In-Use: FF Basic Gothic and FF Scala for TYPO Berlin 2011
As always, Europe’s biggest design conference was awaited with much eager anticipation. As always, it was a tremendous success. And, as always, the visual style of the conference was carefully scrutinized by the critical eyes of the attending designers.
Traditionally, the conference’s theme motto changes every year and is interpreted by Berlin design agency studio adhoc. This year’s motif was “Shift”. To express this concept, Magnus Hengge and his team fittingly chose FF Scala, a FontFont classic, and paired it up with FF Basic Gothic, a brand new FontFont. While FF Scala has proven its flexibility and versatility for the last 20 years, FF Basic Gothic has yet to be put to the test at all. So it was all the more delightful that they both met the challenge head-on and mastered it with flying colors.
On his choice of FF Basic Gothic as a corporate font, Magnus Hengge says: “I especially like that it looks on the web a bit like a ‘Verdana Reloaded’. The italics have a nice drive (for example with the long f without becoming playful) so that the design of the logo with the typographically adapted arrow was very well doable. Otherwise, I can say that it is a sound, resilient grotesque typeface with a broad range of possible applications, with a rather Anglo-Saxon look, something between Gill and Verdana.”
FF Basic Gothic creators Hannes von Döhren and Livius Dietzel emphasize that the font is particularly well-suited for use in small point sizes. According to the fathers of this no-frills grotesque typeface: “We designed FF Basic Gothic directly in small sizes, the glyphs we looked at on the monitor as well as on the printouts were mostly small. We wanted to give special attention to the architecture and the legibility of the typeface. We noticed very quickly that in small sizes the character of a letter must be shown much clearer than at for example 200 pt. The work in small sizes leads to a sturdy typeface, especially suitable for publishing and well readable even on uneasy background. The typeface does not want to be beautiful, it wants to raise attention and show character. It is meant to transfer information in a clear and self-confident way”. They also characterize this workhorse of a font as cosmopolitan. The perfect face for Europe’s biggest design conference.