News: Tagged as FF Chartwell Web

Featured Web FontFonts, May 2013

This month’s round up of our favourite sites featuring Web FontFonts including Travis Kochel’s groundbreaking FF Chartwell, Mike Abbink’s bestselling FF Kievit and Max Phillips’s elegant  FF Spinoza.

Kerem Suer  — FF Chartwell Web

Kerem Suer 

Kerem Suer is a designer of digital products based in San Francisco and his portfolio subtly features Travis Kochel’s innovative chart-making font, FF Chartwell. Kerem uses FF Chartwell Lines Web on the contact page of his website.

St. Gallen Symposium — FF Kievit Web

St. Gallen Symposuim

The St. Gallen Symposium takes place annually in May in Switzerland and is a gathering of leaders organized by students from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. A number of weights of Mike Abbink’s FF Kievit Web appear in the headlines and titles of the site, including FF Kievit Light and FF Kievit Medium

Pitchfork Guide to Summer Festivals 2013 — FF Spinoza Web

Pitchfork Guide to Summer Festivals 2013

The Pitchfork Guide to Summer Festivals 2013 features Max Phillips’s FF Spinoza throughout the body copy and GT Pressura from Grilli Type in the headlines. Pitchfork is an online guide to independent music.


“FontFont has really given FF Chartwell an amazing second life.”

Our next TypeBoard takes place on Wednesday 15 May, so the time to submit your typefaces for consideration is fast approaching. But what’s it really like being a FontFont designer? We caught up with one of the newest designers to join the FontFont family, Travis Kochel (designer of the groundbreaking FF Chartwell) to find out about the path that he took to become a type designer and why he chose to submit his already successful typeface Chartwell to our library.

Travis Kochel 

You studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with your BFA in 2008. What did the design curriculum there look like? Did you have a lot of typography coursework?

Typography was drilled into us. Even in classes not explicitly labeled typography, good type choices and typesetting practices were stressed. At the time it felt more like boot camp, and I actually tried to distance myself from it. It took a few years of real world experience to fully appreciate and understand the value of it. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it just sort of clicked one day, and turned into an obsession.

What inspired you to start designing type? Did your client work at Scribble Tone help while you started your first typeface?

At the time, my first explorations in type design felt more like a curious exploration of letterforms, and a way to take a break from client work. I think what keeps me coming back to it is a strong desire to control every detail of a project. Type is one of the most basic building blocks of a design piece, and there’s an interesting power that comes with controlling that.

FF Chartwell Radar

You first released FF Chartwell in 2011 under the TK Type label and it was received really well. As Chartwell was already successful in its own right, what prompted you to submit the typeface to FontFont? Do you think it fared better as a FontFont?

Releasing typefaces on your own comes with self doubt, and the nagging question of how it would fare with the feedback and marketing power of an established foundry. After the initial success of Chartwell, I started working on a few additional styles of charts and thought it would be a great opportunity to see what someone else could bring to it. I’ve always had a great admiration for FontFont, and they’ve taken on many experimental releases in the past, so it seemed like a good fit.

Admittedly, I was a little nervous about making the transition, but it has outperformed my expectations by far. FontFont has really given FF Chartwell an amazing second life. I’m also extremely happy with the team’s solution for the web version. It was a brilliant approach to break free of the font format, and instead focus on the interface.

What was the main advantage working with FontFont? Would you publish future type designs through FontFont again? If so why/if not why not?

I will definitely consider FontFont again if I have a design that fits well into the catalog. The biggest advantage is the feedback and insight from the team. It’s comforting to have experienced eyes looking over everything, and offering outside perspectives. It’s also quite apparent that they care every bit as much as you do about the work. 

FF Chartwell

The nuts and bolts of FF Chartwell’s features really push the boundaries of the OpenType format. Are you tempted to continue experimenting and pushing OpenType technology even further?

