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Lead Image

The Birth of Univers


Production Method




Alexandors Kosmidis



Printed in-house at the Arts University Bournemouth

Most of the projects posted on FPO are actual projects—yet from time to time we take the liberty to show you a student project that we wish would become real. The technical requirements of this book, must of taken Alexandors Kosmidis a good number of dummies with plenty of mistakes that were small in size, but large in repercussions. Make sure to watch the video at the end. 



Eden Frankham

Quantity Produced

Production Cost

Production Time

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

6.5 × 5 × 0.4 in.

Page Count


Paper Stock

Munken Design / Pure Smooth / Cream / 240 gsm

Number of Colors






Univers 39
Univers 45,46,47,48,49
Univers 53,55,56,57,58,59
Univers 63,65,66,67,68
Univers 73,75,76
Univers 83


The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers
The Birth of Univers

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Project Description

Adrian Frutiger’€™s life and work carries distinctive qualities of duality, seen in his experiences of joy and suffering, his dedication to black and white, his exploration of 2D print and 3D sculpture and his understanding of typography and symbols. For this brief, my aim was to design a printed publication based upon these observations, intended for an audience that is familiar with Frutiger’€™s background and designs. To achieve this, I created The Birth of Univers; a book, shaped by the physical structure of the Univers grid, that tells the story of how the typeface was developed. By turning the grid into a three-dimensional piece, the reader is taken on a journey through one of Frutiger’€™s most important pieces of work. The grid literally unfolds the story of Univers and is illustrated primarily in black and white in accordance with the majority of Frutiger’€™s work. When the grid is folded, the four colours, reminiscent of those used in the original Univers grid and type specifications, signify the brief, yet profound impact colour had in Frutiger’s life. The book unfolds in a linear sequence, and, similar to the journey of life, offers alternative narratives on both the verso and recto of the publication. This provides the reader with an extended opportunity for interaction and engagement, as well as adds a sculptural quality to the grid. In freeing the grid from its two-dimensional form, The Birth of Univers suggests that, although Frutiger’s work was primarily realised in print, his ideas maintain the potential to exist in 3D.

Production Lesson(s)

This project was made possible by answering the following question; "What happens if you fold Adrian Frutiger's Univers grid?". The folded grid gave me a unique format upon which I introduced a narrative, thus allowing me to celebrate Frutiger's life and work through his own designs. Some of the most important things I learned, were the importance of experimenting freely, being curious, step-by-step development through critical and peer feedback and finally to be brave to commit to something that at first might seem impossible. ”

Post Author

Author Picture

Bryony Gomez-Palacio

Editor of FPO and co-founder of UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

June 10, 2016


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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

blogs we publish

Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

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Brand New Conference videos / Individual, downloadable videos of every presentation since 2010.

Prints / A variety of posters, the majority from our AIforGA series.

Other / Various one-off products.

events we organize

Brand New Conference / A two-day event on corporate and brand identity with some of today's most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand Nieuwe Conference / Ditto but in Amsterdam.

Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness / A speaker series in Austin, TX, featuring some of the graphic design industry's most awesome people.


Favorite Things we've Made / In our capacity as graphic designers.

Projects we've Concluded / Long- and short-lived efforts.

UCllc News / Updates on what's going at the corporate level of UnderConsideration.

The End