New Release: FF57

October 18th, 2011

BERLIN, GERMANY, October 2011 – FontShop International announced the latest additions to its award-winning FontFont® typeface library.

Redesign and new styles

FF Karbid: Revised & extended

FF Karbid Slab
FF Karbid Slab in use, Book design Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller ‘The Murder of Crows’ (Hatje Cantz, 2011)

Originally published in only three text weights and one display version in 1999, the original FF Karbid is an interpretation of vintage German storefront lettering from the early 1900s. Verena Gerlach collected and documented a lot of these alphabets in the Berlin quarters Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte. Although they have now almost completely disappeared due to the renovation works in the unified German capital, the spirit of those characteristic letters lives on in the concept of FF Karbid.

FF Karbid now offers a balanced range of five weights—from Light to Black—each with matching obliques. All versions of FF Karbid offer numerous alternate characters that alter their appearance and mood. These are based on the rather eccentric forms of Art Deco lettering—low- and high-waisted capitals; round versions of A, C, E; single-storey a & g, and many more. The fonts include numerous figure sets, arrows and bullets, and offer Latin Extended language support.

Families

The new FF Karbid is a harmonized redesign of the original typeface. Rounder and less narrow letters lend the shapes more space and balance. Although the contrast was reduced to obtain a harmonious monolinear typeface (without losing its liveliness) it was increased in the bolder weights to improve legibility and achieve a certain elegance. FF Karbid Display is the most obvious spin-off of the original FF Karbid. More than merely having been assimilated, the letter forms were revised according to the new concept. The FF Karbid family has been augmented with two entirely new sub-families. The first one, the Text version, is intended for body copy in small sizes. The eccentric, serif-like swashes in select letters have been abandoned, while the friendly, lively forms of l, y, z and Z show the close relationship to the FF Karbid family. The other new sub-family is a Slab version. It has a sober, journalistic character, inspired by the typography in magazines of the 1920s (see Memphis, etc.). The strong serifs lend the typeface footing and an air of reliability. To improve legibility and balance the contrast was increased in comparison to the sans serif version.

Updated and extended FontFonts

FontFont continues its steady conversion of its library in Web & Office versions. This time FF Nexus and FF Signa Serif were released in both font formats.

Language extensions continue as well: FF Unit Pro speaks Cyrillic and Greek now.

FF Nexus Mix, FF Nexus Serif, FF Nexus Sans, FF Nexus Typewriter

FF Nexus

Ten years after his iconic FF Scala, Martin Majoor expanded his idea of “two typefaces; one form principle” into “three typefaces; one form principle.” The result: a new family of typefaces. FF Nexus borrows some of its structure from FF Scala, but adds the slab-like FF Nexus Mix and monospaced FF Nexus Typewriter to the set. The four coordinated families form a powerhouse type system, combining elegance with versatility. Web and office versions are now available.

FF Signa Serif

FF Signa is a typically Danish typeface by Ole Søndergaard, rooted in architectural lettering rather than book typography. Concise letterforms and a minimum of detail produce clear and harmonious word images. Designed for the Danish Design Center, it is used there for printed material and exhibitions as well as the internal signage system. There are Condensed, Extended and Correspondence versions, and in 2005 FF Signa Serif joined the family. Now the web and office versions are also available for FF Signa Serif.

FF Unit

FF Unit Showing

FF Unit was designed by Erik Spiekermann and produced by Christian Schwartz. FF Unit is the grown-up, no-nonsense sister of Spiekermann’s famous FF Meta. With FF Unit, puppy fat is off, some curves are gone and the shapes are tighter. While FF Meta has always been a little out-of-line and not exactly an over-engineered typeface, FF Unit is less outspoken and more disciplined. It is—like FF Meta—very suitable for use quite small and large, but FF Unit lacks some of the diagonal strokes and curves that give FF Meta its slight informality. However, FF Unit is not cold or uptight, just cool: no redundant ornamentation, just a lot of character. The tighter shapes make it suitable for big headlines set tight. Smaller sizes benefit from the increased contrast between vertical and horizontal strokes and open spacing. Thin and Light perform well set large, displaying the characters to their advantage. There is a great difference in weight between the Thin and Ultra, providing a good range of weights for contrasting combinations. Alternative characters (a, g, i, j, l, U, M) make for interesting headlines. The Small Caps are a bit larger than normal, making them suitable for abbreviations and acronyms. The many weights include old style, regular, and tabular figures. FF Unit Pro is now available with Cyrillic and Greek character sets. The entire FF Unit super family consists of FF Unit, FF Unit Slab, and FF Unit Rounded.