News: Tagged as FF Flava

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?

Type is typically one-color. Of course, after it’s set, a user can manipulate letters with a texture or a gradient; but out of the box, a font is usually capable of a single color. This is where layer fonts change the game. With glyphs that are designed to be overlaid on top of each other, layer fonts make it easy to apply multiple colors and other effects without extra steps or leaving the comfort of your typesetting or layout app.


Layer_Hero_FF_Identification

 

Multi-layered type is not a new concept. “Chromatic” wood fonts for printing large headlines in two or more colors were common way back in the mid-1800s. Polychromatic type continued to be readily available in the photocompositing era when graphic designers sent their text to specialized typesetters to do the precision work required to line up the layers. When digital type took over, there was a noticeable lull in layered type. There were few chromatic fonts available, and making them work was now the complicated and tedious task of the designer who was suddenly given the additional role of typesetter.

But now, thanks to new typefaces (and rediscovering some old ones), better software, and time-saving tricks made possible by OpenType, chromatic type is back! Just a casual glance at graphic design blogs or Pinterest boards is enough to see that layer fonts are in fashion again.

There are plenty of interesting and useful multi-layer typefaces in the FontFont library — it may surprise you to learn we have more than 50 families with layering capabilities (even some Free FontFonts like FF Pullman and FF Koko) — but they are often overlooked because online samplers are optimized for standard, single-layer type. So let’s take a closer, multicolor look at a few and see what they can do.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Make things pretty.

The most obvious use of type layers is to add decorative elements in multiple hues. A variety of FontFonts take advantage of layers to enhance their display qualities, from playful to grungy. Here are a few:

Layer FontFonts 
FF Beadmap, FF Minimum, FF Letterine, and FF Flava demonstrate the coloring possibilities of FontFonts with layers.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Add depth and dimension.

FF Profile Layers 

One of the more powerful benefits of layers is transforming type from an element that simply sits on a surface to one that has a three-dimensional shape of its own. A single layer font with built-in shadows or faceting can only go so far in simulating depth. With a layer FontFont like FF Primary you can use color to give each surface an appropriate shade, making the type pop off the page or recede into stone. Over at the FontShop blog, David Sudweeks wrote a good tutorial on using FF Primary (and most other layer fonts).

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Add realism. 

FF Kipp Layers

FF Kipp, inspired by a worn set of wood type, is one of the most popular typefaces with a rough, weathered contour. Still, users often overlook its layer variations which can make it an even more convincing emulation of imperfectly printed or painted letters. The extra fonts in the set offer a variety of degradation when overlaid over the base fonts. These extras can also be colored slightly different than the bottom layer resulting in an uneven, painterly effect.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Give text meaning.

FF MisterK Features

Layers aren’t only useful for visual appeal. Among the many smart tricks in FF Mister K are scribble, strikeout, and underline features that can enhance the meaning of text all while staying true to the informal handwritten aesthetic of the typeface. The OpenType-powered annotations are easy to apply, work with words of various lengths, and of course offer the ability to easily adjust coloring. Read more about how to use FF Mister K’s special effects in this info guide.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Clarify text.

FF Jigger Overlays

One of the graphic designer’s often encountered but seldom discussed challenges is overlaying readable type on a photograph or video. This is particularly tricky when the background has varying values of light and dark. Common hacks include drop shadows and strips of color, but it’s often more engaging when the element backing the type is in harmony with the typeface. This is where FF Jigger shines. Because there are separate fonts for front and back, each can be colored independently. And because it’s type, changes to content or color are easy to make.

What Can Layer FontFonts Do?
Simplify iconography. 

FF Dingbats2 layering

Maps, infographics, UI design, and wayfinding systems ask a lot of iconography. To get the work done efficiently, icons must be easy to apply, easy to edit, and easy to change. That’s why working with symbol fonts makes so much sense. FF Netto Icons and FF Dingbats 2.0 offer frames and backgrounds to enable icon customization. Because these icon and border elements are separate characters they can each be colored separately. In FF Netto, key in the desired frame, apply its color, then key in an icon to align it perfectly inside the frame. FF Dingbats 2.0 uses an OpenType-powered layering feature to allow coloring of multiple elements in each pictogram without switching fonts (see above). Read more about this and the packages other features at the official FF Dingbats 2.0 site.