There’s a lot of opportunity to push OpenType technology further, and it’s definitely something I think about a lot. I haven’t quite found another opportunity where an OpenType solution makes sense, but I’m keeping my eyes open.

How do you spend your day? Can you carve out regular chunks of time for type design? How does your work/life balance look? 

My schedule is very erratic, and it usually comes in weeklong chunks of time being focused on one thing. A rough estimate of my time in the past year:

A day in the life of Travis Kochel 

Chicago, New Zealand, Portland … you seem to get around a lot! Do you think that your geographic location feeds into the results of your design work?

The designers and community in each city have definitely influenced the way I think about and approach design. It brings new ideas and perspectives, but also forces you to think about where you stand on those issues.

What’s next for you? Do you think you will release another typeface in the near-future?

Type design will definitely continue to be a large part of my future. But I also really enjoy having a variety of types of projects to work on. It keeps the days interesting, but also brings new perspectives. FF Chartwell was one of those moments where two seemingly unrelated fields of design happily overlapped.

If you could offer a single piece of advice to an aspiring type designer, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just be sure to learn from them, and keep an open ear to feedback, even after releasing.

FF Chartwell

Keen to find out what its like being a FontFont designer from other designers, read the FontFont stories of Hannes von Döhren, Nina Stössinger and Max Phillips.


FF Chartwell Web in use on the Materials Council website

Materials Council Website | FF Chartwell Web in use

The ethical design agency Zerofee recently created the visual identity and website for the Materials Council in the UK. As part of the design of the website they implemented Travis Kochel’s groundbreaking FF Chartwell Web font to playfully display and illustrate data.

We caught up with Paul Buck, co-founder of Zerofee to out more about the project and their choice of typeface ...

Can you give a bit of background to the work you did for the Materials Council? What was the original brief that you were given? And what led you to choose FF Chartwell Web?

Materials Council commissioned Zerofee to design their visual identity and various associated materials for their launch in 2012, followed by their website.

We collaboratively devised a brief to develop a visual language that would feel both technical and creative, combining a sense of scientific precision with playful elements, to appeal to their client base of architects and manufacturers. The resulting visual identity lead us to explore bold, colourful infographics to help illustrate what might otherwise be quite dry data about material uses and characteristics. FF Chartwell was chosen in order to help us do this – to display beautiful, modern charts and graphs that brought colour to the website and indicate Materials Councils understanding and love of every detail of their subject. The webfont was launched quite late during our development and, following some experimentation, it seemed clear that we could use it to display scalable, content managed data from the site CMS, instead of the SVG, predetermined set of graphics we’d set out to develop with it. Materials Council can now add new data sets with simple markup, select an appropriate font from the FF Chartwell family and have it mix in randomly with the sets displayed on the site's homepage. FF Chartwell Web in use

How did you find working with FF Chartwell?

Great! It was easy to install and to control and style on the site with our markup/CSS.

We’ve also used FF Chartwell in print for another client, both in the form of ‘classic’ graphs and charts, but also as an illustrative element. As many of our clients are non-profit, charitable or young companies, FF Chartwell has helped us economically produce good-looking information where budgets and time are tight.

FF Chartwell in use

One of the founding principles of Zerofee is to work for ethical and responsible brand and organisations and to donate design work to worthy causes. What has been the most rewarding pro-bono work that you have done? Who would be your ideal ethical client?

One of the most rewarding pro-bono projects we’ve done is the one we’re currently doing (and bringing to a conclusion soon) for @artsemergency. Arts Emergency are working to protect arts education here in the UK in the face of government policy that has increased the cost of education to a level beyond the reach of many prospective students. We'll soon be launching their visual identity and website.

There’s no one ideal ethical client for us, but we do already work for one of those that we'd include in an ‘ideal’ list – Global Witness. Global Witness’s work and objectives are a close fit with our own philosophies and they have a great attitude and open mind about the role of graphic design in supporting their campaigns, which we're very pleased to be helping them with.

