Adrain Frutiger



Adrian Frutiger was born in Switzerland on May 24th 1928. He had since then designed some of the most influential and iconic fonts of the 20th century, moving forwards. The list of font-achievements that came from Frutiger include Avenir, Frutiger, Univers and Didot among others. Univers (Designed in 1954) was one of the first sans serif fonts to include a complete system of different weights and styles and is considered an achievement of ‘structured-diversity’. When designing Univers, Frutiger took inspiration from classical roman type forms. His forms included variation in line wieght and subtle curves. This was an element of sans serif typography that had previously not been explored in great depth. In essence Frutiger managed to bridge the classical and the geometric schools of thought which were supposedly diametrically opposed at the time. The irony is that preexisting sans serif fonts which were highly geometric and hardly classical – were the fonts which were out of style. Contemporary fonts were moving towards the classical, Univers was the first font to come out for phototypesetting with such a broad range of styles. Frutiger was providing the advertising (and other) industries with a “new utility”.


In an interview Frutiger describes Helvetica as the “Blue Jeans” of type. They work in every circumstance, but they aren’t particularly stylish nor do they make any kind of statement. According to Frutiger “Compared to it, Univers is much more delicate and harmonious, and tends to be a little more stylish. That’s why I would prefer not to compare them. They are two completely different worlds.”

Frutiger lived through and thrived in three different stages of typographic technology, at 16 years old he went off to apprentice at a typesetter where he used traditional hot metal typesetting, later on in his career he would go on to use phototypesetting– most notably when designing the multifaceted Univers, and finally Frutiger would produce fonts later on in his career using digital methods. Again– Univers was one font that recieved a facelift through digital technology. While Frutiger embraced the digital as a tool, he has remarked on his preference for the tactile as opposed to the digital. When his process involved screens it was only to quickly check the outlines of shapes.

Univers, Frutiger and Avenir are world famous fonts that have been used in a plethora of famous places. Some included below.


This Swiss Passport uses the font ‘Frutiger’.


Univers Bold Compressed used on the title of this album by The Smiths.


Fed Ex Logo uses Univers Com 730 Basic Heavy


Ebay Logo Uses Universe 53 Extended*

*Side note, Frutiger used numbers to delineate different weights and styles of Univers with 55 (the center of a grid) representing its middle weight. This allowed its use as a truly “universal” font system. The names for different weights of fonts vary drastically from country to country and language to language.

Frutiger knew from a young age that his “world [was] a two-dimensional one” (Eye Magazine). By the age of sixteen he knew that he only wanted to work in black and white. While he is best known for; and he also considers his greatest work to be his contributions to typography. Frutiger also produced a body of personal work that explored natural forms and counterforms. He was very interested in symbology and its connection to the psyche. In an interview he highlighted his belief that symbols come directly from the human psyche and have something to say about the mental state of the drawer. His drawings which he mostly kept private throughout his life were released later in a book entitled Forms and Counterforms. Here one can see Frutiger’s direct inspiration from natural forms and may even begin to speculate that natural forms may have served as a semi influential element in his typographic work.



His interest in the human psyche was likely not coincidental, both of his daughters from his second marriage committed suicide in their adolescence. He and his wife founded the Fondation Adrian et Simone Frutiger which serves to contribute to research and developments in the field of psychological and neuroscience research.

Adrain Frutiger died just last year on September 15th. He lived through three major technological type paradigms, embraced each one and made major world reknowned contributions to typography and typographic utility at each stage. According to Frutiger, he was simply in the right place at the right time, but we can give him a little more credit than that. ♦

Popular Kid New Album

My friend Matt Barlow (AKA Popular Kid) Just released his first EP in a long time.

Aside from being my good friend, I also genuinely enjoy this kid’s music. I happened to be hanging out with him for the majority of this albums creation and I cant tell you how often I would have to scream at him to release an EP! Because I want to listen to this music every day. Like electronic soul food, these beats will have you feeling at home anywhere.

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=1321993964 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false]



Thoughts on Travel

Some would argue that we live in a time where the prospect of traveling is extremely glamorized. In movies and TV shows, in ads and entertainment “traveling the world” is touted as some sort of life enhancing end goal, a neccessary part of a fulfilling life, an assertion of personal freedom, etc…

The reality though, is that being able to move your body around the world isn’t going to make you happy. In fact, I would argue just the opposite. It’s getting to be in one place, to grow and evolve with it and the people there that will bring someone the most amount of satisfaction in life.

I’m not particularly predisposed to traveling, yet for one reason or another I have found myself in situations in life where the opportunity for travel has arisen and I have taken it. I am by no means a world class citizen–but I have seen my fair share of places. The list includes; Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and GB, Rome, Venice and other Parts of Italy, I’ve been up and down the East coast of the US–from florida to Canada, I’ve been as far West as Kentucky and Tennessee (not too far), and finally I find myself writing today from Tokyo, Japan.

The traveling trope is true; when you go abroad, you learn about yourself. But thats only because you are already always learning about yourself anyway. Just because you have gotten yourself on a bus plane or train to some foreign environment does not mean that your life experience will be any more or less meaningful than if you spend the summer in your home town.

Last semester a famous graphic designer named Lucille Tenazas came to visit my school. She told us that we are all travelers in life; regardless of whether we move or not. The reason is because life is always changing no matter what. Something will always be different or new; your job as a good traveller is to navigate this changing landscape successfully and to take value and meaning out of the change.

So did I learn anything about myself while traveling this summer in Japan? Of course I did; but I don’t for a second believe that I could have gained anything more or less if I had stayed in Philly or the burbs this summer. In fact its likely that I could have learned even more!

