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Here’s what we’ve been polishing up lately: a real grotesque in text and headline sizes, a lettering-inspired text face made for long reads, and two new weights atop the popular FF DIN® typeface.
New Release: FF Real™
FF Real began as the voice of Erik Spiekermann’s biography Hello, I am Erik, drawn in just two styles, one for headlines and one for text. Each meaning of the word ‘real’ is employed in labeling this proper, authentic and regal sans, based closely on the original static grotesques of the turn of the twentieth century. Thirteen weights each.
New Release: FF Hertz™
A unique mixture of influences go into Jens Kutílek’s FF Hertz, from superelliptical faces like Zapf’s Melior® to German cartographic alphabets, all following certain modernist instincts. The result is a mighty and versatile text suite in six weights. One feature of note is FF Hertz’s uniwidth design—set text in a heavier weight without reflowing.
New Styles Extension: FF DIN®
The model European industrial sans, Albert-Jan Pool’s FF DIN keeps getting better. This latest update includes the addition of two new weights, Thin and Extra Light, across both condensed and normal widths, and also includes Greek support in the weights where before it was missing.
In January 2014 Brussels Airport revealed their new identity developed by Megaluna, the branding and design leg of multidisciplinary agency The Factory Brussels. In the last one-and-a-half years the appearance of the airport has been changing, gradually incorporating the new branding in the architecture as well as in the posters, displays and other visual supports. While the previous identity focused on the efficient and rational aspect of the airport, the new one stresses its human and convivial character. The team led by Creative Director Vincent Knecht developed a logo that translates these qualities. The red stylized ‘B’ which stands for both Brussels and Belgium can be interpreted in different ways – either as a bird in flight, symbol for the aviation sector and dynamism, or as a heart. This heart refers to the efforts made by the airport to put the customer at the heart of its activities, efforts which are echoed in the major renovations of the airport buildings and improvements in the infrastructure.
To emphasize this change in approach and attitude Megaluna selected FF Marselis as the new corporate typeface. Jan Maack’s idiosyncratic humanist sans serif – now part of a super family thanks to the addition of FF Marselis Slab – replaces the more corporate-like Corpid. Its warm, soft and curvy features are a radical departure from the neutral, matter-of-factly or more technical-looking alphabets usually found in airports. The typeface works very well from gigantic display sizes, where the curved diagonals and typical teardrop-shaped counters define its personality, down to the smallest body text. FF Marselis is used in the logo as well; Art Director Patrick Hannaert slightly customized the bottom of the ‘r’ and the top of the ‘i’ to better integrate the dot, while respecting the rounded shapes of the typeface.
The new identity of Brussels Airport is striking, and beautifully illustrates the versatility of FF Marselis. It also makes a strong case for corporate branding, specifically for such a large entity, to look less “corporate”. There are many more lesser-known and lesser-used gems in the FontFont library waiting to be (re)discovered.
In producing the Appetite for Radical Change exhibition, Medialab Katowice incorporated Hannes von Döhren, Christoph Koeberlin and the Type Department’s FF Mark into a work of stunning restraint. The project began as a series of lectures on the historical development of Katowice, Poland, a city known for its ability to—and even inclination toward—adaptation and change. Formally, the work is presented with iconic clarity. FF Mark’s geometric qualities are a good unifier in this regard, while its more human facets serve to invite participation by onlookers. From its companion site: “The exposition is devoid of the traditional historical narrative, which usually puts the focus on important historical figures, political events or wars. Instead, it uses diagrams, maps and data visualisations to illustrate the rapid transformations of Katowice. The city’s architecture plays an important role, showing the momentum and optimism of its creators, regardless of the period and political context.”
In keeping with the open culture that undertook the project, its creators make available many of the assets produced as part of the work, including an OpenType file containing monochromatic depictions of many of the city’s architectural landmarks.
Medialab Katowice is a collaborative environment for developing and executing culturally significant projects that make use of emerging technologies. The purpose for such collaborations are both social and educational, giving all who participate the chance to learn, mix, and refine their skills.
An interactive map that allows its participants to see patterns in the city’s growth over time http://katowickiebudynki.eu
Photography by Medialab Katowicepermalink
Inspired by 19th and early 20th century French poster lettering, Silvio Naploeone set out to create a typeface that would embrace the whimsical style of that period with a contemporary lilt. When he started sketching what was to become his FF Hydra family, he began with a condensed sans serif and started playing around with the stroke connections. FF Hydra was born and the name comes from the serpent-like shapes that are formed when the strokes in the letters join together.
The name Hydra is given to fierce, multi-headed water serpents in Greek mythology that ravaged cattle herds and terrorized the countryside. It was a rather wild beast, if one of its heads was cut off, two new heads appeared.
Hugely versatile, FF Hydra one of our favourite hidden FontFont treasures. The Regular style provides impact with an economy of width, creating a unique overall impression. The Expanded version is suitable for longer blocks of text. Other elements of the FF Hydra design are the characteristic soft ink trap connections, oldstyle figures, and true italics.
One of the biggest releases of recent years for FontFont.com, 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®.
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 losing character.
Perfect for display settings FF Mark Ultra achieves maximum density while remaining part of the family.
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