1976 – Frutiger & the last Linotype

Prior to 1976 text and images were treated separately. That changes with the release of the Monotype Lasercomp, which has an architecture that is still in use today: a computer called a RIP or Raster Image Processor calculates the bitmap pattern that needs to be imaged which a separate imagesetter takes care of the actual output.

The Monotype Lasercomp is the first phototypesetting system that uses a laser and comes with a RIP or Raster Image Processor. This unit cannot only create digital typefaces, but it can also handle (crude) graphics.

Monotype Lasercomp 3000

The systems manual has a very modern look to it.

Monotype Lasercomp phototypesetter


Apple is founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Its second computer, the Apple II, is introduced on 16 April 1977 and becomes a runaway success.

Introducing Apple II

Apple’s second logo is designed by Rob Jannoff and described by one of the Apple execs as ‘the most expensive bloody logo ever designed’ because of the cost of having it printed properly on machines and brochures.

logo of Apple Computer, designed by Rob Jannoff

The production of Linotype hot metal composing machines is halted.

Adrian Frutiger designs a sans-serif typeface for all the signage at the Charles De Gaulle airport. The font family is publicly released as Frutiger in 1976. Updated versions are released in 1999 and 2009.

Frutiger typeface example

Another classic from that same year is Eras from Albert Boton and Albert Hollenstein.

Eras typeface example

These are some important or remarkable events from 1976:

  • In Stuttgart, West Germany the trial against the Red Army Faction terrorists begins.
  • The first commercial Concorde flight takes off.
  • The Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.
  • The first known outbreak of Ebola virus occurs in Yambuku, Zaire.
  • The Soweto uprising in South Africa begins.

<1975 1977>