Latest news and newsletters
Last week at the D&AD awards, FF Antithesis by Yanone was awarded the highly acclaimed Yellow Pencil in the category ‘Crafts for Design – Typefaces’. In celebration of this win, we are offering 20% off any package or weight FF Antithesis family for the next month.
The D&AD awards are one of the most sought after accolades in the design realm and celebrate ‘the finest creative work in the world’. Covering a vast spectrum of areas of the creative industries, the judging process is highly rigorous with 25 specialist juries from across the world. The iconic Yellow Pencil Award recognises work that ‘achieves true creative excellence’. So we are absolutely over the moon that Yanone and FontFont have been recognised through this award!
FF Antithesis was launched at TYPO Berlin last year with a microsite and film to accompany it. The concept of the typeface is based around the tension between three unequal poles. The three members of the display family relate to each other in a very high visual contrast. The Regular is a rather slabby Serif, the Italic a connected Script and the Bold a rather fat Sans Serif. Designer Yanone is also creator of FF Amman Sans/Serif and FF Kava.
Don’t forget to get your hands on FF Antithesis with 20% off.*
*Offer valid until 30th June 2015.
Photography: Kevin Josephpermalink
Tell us about your recent work in the FF Yoga® family.
In my previous FontFonts like FF Absara® or FF Sanuk®, I draw a wide range of weights because this is a different exercise to draw a hairline and a fat weight and both are really exciting; the line versus the mass. I feel like Botero and Giacometti at the same time.
In FF Yoga, the initial family was basic, a regular and bold with italics, in serif and sans. At that time, I thought that a small family was useful enough. It was primarily to be used in books. Actually, it seems that to reach a maximum number of uses, not only book design but also corporate identity, magazine and packaging work—in a word, to be really versatile—a type family has to span a wide range of weights. That’s the reason I designed lighter cuts as well as a medium one. These new cuts gave me a fresher view on this family and I assume that FF Yoga is now much more interesting to use. I kept some contrast in the hairline, which is not a real hairline, but that gives it a feminine touch and a distinctive sensibility in display use. The regular weight was slightly dark—I’ve prepared now a light weight suitable for short texts.
New FF Yoga weights are set in black.
New FF Yoga Sans® weights are set in black.
What initially caused you to travel through Asia? What led to your decision to live there?
This is the combination of two different things. The first was to try a different life from what we know in developed countries, to stop the monotony of a modern life in a big city like Paris. In French, we call that metro-boulot-dodo, which literally means subway, work, sleep. Initially, life in Cambodia was really full of freedom for me even though salaries are very low, but life was really exciting. Now, many things have changed here. I still like living here and the idea of going back to France full time is a bit difficult for me. The second reason was directly linked to my family since my great grandfather arrived in Indochina in 1904 and my grandmother has lived there about 50 years until the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975. By the way, my grandfather is buried in Phnom Penh. I also have a Cambodian aunt who divides her time between Paris and Phnom Penh. Since I was a kid my parent’s house has been full of Cambodian objects and photos, so Cambodia and my family has a long history. I can say that the purpose of living in this country was the discovery of my father’s country of birth.
What do you collect?
From very young I collected posters, especially movie posters. I have a few hundred huge old French posters from the 1930s and 40s printed in lithography, and also some recent ones from Poland and Japan. Most of my collection is in France. I also took an interest for a few years in illustrated books from the 1920s to 40s with wood engravings or etchings and set in letterpress. The Art deco period is the golden era for the illustrated book. I’m very touched by the work done by these book artists and printers who spent all their energy to produce these masterpieces which represent the best connection between creativity and technique. So, we can say that paper is important for me and I deplore that it’s not the case in Southeast Asian cultures, contrary to western or Japanese civilization.
How do things such as the local people, culture, or language show up in your work?
My culture is western and French before all. I like to observe things or people around me but this is difficult to know how it can show up in my work. A long time ago I did some fonts inspired by some shapes I saw here, but I simplified them and I’m not sure they’re any typically Asian marks left in the end result. If one detects some Asian influence in my work, this is not intentional.
Similarly, how does travel and motion influence your work?
