Adrian Frutiger created Univers font in 1956.As a student in Zurich, Adrain Frutiger began work on Univers Typeface, which would eventually be released in 1957 by Deberny & Peignot Foundry in Paris. The font was to be promoted international so, Deberny & Peignot chose to name the typeface Univers, but the name originally was going to be Monde. The design is a neo-grotesque, similar to its contemporary, Helvetica, and was released in suspense to the same perceived need for a utilitarian, versatile sans serif workhorse. Univers Typeface was the first to use numbers rather than names to to designate variations of weight, width and slop. At the time the full Univers family consised of twenty-one typefaces, but today there are over twenty-seven different variations of Univers available. All twenty-one Univers faces were designed to work together so they can be mixed in a variety of ways. Univers is an extremely diverse typeface that has the ability to work well for a large variety of applications, from text and headlines to packaging and signage.
Adrain Frutiger planned and realized a font family as a connected conceptual system, the twenty-one Univers alphabets. The look of this new font was fresh and contemporary, a result of the calculations of thaw stroke width and the relationship between the stroke and th surrounding white space.
Currently, Univers type family consists of 4 faces, with 16 uniquely numbered weight, width, position combinations. Twenty fonts have oblique positions, eight fonts support Central European character set and eight support critic character set.
Due to some typeface manufacturers’ failure to understand and implement the system correctly, however, things have actually become more confusing (some Helvetica Neue fonts are numbered, for example, and some are not).
The system, as simply stated as possible, consists of a prefix (the first numeral) which defines weight, and a suffix (the second numeral) which defines width and orientation as to roman or italic. The prefix indicates the weight, beginning with "2", as in Univers 25 (ultra light), and progressing up to "9", as in Univers 95 (black). Very infrequently, the weight will go up to "10".
The suffix indicates the width and/or angle (even numbers are always italic, odd numbers are always upright; numerals less than 5 indicate extended, and numerals greater than 6 are always condensed) of the font.
1. Ultra Light
4. Normal, Roman, or Regular
9. Ultra or Extra Black
1. Ultra Extended
2. Ultra Extended Oblique (Italic)
4. Extended Oblique (Italic)
6. Oblique (Italic)
8. Condensed Oblique (Italic)
9. Ultra Condensed
Univers is a Sans-Serif Typeface. The letters are even and have a look of being squarish. The strokes are even in weight until you come across the lower case letter. The lower case letters: a, b, d, g, h, m, n,p, q, r, u have a light contrast in weight of the letters. The contrast is mostly were the bowl connects with the main line, descender, or ascender. When looking at the "o", the stress is vertical. The t, has a slant cut at the eery tip. The "i" and "j" of the lower case letters have square dots instead of circle dots. All edges of the lower case and upper case letters are squared off.