy iou ce, of s his o r u e s had , ans and kind ba ind use inte too er ic t ko rna o of i lin mi v tha ative o he grid f neg if t n gh io e des flue t Fr ativ ign r as w nal d nce t utig f the k were e e e w b s l l, b ign igg as e ind a er d u of w ll id. own est infl asily o t swis style ork s uen ne typ o ce ogr aph s in F f the ruti y. ger ’s









Lub a con lin on the sidd ot but e is a red a p her ha lso nd his ostwe is af mo der cou filiatio ll kno wn nist nw nte , f ith r cu Spe the or ltu c 196 the ifically re mo 0 ’s ve fo E cou ros ma r his w ment. nte gaz ork r ine the with cult (S p u sex rincipl re was nyder, uali es s 2 ty, b urro all abo 3), cult ut ut un u pro re also count ding te er incl u war sts ag ains ded th , pr o t in righ test s fo the vie gs like ts r wo tna par , etc. m Fre t of me ed n th be exp is cult om w ’s as a re u typ efac ssed t re whi ch c big hro e IT u ou CA g van h Lub ld tG ard alin’s e.


MOR Based off of Lubalin’s logo for Avant Garde Magazine, the geometric sans serif lost its overlapping and tightly set type, but retained its construction from basic shapes like lines and circles that were indicative of the 1920s German Bauhaus. It’s constant improper overuse lead Ed Benguiat, Vice President of Photo Lettering to say “The first time Avant Garde was used was one of the few times it was used corectly. It’s become the most abused typeface in the world.” (Synder, 23).

Despite being in similar time frames, two different movements of type had been influencing the two typographers in different parts of the world. Frutiger was mostly influenced by the clean, clear cut, and concise swiss design while Lubalin was exposed to the freedom movements of 60’s counter culture. Frutiger’s work in that case must have had a much more rigid structure to it, and like most swiss design, it was functional and efficient. Univers encompasses each of these qualities, and has become the king of sans serifs with its massive family of 21 different fonts. A testament to Univers’ usability came in the form of the magazine TM where editor Rudolf Hostettler started setting the entire magazine in Univers (Frutiger, 88).




In contrast, Lubalin’s ITC Avant Garde had spawned off of his Avant Garde magazine logo of an exciting construction of overlapping geometric capital letters. Just comparing the two movements alone gives the contrast of the two typographic modes of communication “reading and legibility” and “expression” where European type and swiss type of Frutiger represents the former and the American type being informed by German Bauhaus of Lubalin in the 1960s represents the latter. This may have been a product of the different wars going on at the different periods. During World War II, Switzerland had remained a neutral country (Middendrop, 114) while the United States was much more directly involved with the wars. This meant that Swiss design could focus their efforts on refinement and the distinctive legibility of their type while American design could place more emphasis on war efforts through posters, magazines, and other publications.




t rea a g ion t en r Un sp e lin oop had a ub e C he in hy L e, sts re p t th wis rs a whe tere ligra e n cal i ng Lik r yea f art s rni nd fou ool o urs a ell a , a tu is w t h sch eavo e as fac s in he d In a en h typ 11). in w ere ing l t h , it a r o w b yde Lub ss wr her a ty c (Sn nt of hy cl ffcul tea ame i i is rc p d o h him a p igr e ve av , but he o gave ll h a . c at uld ded nd ass wo han ed th ge a e cl h t n z ft lef ogni alle eo h rec h a c grad suc best the


f so ure st as t l cu is ju e he t o t rs, i ledg t e ow n n o i g e t di desi ackn ubtl had ad In two t to ore s that For lly n . the ifica ler, m lives work igina n r l r e sig sma thei their as o nd h w n e a n i r h o ge ic e t s es tur raph e ng ti thi enc Fru culp g u , t th e s infl ance d in gsid ion a ule hic t n t ins reste t alo stra esch grap er u i b g e l r l t i in d e uti in die and tgew eep y, Fr u t d n s s s h hi un ap sig en de ick K ). Ev pogr elate by s r r r s y Zu ttere nd t y to line nvey p co a i a e f c w K n ( dis ast no sig sa de find hose ontr uctio way ay, r c t a ll sti e to The onst lack his w n t c " b p : da y e In t ing solut aking ite. R an y h an T sa ab e. ure gw the imag ddin ween ulpt c t a s e n a ans e b a ke me spac es li the ecom S b me.� for