Traveling is not a good thing for work! It’s best to stay in the same place with all one’s books and things nearby to be efficient and competitive. But it helps me to take a step back, considering my work as not really important since typography doesn’t interest anybody in Cambodia. My daily life is disconnected from my professional-online-life. I almost never talk about typography. It’s rare I work in my real Cambodian life, most of the time the purpose is to help friends. Today, I think most of my influences comes from old books I collect.
How do you develop new ideas; / Who do you discuss your ideas with?
I have a few colleagues in Europe who can be considered advisers and I ask them sometimes for their views on a project. I also ask what they need in term of a font and that may result on a custom project like Vista stencil, a typeface quickly developed just for a friend. I may also add some special glyphs or useful dingbats. Most of the time, I design the shapes I like, trying to reach the needs of the market, but this is not the first motivation. I want to be proud of all my typefaces and consider each one truly my creation. I think there is a link between all my fonts when put in chronological order. A new creation is often a reaction on the previous one. FF Yoga has some roots in Malaga, for example—we can see some similarities—but the idea of FF Yoga was to draw shapes more invisible and useful in body text.
Malaga for Emigre
More At Home With and At Work With episodes:
At Home With Erik Spiekermann
When Łukasz Dziedzic was asked by a friend and grocer for something script-like to use in his store, the casual, loose calligraphic script that would eventually become FF Eggo came into existence. All five weights have italics – a rare feature for scripts.
A unique characteristic of the type family is that the weights alter the atmosphere of the fonts: the thin style is reminiscent of a pen or a thin marker, whilst the bolder styles seem to have been written with a brush or marker. Another feature that makes FF Eggo stand out among the more traditional scripts is that the uppercase also manages to work perfectly well in all-caps setting.
Useful for sign lettering to chalkboards, FF Eggo was designed to be flexible, and it fulfills this purpose admirably.permalink
FF Aad™ is the first typeface to join FontFont from designer Aad van Dommelen, a former type student of Gerrit Noordzij’s at the Royal Academy in The Hague. The modern sans serif with its humanist character has horizontal ending terminals which in turn transforms the negative shape between the letters into an open and simpler forms. Resulting in clean and easy-to-read words.
His five weight family, includes genuine italics, is both neutral and elegant in appearance making it great for a multitude of applications particularly corporate purposes, such as annual reports, corporate brochures and branding.
Spring is here and so is the first FontFont Release of 2015, the rather wonderful FF 69!
New Release: FF Aad
FF Aad is the first typeface to join FontFont from designer Aad van Dommelen, a former type student of Gerrit Noordzij’s at the Royal Academy in The Hague. The modern sans serif with its humanist character has horizontal ending terminals which in turn transforms the negative shape between the letters into an open and simpler forms. Resulting in clean and easy-to-read words.
His five weight family, which includes genuine italics, is both neutral and elegant in appearance making it ideal for a multitude of applications particularly when used for corporate purposes such as annual reports, corporate brochures and branding.
New Release: FF Eggo
First up we are proud to introduce FF Eggo. Created by Warsaw based designer Łukasz Dziedzic, FF Eggo came from a request for a script font with multiple weights. Rather than just the classic calligraphy styles, thus allowing the script to have multiple and flexible uses.
Unique characteristics of the font include italics (a real rarity in script form) a thin style reminiscent of a pen or a thin marker, whilst the bolder styles could have been done with a brush or market. However, whilst it takes a step away from a traditional script its uppercase works well both alone and mixed with lowercase characters.
This is a script typeface that promises not to bore you after one use, with its five weights you can use it again and again, keeping the taste but changing the flavour.
Useful for sign lettering to chalkboards, FF Eggo was designed to be flexible, and it really does what it says on the tin.
New Style Extension: FF Mark Ultra
One of our biggest releases of recent years FF Mark by Hannes von Döhren, Christoph Koeberlin and the FontFont Type Department has undergone an extension in the form of an ultra-heavy and strong weight, known as FF Mark Ultra.
