Swashin’ around with FF Nexus
When Martin Majoor designed FF Scala and FF Scala Sans between 1988 and 1994, the idea behind this was to design a serif, humanistic typeface from which a sans serif version would be derived. Martin called it: Two typefaces, one form principle. Ten years later, he expanded his idea of two typefaces, one form principle into four typefaces, one form principle, creating a new superfamily as a result. FF Nexus, today one of the most popular typefaces in the FontFont Library, borrows some of its structure from FF Scala, but adds the slab-like FF Nexus Mix and the monospaced FF Nexus Typewriter to the set.
And as if FF Nexus itself wasn’t amazing enough, designer Martin Majoor made one of the styles stand out even more; FF Nexus Serif Italic comes with two additional swash alphabets:
Recently, while working on the Web FontFonts of FF Nexus, we decided to revisit the OpenType features of the OT versions as well. So our Type Department worked closely with Martin Majoor to achieve the optimum result from the revision.
“The happiest period in my type design life was when I worked on FF Nexus Serif Italic Swash. I found out that it is impossible to create one ideal series of swash capitals, so I decided to make two.”
“Even though my first typeface, FF Scala, is still more popular, FF Nexus is, in my opinion, the best typeface I have created so far. With FF Nexus Mix, I introduced a third family member in my type design philosophy, and I am happy that this slab version is not a stand-alone typeface; it feels best when accompanied by serif and sans.” says Martin Majoor.
FF Nexus Serif Italic: A combination of the OpenType features Discretionary Ligatures and Contextual Swashes.
It was a great challenge to translate Martin’s ideas into a well-performing OpenType font, but no matter if you prefer activating features or choosing from the glyph palette, in the end you'll see that we achieved maximum flexibility. This screencast shows you how it works: