Friday, September 5, 2008

John Baskerville & Adrian Frutiger

Who is John Baskerville??

John Baskerville was born in Wolverley, Worcestershire in 1706 and lived a productive life up until his death in Birmingham in 1775. He started of as a successful writing master and headstone engraver; developing many of his skills in calligraphy and monumental inscription cutting by himself. Later in his years he became an innovative letter designer, type founder, and printer, helping with the development of the printing press. In 1750 he set up his own printing business and worked with press construction, printing ink, letter design and papermaking. Working with his own printing business resulted in his original typeface: Baskerville.
His typefaces, which were modern at the time, included different level serifs, contrast of light and heavy lines, and were pseudo classical. His typeface began to appear in many different books from 1754-1775. Some of them include: a quarto edition of Vergil, Aesop’s Fables, the works of Horace, and his masterpiece, which was a printed folio Bible in 1763. Even though he had many triumphs, his career wasn’t always successful. He lost a lot of money at one point in time with his printing ventures. Nevertheless his work has always seemed to be a “perfection” of type, that he is known as one of the greatest designers of the 18th century, admired by many including Benjamin Franklin. He continued his work until the time of his death in 1775.
After his death in his wife managed the press business until 1777.

Who is Adrian Frutiger?

Adrian Frutiger was born on March 24, 1928 in Unterlaken, Switzerland. At the early age of 16, Frutiger began working as a printer’s apprentice. After working for a while, he decided to move to Zurich where he attended the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts. During his time here he studied under Professor Walter Kach. Later he moved to Paris and began working with Deberry and Peignot where he helped change their traditional printing method to a new phototypesetting technology. During his time at Deberry and Peignot he also began working on his own projects on the side; mainly working with designing authentic typefaces. His original typefaces were very significant and because of their specific details, Adrian Frutiger earned the status of a great designer. Some of his typefaces include: Presdient, Phoebus, Ondine, Meridien, Egyptienne, Univers, Apollo, Serifa, OCR-B, Iridium, Frutiger, Glypha, Icone, Breughel, Versailles, Avenir, and Vectora. In addition to designing typefaces, Frutiger has also developed a number of books including: Type, Sign, Symbol, Signs & Symbols: Their Design and Meaning, The International Type Book, and The Univers. Currently he is living in Switzerland working on revisions with Linotype in some of his typefaces. The results from his revisions are “Frutiger Next” and “Avenir Next” which are both italic versions of prior typefaces. Adrian Frutiger has become a well-known designer producing widely used typefaces.


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