Whilst it is based on the characteristics of FF Mark, the new weight FF Mark Ultra required specific designing. When drawing such extreme weights totally different design solutions are required which meant that the new weight has been created independently but retaining references to the original. Thanks to this new addition the FF Mark family the weight spectrum from hairline to the maximum possible, without loosing character.
The loud and proud weight is ideal for perfect for display settings giving maximum impact in big sizes.
New Styles Extension: FF Yoga & FF Yoga Sans
The new members give a fresh look to the family creating further more interesting opportunities for use building on its primary suggested use for book work.
During the process contrast was left in the hairline, which could be argued as not a real hairline, which shows a distinct sensibility for display uses. Whilst a light weight of the regular was created making it suitable for short texts.permalink
The ever flexible FF Yoga® adds more strings to its bow with this latest extension.
“…To be really versatile—a type family has to span a wide range of weights,” FF Yoga® designer Xavier Dupré explained in a recent interview. The now superfamily builds on the previous versions made primarily for book work, adding Hairline, Thin, Light, and Medium weights.
During the process contrast was left in the hairline, which could be argued as not a real hairline, which shows a distinct sensibility for display uses. Whilst a light weight of the regular was created making it suitable for short texts.
The new members give a fresh look to the family creating further more interesting opportunities for use building on its primary suggested use for book work.permalink
We are over the moon to announce that the microsite for FF Franziska (www.fffranziska.com) has been recognised in the annual Type Directors Club (TDC) competition. The TDC is a leading international organisation, whose mission it is to promote and foster support for excellence in typography.
Designed by Jakob Runge, FF Franziska started life a master thesis at Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel (Germany) under the guidance of Albert-Jan Pool and Prof. André Heers in 2012. A robust serif type family, it is great for setting body copy as well as headlines using Hairline and Black.
*Please note, this discount is valid for one month only and applies only to the FF Franziska family.permalink
We’re looking for a full-time Marketing Communications Specialist to join our team in our Berlin office on a permanent basis. As part of our E-Commerce Team, you will be responsible for spreading the word about FontShop and FontFont through creative campaigns and effective marketing.
You will be responsible for:
- Creating, planning and organizing campaigns to market FontShop and FontFont products
- Content planning and copy writing including articles, newsletters, direct mailings
- Running social media channels (we have many)
- Organizing, negotiating and seeking out relevant sponsorship opportunities
- Creating other opportunities (PR etc.) to raise the profile of both brands
- Establishing and maintaining good working relationships with typography foundries and designers
- Support the work of the Marketing Manager and undertake any tasks he requires
- Work closely with Graphic Designers to create collateral and marketing materials
- Other ad-hoc administrative tasks
What we’re looking for:
- A background in marketing or communications with at least 2–5 years experience
- Creativity and a flair for writing
- An eye for detail and a knack for spotting a typo (especially an incorrect apostrophe ;)
- Great organization and the ability to handle multiple projects
- Fluency in English, German is a plus
- A knowledge of Google Analytics and Adwords is a plus but not a must
What we offer:
- A fun and friendly atmosphere
- A position within an enthusiastic creative team working closely with type designers and foundries from all over the world
- Attractive salary and holiday package
Please apply through the online portal.
Located in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin, FontShop is a leading font distribution platform with its own type foundry FontFont, the largest library of original and contemporary typefaces. We are part of the Monotype family, a leading global provider of type, technology and expertise, enabling optimal user experiences and brand integrity. We help creative professionals distinguish their work by employing exceptional type and advanced technologies in service to their imaginations.
Read all about the team in Berlin.
We are proud to sponsor the third Kerning Conference that takes place from 3-5 June in Faenza, Italy.
Dedicated to typography and web typography, it's the third conference since they started back in 2012. This year’s stellar line up includes Tobias Frere-Jones, Nicholas Felton and Laura Worthington as speakers and there is a whole host of workshops to choose from that take place on 3rd and 4th June.