? e. ag ce m a ni f a he sp o t n y, e.� tio er uc is wa or m r t tig s f h u t n r re F co In hic een an te ite. ulptu i ap b u r l h c d igr ave d o w l s l s A b ng a ca y h an a s e i a e i h m typ he add s lik d e t h a e to if h a ys hic nh ve eans ecom ali ts w him rms ped s b n Lu men ded rd fo velo ean t b co m n ast way an S mo t bin f wo y de his m ffere r t o a d T di e on ack a and wh love alrea yet. c o w l e th t R his not hem gh t ced eren l"Th ing b an f d or t hou en f o i a n k o h d f u t h Ta wee ve ven s infl rs of re sc epts o t l t e c e co on be en at ph da shpli rred m co spu well ac t s of wha , as face s e pe d y p l n y ki like for t n ty ad w h ese re Th nts a love his o he e s the ’ e c d n n e i e m al i b uenc ing s gs lik f ITC and u L s o er infl eat hin e as n cr wn t rsion rutig som e a e hF r e h v v d w d ot ha . ln sed ha den rd. B d to or ca ir life d e a e n e co nt G eem iting in th vent s r n of a i v e w n c A li of the ort en s ba Lu ance influ was n s cript ol. w ss t t i c o s i o , h r n h s i hi wis s sc rap tge lig Frui ts in the s in hi n r Fo pt fo from ired u i r c on eq s cti ere r a re t w tha

a he th vem gra heir ic c rh s t t o mo typ ties, d ba utige n to lin i o a e r tw ional still m. F actio Lub e in he t e e r l l a i l i n t g av h st to astin ol w to h ing ype r o d t t e n t ch firs of re co his s seem . his by f e o y l d o p l m m rte ion r ty r ura no nat st fo ly sta r Un says re l e d e e ha inter ctua oop t he rs th a u C a b n f e n bly a li o rst, o y ma rs ba Lu yea e wo is tw resu ing h p o urn st tw ng th nds be hy t i e e e p b t he h gra gt tha bein calli 23). , by r the yder e n aft nt (S i po


TECH EVOLVUTION Technology also played a key role in the development of the two designer’s style. Lubalin, despite being born ten years earlier than Frutiger, had no experience whatsoever in metal type. His work was more focused on monotype imagery with hand drawn type. (Snyder, 18) which was indicative of the expressive form of his ITC Avant Garde and influenced from his experience at the Cooper Union school.

Frutiger on the other hand had the whole collection of metal type, photo type, and mono type. That said, Frutiger’s type was likely a lot more refined, and a his style was a lot more well rounded as a result.



INFLEUNCE With these technological changes defining their typography, both Herb Lubalin and Adrian Frutiger created various typefaces. Herb Lubalin had a number of typefaces including President and his most well known ITC Avant Garde. It was very expressive and reminiscent of the Art Deco period, but used for the EROS magazine.



Frutiger o n the oth er hand h a slew of ad functiona l typefaces, his most prominen t being U ers. It use nivd a uniqu e classifica tion syste m to elim inate nam and speci ing fying con fusion. It first used was with Univ ers, and w eventually as adopted for use in the Frutig er, Avenir, and Neue Helvetica typeface families.


The first number d efines weight w hile the se cond defines w idth and position, so a 10 fo r instance would be ultra/extra black and a 9 as the secon d number would be ultra cond ensed. Th ese two typefaces are the q u intessentials of bo th typogra phers and despite h aving the ir distinct difference s are both versatile sans serif typefaces. T hey relate back to the co ncept that Fruti ger was m ore refined, le gibible, a n d logical while Lub alin was e xpressive radical, a , nd dynam ic.

Of the m ost influe ntial tyop raphers o gf the 20th century, Adrian Fru tiger and Herb Lubalin h ad vastly different styles and trends ba sed on th nationalit eir y, cultura l influence and techn , ological b ackgroun Both of th ds. ese maste rs have th similaritie eir s and diffe rences in their earlie r years, b ut ultimate the comp ly, lete stark contrast between the legib ility and precision of the sw iss design informed that Frutiger a nd the fu expressiv n, e, and fre e america design of n the counte rculture that inform ed Lubalin separated the two d istinctive styles. Th things are ese what infle unced the mentality ir on typog raphy, an just as ho d w the infl uences o their move f ments sp read from country to country, th ese masters h ave left th eir mark to influence the world of typography wit h some u nique, fle and usab xible, le typeface s.


Designer: Martin Nera Typefaces: Avenir, Univers, ITC Avant Garde, Serifa Class: Typography III Faculty: Francheska Guerrero







Two Masters  

In our Typography class, we wrote papers on two typographers of our choice. I chose Adrian Frutiger and Herb Lubalin, so I thought the title...

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