Using Layer FontFonts on the Web

You don’t need to limit your layer typography to print and images. Our friends at Typekit have written a simple CSS tutorial on using layer fonts in web design. For his article, Tim Brown demonstrates a chromatic typeface revived from the wood type era, but the technique will work with Web FontFonts like FF Prater Block, FF Advert Rough and parts of FF ThreeSix too.

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Best Collection FontFonts for Music and Nightlife

To help you navigate your way around our vast assortment of typographical treats, we made some changes last year to the way our library is structured and introduced three tiers: Premium, Collection and Free.

Over the coming months, we will feature our top Collection Tier FontFonts for a particular intended use and give you some handy tips and hints on how to use them. We’ve mentioned before that we are powered by music and although the summer may not be sizzling, the music festival season has certainly arrived; so first up in this series are our top ten typefaces suitable for use in music and nightlife.

FF Imperial

FF Imperial

FF Minimum

FF Minimum

FF Amoeba

FF Amoeba

FF Flava

FF Flava

 FF Bionic

FF Bionic

FF Karo

FF Karo

FF Softsoul

FF Soul

FF Container

FF Container

FF Mach

FF Mach

FF Massive

FF Massive

Audience: Can a typeface look like music? Maybe. The right face for a violin concerto CD probably won’t be the best choice for a DJ’s website, though. When it comes to selecting type for music and nightlife, the right ones are all about appearances; legibility and even readability take a back seat.

Think of the great psychedelic posters from the ’60s or the dance club flyers from the ’90s – neither of these typically featured text that was easy to read.

The typefaces you select for music and nightlife should be geared toward the particular audience. Contemporary music needs type that feels like it was made now. ‘Corporate’-looking fonts will probably be the wrong fit.

Usage: Choose your type based on where it will be seen. Album covers, t-shirts and posters are an opportunity to create work that is illustrative and unique, while advertisements for an act’s concert appearances or for specific clubs offer less leeway

Fans will be able to pick out their favorite band from a sea of logos, but when you present information about where they will play, when tickets will be available and how much they cost, you can help the reader by listing these bits of information clearly.

Music and nightlife allow typeface combinations that would never normally go together in a corporate setting. Try to find imaginative styles for band identities, or for the venues where they will appear. Combine these with something clear and more subdued for everyday information; this stuff is less important in a visual hierarchy than the creative side, but it should still communicate what it has to.

Ecosystem: Type is just one element of the mix for music and nightlife. How does it combine with photographs, illustrations, or even simple fields of color? Words don’t have to be written with ornate letters to be decorative – big fat block letters can do the trick, depending on what other elements you mix them together with. Especially in this category of design, it is definitely OK to use all-caps text.

Although your design doesn’t have to be 100% about the type, good fonts will help strike the right tone. When you select your typefaces, think about what other design elements you will be combining them with. If imagery is a more important part of your band’s ‘identity’, take this into consideration. Sticking to one family with several weights and widths may offer enough versatility.

 

Have a browse of all our Collection Tier typefaces suitable for music and nightlife. Let us know which ones you would add to the list!

About our Collection Tier

Our Collection Tier FontFonts are a selection of cost effective typographical treasures offered as full-families. All packages are available in OpenType with Standard language support (with a few key exceptions) and are all affordably priced under €/$ 100 each.

About the Intended Use function

The intended use function helps you easily sift through the multitude of fonts on offer. With categories ranging from Book Text to Wayfinding and Signage, from Posters and Billboards to Festive Occasions, there are over 12 different intended use categories to help you find the perfect typographical match for your project.

Next up in our series — Our top Collection Tier FontFonts suitable for Sport.

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