About Zerofee

Zerofee is an ethical design agency based in London. They create, design and implement visual identities and print and digital media for companies who are ethical and responsible. Besides their commercial work they are committed to donating design time to charities and worthy causes.

About FF Chartwell

Travis Kochel’s groundbreaking FF Chartwell is a nifty typeface for creating simple graphs. Following the launch of the print version in May 2012, we released a web version in September 2012. Using small Javascript libraries, FF Chartwell Web is more than just a font. Have a go using our live demo and download FF Chartwell Radar Web for free. 


TDC 2013: FF Chartwell

FF Chartwell

Travis Kochel’s groundbreaking typeface FF Chartwell that transforms strings of numbers into graphs and charts has been awarded one of the most highly regarded accolades in the typographic world – a ‘Certificate of Excellence in Typeface Design’ by the TDC.

The TDC (Type Directors Club) was founded in 1946 by some of the foremost leaders from the world of typography. Their mission is to support excellence in typography on screen and in print. Each year they run two annual type competitions, one for the use of type in design and the other for typeface design.

FF Chartwell

This year, there were almost 200 entries submitted from 33 countries and only 14 winners, so we are absolutely delighted that FF Chartwell and Travis have been recognized. The winning entries will be presented at the TDC Awards Exhibition in New York this summer. They will also be included in a further 7 exhibitions that will visit the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Previous TDC FontFont winners include FF Tundra, FF Absara, FF Clifford, FF Strada, FF Unit, FF Suhmo or FF Profile.


FF Chartwell wins Silver at the Information is Beautiful Awards

Information is Beautiful awards 2012

The inaugural Information is Beautiful Awards, inspired by Kantar, were held on 27 September at the ICA in London. They are the world's first global awards for data visualization and information design.

With a stellar panel of judges including Aziz Cami, Brian Eno, David McCandless, Maria Popova, Paola Antonelli, Simon Rogers and more than 1000 entries, we were absolutely delighted to hear that FF Chartwell by Travis Kochel was selected for the silver award in the category of Tool or Website. FF Chartwell

There were a number of different categories including Data Visualisation, Infographic/Information Design, Interactive Visualisation, Data Journalism, Motion Infographic, and Tool or Website.

The best individual contribution went to Moritz Stefaner and the winner of the Ultimate award went to the CNN Home and Away visualization by Stamen, which maps the coalition casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You can view all the winners on the Information is Beautiful website or on the Guardian’s Data Blog winners gallery.  

About FF Chartwell

Designed by Travis Kochel, FF Chartwell is a fantastic typeface for creating simple graphs. Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling. Following the release of FF Chartwell for print back in May 2012, we published the web version in September 2012. For a limited time, you can get FF Chartwell Radar for free.


New release: FF 60

How quickly the time has flown since FF 59, we can’t quite believe it is release time again. With two new designs, two extensions and a myriad of updates we are delighted to introduce our latest release, FF 60.

The new designs

FF Marselis  

FF Marselis FF Marselis

From the designer of FF Cube and FF Speak comes FF Marselis. Jan Maack’s newest design crossbreeds geometric and humanistic forms, creating a freshly dynamic sans serif family. All of the counters in the typeface are open; certain superfluous strokes have been eliminated – there are no spurs on the b or q, for instance.

Many designers chance upon using the same graphic shape for the lowercase ‘a’ and ‘e’ – indeed, the idea seems simple enough: just rotate the form 180° and you should be done! However, almost all attempts at this sort of theoretical simplification fail in practice. With FF Marselis, Jan Maack has found a key to making it work. Rather than whole letterforms, a tear-drop form repeats throughout the alphabet, not only in the bowl of the lowercase ‘a’ or ‘e’, but also in the ‘k’ and the uppercase ‘Q’. Its distinct character makes FF Marselis a perfect choice for today’s corporate and branding projects.

Introductory offer: You can get 50 % off any FF Marselis product (until 31 October 2012).