You've still got time to get your hands on an early bird ticket.permalink
Mike Abbink is the designer of several internationally recognized typefaces, including most recently FF Kievit Slab and FF Milo Slab, FontFont (2013, 2014); and Brando, Bold Monday (2014). In 2014 Mike teamed up with designers Paul van der Laan and Pieter van Rosmalen of Bold Monday to create serif and sans additions to the GE corporate typeface family Inspira. Both Brando and the GE Inspira have recently won awards in the 61st Annual TDC Type Competition. Mike is also Senior Creative Director at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and has a broad typography background from personal, in-house, and design agency work including MetaDesign in San Francisco, Apple, Wolff Olins on two coasts, and Saffron Consultants.
FontFont caught up with Mike at his home in Brooklyn. We toured his neighborhood, studio space, and dropped in to the city to see his office at MoMA.
What have you been drawing lately and what projects are you in the middle of?
I can show you work that was just finished for the Henri Matisse exhibit that my design team worked on in the MoMA design studio. It’s a Futura inspired black weight with roman, italic and reverse italic. I designed it to work well with the bespoke typeface (Henry) created for the Matisse catalog and designed by the Fraser Muggeridge studio in London. We developed this identity to be used as the Matisse exhibition title wall and products in the MoMA Design Store. We also ended up redoing the street-facing store windows using the Matisse identity typeface. I’m also very pleased by the way our print advertising has turned out. One that stood out for me was a full page ad in the New York Times, showing a single artwork and just small caption set in 7 point type. No tag line, call to action, exhibition info, address… just the image of Matisse’s Nuit de Noël. I have not seen that approach with any museum adverts which was quite refreshing and bold.
I’ve also been working on Brando Sans and what will ultimately become FF Kievit Serif; right now we’re currently getting the weights within the family fine tuned so it mixes well together with the sans and slab versions. I’ve been working on FF Kievit my whole career with the goal of building a cohesive family which includes a sans, slab and serif. The Serif and Slab versions have been done in collaboration with Paul van der Laan.
I see you’re working in Fontlab here; Is that your editor of choice at the moment?
Yeah. I’ve got RoboFont and I’m learning it, but all my current projects are in Fontlab and it’s the one I’m most comfortable in. When I’ve got some time, I like to learn in RoboFont, but if I’ve just got a couple of hours and want to jam I go with what I know. Erik Spiekermann has mentioned Glyphs to me recently so that is on my list to learn as well.
Since you’ve lived and worked in both, how would you describe the difference in design culture between San Francisco and New York?
San Francisco is a great place to work as a designer, and it’s got connections to tech culture which is obviously pushing everything toward digital media and new ways of interacting with design and technology. But I’d say New York has a certain kind of gravitas that’s hard to beat based on the number of influential and legendary designers like Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, Vignelli, Chermayeff & Geismar, Paula Scher and Michael Beirut (just to name a few).
What’s the story behind FF Kievit? Where does it get its name? How do you say it?
It’s ‘key-veet.’ It’s a Dutch word. My parents are Dutch, and I spent summers visiting my relatives there in the Netherlands as a kid. FF Kievit was my first release. I started it when I was a student in Leah Hoffmitz’s digital font design class at Art Center in California. I was looking closely at designs like Frutiger that introduced humanist elements to a sans model and the skeletal structure of great oldstyle designs like Garamond. I wanted FF Kievit to land somewhere in the middle with the modernist flesh and the bone structure and proportions of a serif. I tried to make something with a natural personality, but that’s cooler in tone, not too expressive. The name Kievit is a Dutch name for a little bird that nests on the beaches there, it’s called a plover or Lapwing here in the states. There was a Dutch tradition to present the first found kievit egg of the year to the Queen, who took it and pronounced the official beginning of Spring. So in a small way, this first typeface is my little offering of something new. It also happens to be my mom’s maiden name so I’ve always had a connection to the name and the bird!
It seems like nearly every independent type designer these days has his or her own foundry label. Is yours next?
Maybe in 4–5 years, but for now I like things as they are because I still like my career as a graphic designer as well. Collaborating with designers who operate their own successful foundries gives me an idea of how much work goes into the marketing and technical and business ends. I’d rather focus on design and continue to collaborate with FontFont and my friends Paul van der Laan and Pieter van Rosmalen at Bold Monday. We have a great relationship and have worked on multiple bespoke typeface projects together as well as some personal type development.