was designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1972 for D. Stempel AG. It is in the “modern” style like Bodoni or Didot, in that it has the sparkle created by a high thick/thin contrast and a symmetrical distribution of weight. But the sometimes harsh and rigid texture of the modern style is tempered by Frutiger’s graceful interpretation. Iridium itself is a very hard, brittle and strong metal; yet the Latin and Greek roots of the word mean rainbow, or iridescence. And indeed, this font is infused with a more lustrous and complex spirit than the average rather stark modern typeface – note the stems that gently taper from waist to serif, the nicely curved ovals of the round characters, and the slight bracketing of the serifs. Iridium was originally designed for phototypesetting, and Frutiger himself cut the final master photo-mask films by hand. This digital version has all the craftsmanship of that original and includes the roman, a true italic, and the bold weight. Iridium works particularly well for book and magazine text and headlines.
85th birthday.


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