FF ThreeSixFF ThreeSixFF ThreeSix

FF ThreeSix is a huge experimental optical type system consisting of six typefaces in eight weights, including four additional monospaced weights. It is the result of London-based Paul McNeil’s and Hamish Muir’s attempts to work within the restrictive rules of geometry to generate simple typographic forms emulating traditional type design principles, where a wide range of almost imperceptible compensatory optical tricks are used to create the illusion of evenness in the basic fabric of text.

The award-winning system – ISTD Premier Award and Certificate of Excellence – is based on a grid of 36 unit squares subdivided into 9 units and are constructed using only vertical or horizontal straight lines and circular arcs. Cap-height, x-height, ascent and descent measurements are consistent across all fonts and weights. The grid also determines character and word spacing, with all side-bearings and kerning pair values conforming to 9 unit increments.

As Wim Crouwel notes: ‘It is a fascination for the use of geometric systems in design that has resulted in these remarkable typefaces.’

Updated and extended FontFonts 

FF Chartwell WebFF Chartwell WebFF Chartwell Web

We always strive to give you the best possible solution. That’s why we didn’t make it easy on ourselves when it came to creating FF Chartwell Web. FF Chartwell already pushes the boundaries of OpenType, so when faced with the prospect of massive font file sizes (up to 47000 glyphs) and a lack of OpenType feature support in most web browsers to make FF Chartwell work on the web, we had to think creatively! Not satisfied with simply converting the desktop fonts into web fonts we sought to transform FF Chartwell into something more than just a font. Using some nifty JavaScript tricks you can now breathe life into charts, pies, graphs online.

Introducing FF Chartwell Web. Simple to use and fun to play around with, you can try it for yourself online using our demo.

Free font: For a limited time, you can get your hands on FF Chartwell Web Radar for free.

FF Meta Correspondence

FF Meta CorrespondenceFF Meta Correpondence

Erik Spiekermann’s best-known face is without doubt FF Meta. While it has proven its usability in almost any design task one can think of, its creator realized that it could be improved even more for use in the business world. The main features of the first version of FF Meta Correspondence included tabular figures (instead of oldstyle ones) and increased tracking, yet Spiekermann wanted to go a few steps further and take the typeface to another level.

Now, Erik Spiekermann and the FontFont team changed both proportions and shapes to a more robust style, removed contrast from accents and simplified forms and details to a more screen-friendly appearance. The very well-known lowercase g has been changed to a single-storey one, which is more common within the office environment. Above all, a set of useful arrows, icons, and office dingbats has been added. The resulting design is still FF Meta, but one that breathes Correspondence air.

The simplified forms and the high-quality screen optimization make FF Meta Correspondence a perfect typeface for use as a webfont or within the mobile environment.

New Office and Web FontFonts plus language extensions

Did you know our library contains over 2500 FontFonts? After a FontFont is released, the work doesn’t stop, we continually tinker and update our beloved FontFonts to ensure that they are in tip-top condition and in the most up to date and useable formats. In FF 60, some of our earliest releases such as Just van Rossum’s FF Advert, Ole Schäfer’s FF Zine, and John Critchley’s FF Child’s Play have been brought up to date and now come in Office and Web formats.

All these faces have also been upgraded so that they are now also offered in Pro versions, meaning they now include more Latin-based languages (e.g. Polish, Turkish, Czech).FF Advert

FF Advert/Rough (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)

FF Atma Serif

FF Atma Serif (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)

FF Child's Play 

FF Child’s Play (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro) FF Cube

FF Cube (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)

FF Eureka Mono

FF Eureka Mono (NEW: Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)

FF Fago

FF Fago Mono (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)

FF Hydra

FF Hydra/Text (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)

FF Instant

FF Instant Types (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)

FF Meta Correspondence

FF Meta Correspondence (NEW: Offc Pro | Web Pro)

FF Typestar

FF Typestar (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)FF Zine

FF Zine Sans/Serif/Slab Display (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)