Philly is a place that I am connected to, I purposefully planted myself in Philadelphia because it is my “home town” I firmly believe in the bloom where you’re planted mentality. The main reason why I am in Japan this summer is because (ironically) it was the best option for my financial situation and class schedule. So in a sense, coming to Japan is simply a natural extension of my mentality of “blooming” where one is “planted”. Ultimately we are all planted on planet earth, making distinctions between home towns and “foreign lands” is unnecessary and inaccurate; the earth is one interconnected organism.

So when I say that I have travelled I don’t see it as taking my whole life and moving it somewhere else, rather I see it as an extension of my experience of planet earth, and of myself.

Kamakura Sunday

I went to Kamakura this weekend with my roommates. This is a charming beach town with a lot of fun shops and some very famous ancient temples and shrines.

The most memorable part of the trip was going to see the Great Buddha at Kotoku-in Shrine.


Great Buddha feat. watermelon offering.

While the image of the great Buhdda is very famous, very many people may be unaware of the fact that the statue is also a building that you can go inside of.  Hence the windows on its back.


Also- I got my fortune told at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Apparently I got the best luck possible “Dai-Kichi”. Pretty exciting.




Shrine Robot



Today I went to Kamakura, a beach town outside of Tokyo. Kamakura is famous for the Kotoku-in shrine which houses the Great Buddha, a world-famous 11.3 meter tall statue of the Amitabha Buddha. According to legend, the purpose of the Amitabha Buddha was to liberate all beings regardless of age, sex or social standing and irregardless of whether they have done good or evil in their lives.

I was really inspired by so many of the statues that I saw around today; I feel like the traditional statuary of Japan lends itself really well to the artwork that I am doing. I know that I’m not the only person who thinks so, as there are animes and mangas that are loosely based on ancient Japanese texts and legends.

New Song

Okay check it out, Ive been working more on my production skillz lately. Man working on art is fun. Ive learned that there is never a “good time” to work on your art– its always in those little moments where you’re ‘supposed to be doing something’ that you have to etch out as much time as possible to get some work on your craft in. In other words, nobody is going to make time for you to work on your craft– you have to do it by yourself. The progress– no matter how small– will be rewarding.

Bar Doodle Robot

The bar doodle scene is just okay.

A photo posted by Christopher Myles Eads (@christopher_myles) on

Spending the night out in Tokyo can be rewarding and fun but also exhausting. If you want to make the most of the night–try to get all of the fun in before the last midnight train home. Missing the train is a mistake I’ve made twice too many times. Even though a cab ride home at four in the morning feels heavenly after standing around at a club for four hours, the price is really just not conscionable. Cab prices may be the biggest of a few of your next morning regrets ;O


PS ^ I drew this at the HUB, a British Pub chain in Tokyo.

School’s (Almost) Out; Celebratory Robot Drawing

Wow I'm hecka glad that today marks the end of two ridiculously hard classes. Mo' time 2 draw.

A photo posted by Christopher Myles Eads (@christopher_myles) on

I just finished two of the hardest writing intensive classes I think I’ve ever taken. It was a really amazing learning experience, but I’m glad its over. Now I will have more time to make my own music and art. One of the nicest things about making art or music is that no matter what you do in life, you can usually find a few minutes a day to practice or work on your skill. Seeing progress is really rewarding. Work really does pay off– even if only you can tell the difference 😉 , because it means you’re one step closer to illustrating your own vision and imagination.

Campaign Zero and BLM Movement Issue a 10 Point Manifesto and a New Tool for Citizen Empowerment?

Recently the black lives matter movement issued a 10 point manifesto that offers its stance on policing practices and how it would like to see these practices reformed in the states. I think rules they are suggesting are extremely relevant regardless of your race, but especially if you find yourself in a demographic that is constantly targeted by police.

A police force that is committed to promoting justice and not abusing power is something that everyone wants, which is why I suggest you take a look at the article below.

The site is very involved but very insightful– offering a wealth of information about current policing policies as well as suggested alternatives.

The most interesting thing about the site is that it offers a number of tools with which one can track the stances of different candidates on certain issues, also it has a handy app that allows you to easily contact your representative. It provides you with stance by stance guide for changes that should take place in the separate categories of federal, state and local government.

This site is interesting and exciting to me. It is organized by concerned citizens for concerned citizens. It looks like the kind of website that can actually put power in the hands of individuals to step in to their political power and effect real change.

This is an exciting development in self-government and the kind of thing that I would like to see enacted further in the future– in all instances where political change is needed.

Japanese Street Food Festival

This past Friday I attended the last day of a three day a street food festival near Iriya station in Tokyo.

I have heard that Japanese culture places a high value on food and this festival seemed to be no exception. Basically what they did was close off an entire street and line it with two super long rows of food stalls. In other words; it was glorious and huge.

My friend Tammy went every day that it was open that week. (Can’t blame her)


As you might have guessed by the picture, she’s fiercely in to this kind of thing. Seen here snacking on some Mochi– which is an extremely popular snack/dessert here in Japan. It consists of a cake made from pounded short grain rice and is generally very chewy and semi-sweet. Mochi is often flavored with different types of sauce so that it tastes more dessert like or more savory. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether its sweet or savory depending on the sauce used on top. The particular Mochi pictured above was both sweet and savory (kind of like teriyaki?).

To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Mochi. What I do like, however, is the very occasional and very neccessary serving of vegetable.


Find me here with a cucumber on a stick– a non-conventional street food by American standards but nonetheless refreshing and nutritious!

There were all other sorts of snacks to sample that day; most involving something skewered. The most prominent in my memory was entire smoked fish on a stick, something I kinda had to pass on–maybe next time.


More seafood snacks for your viewing pleasure.