Aesthetics Wiki

This article is part of a series on the Frutiger Family

Helvetica Aqua Aero (also known as Frutiger Aqua, Aquacore, Low Frutiger, or simply Helvetica Aqua) is a Frutiger Aero sub-genre characterized by its use of imagery related to tropical water habitats. Common motifs include aqua life, bubbles, water, aquatic colors and other key elements of the ocean. Helvetica Aqua combines this with shared elements of Tropicalcore and Frutiger Aero such as gloss, futurism, 3D rendered objects, gradients, as well as tropical and aquatic themes which create a midpoint between the two.


The visuals for Helvetica Aqua is imagery related to the sea, the ocean, and beach environments. This aesthetic often features common aquatic creatures such as fish, dolphins, and whales, but seagulls and butterflies are used as well similar to Frutiger Aero. The colors used in this aesthetic are often shades of blue, green and yellow, evoking the colors of its inhabitants and seascape. This is combined with shared elements of Tropicalcore and Frutiger Aero such as glassy textures, gradients, fish, and other tropical imagery. Other common motifs include sandy beaches, palm trees, and seashells. Helvetica Aqua is considered a sub-genre to Tropicalcore due to the fact that they are both centered around the sea and aquatic life, while also using the same visuals and presentation style as Frutiger Aero at the same time.

Unedited or unaltered pictures of the ocean are NOT Helvetica Aqua. Similar to Frutiger Aero and Y2K Futurism, it is typical for an image or piece of media classified as Helvetica Aqua to be edited in some way or include CGI.


Apple aqua

Apple's Aqua UI Theme (debuted 2000)

Helvetica Aqua originated in the Early-2000s following the decline of Y2K Futurism and the rise of Frutiger Aero. It likely gets its namesake from Apple's Aqua UI, similarly to Frutiger Aero and Metro's namesakes coming from the design language used in Windows 7 and Windows 8, respectively. Due to its dreamy, aquatic, gloss based visuals, Helvetica Aqua was incredibly child friendly, being implemented in products and locations for young children during its time, such as children's hospitals or toys. Helvetica Aqua was also utilized in the Corporate scene, featuring sleeker and cleaner visuals, as well as utopic and joy-themed imagery.

Helvetica Aqua lasted into the Late-2000s and began to lose its mainstream popularity in the Early-2010s. During its decline, the more corporate side of Helvetica Aqua was more prominent than the variant marketed towards children with the 'anything goes' mindset; this was due to the Y2K influence being phased out as the years passed. By 2013, Frutiger Aero was in decline, and by 2017, Flat Design became the dominant design philosophy of its era.


Product design and advertisement[]

Interior design[]

Generic imagery and graphic design[]


External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic: