In drawing the Avenir typeface, Adrian Frutiger looked to both the past and the future for inspiration. His goal was to reinterpret the geometric sans serif designs of the early part of the 20th century in a typeface that would portend aesthetics of the 21st century. He succeeded handsomely. In doing so, Frutiger added a bit of organic humanism to the design, freeing Avenir from the rigid geometric overtones of the earlier designs.
Frutiger described it as: "…intended to be nothing more or less than a clear and clean representation of modern typographical trends, giving the designer a typeface which is strictly modern and at the same time human, i.e., suitably refined and elegant for use in texts of any length."