News: Tagged as FF ThreeSix

Makers and Shakers – FF ThreeSix for Makr Shakr

Imagine a bar staffed by robots. Yes, robots are not unheard of, but it’s fair to say that three orange robotic arms that can mix and serve bespoke drinks in real-time classifies as impressive.

FFThreeSix MakrShakr

Cue in Makr Shakr. Unveiled at this year’s Google I/O conference, the fun, but serious installation and social experiment saw many a cocktail concoction crafted by three KUKA robots and delivered via a conveyor belt. And not to mention the elegant live digital tessellations of honeycombed data on-screen behind the “bar” and across mobile screens, keeping track of every shake and stir. People gathered with Makr Shakr app in hand, drinks were ordered, robots made and shaked.

The robotic bartending system was developed and designed by MIT Senseable Lab in collaboration with the Coca Cola Company and Bacardi Rums in partnership with Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team, who were responsible for the identity, web application and data visualisation.

FFThreeSix MakrShakr

FFThreeSix MakrShakr

The design intent of the app was to match the agility of the robots, as well as the scientific, step-by-step process of assembling the drinks. Cue in FF ThreeSix. Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir’s experimental geometric yet optically balanced typeface embodies this sentiment visually and conceptually. On why it was chosen, Opara, lead Pentagram partner on the project explains – “It exudes technology and the future”.

FFThreeSix Makr Shakr

FFThreeSix MakrShakr 

FF ThreeSix is subtle and humanistic in an absurdly mathematical rigour. It has been sublimely applied as part of the Makr Shakr identity not just as an alphabet, but also shape and form. The beautiful lines, dots and sometimes blobs work seamlessly in large and small scales together with the organic and mechanical honeycomb system.

The beauty of the identity is not only in the conceptual execution, but is also in its application across the various platforms (desktop, web, app) and mediums (digital, motion, spatial). Opara and his team have played to the strengths of FF ThreeSix taking advantage of the distinguishing qualities between the various styles, mixing and matching them at different sizes and scales typographically and graphically.

FFThreeSix MakrShakr

The identity and application also demonstrates the versatility in the FontFont product offering and the benefit of having a library of typefaces available for multiple uses. The diversity in formats and licenses allows for more possibilities in application.

FFThreeSix Makr Shakr

Male, Female. Bourbon, white rum. Lemon, lime, orange peel, mint. Mojitos or old-fashioned. Whether it be recipe, ingredient, drink or drinker demographics, or even what was currently on-drink-trend, the identity and data was magnificently visualised and optimised for the app and large screen display.

Makr Shakr is a fine example of possibility and how a typeface can work holistically to transform an identity.

For more on the making and shaking of the project head to Pentagram’s website.



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.



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.


FF ThreeSix recognised in Typographica’s favourite Typefaces of 2012

FF ThreeSix

Hamish Muir and Paul McNeil’s experimental optical type system FF ThreeSix has been chosen as one of Typographica’s favourite Typefaces of 2012.

FF ThreeSix consists of six typefaces in eight weights, including four additional monospaced weights. It has won a number of awards including the ISTD Premier Award and Certificate of Excellence

FF Scuba by Felix Braden, FF Tisa Sans by Mitja Miklavčič and FF Marselis by Jan Maack were also noted in the honorable mentions list.


FF ThreeSix featured in Outcast Editions’ iPad architecture monographs

Bilgola House set in FF ThreeSix

One of our newest FontFonts is featured in a brand new interactive iPad book by Outcast Editions. Founded by photographer Richard Glover, architect Virginia McLeod and graphic designer Hamish Muir, Outcast Editions is an independent publishing company, who specialize in creating interactive digital books on contemporary architecture and design. Their latest book is the third in their series Detail in Contemporary Australian Architecture and gives a comprehensive overview of Bilgola House by Tzannes Associates and includes photographs, video, floor plans, sections and construction drawings. 

The house, located near Bilgola Beach on Sydney’s Northern Peninsula, has three bedrooms, a play room, office and swimming pool in addition to shared living, dining and kitchen areas. The house is constructed from concrete, glass, steel and timber. The architects, Tzannes Associates, received the Australian Institute of Architects’ highest award for outstanding residential architecture for Bilgola House in 2010. Bilgola House Book set in FF ThreeSix

The book is set in FF ThreeSix, a typeface designed by Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir and released as part of FF 60. FF ThreeSix is an experimental optical type system consisting of six typefaces in eight weights, including four additional monospaced weights. Working within the strict rules of geometry, MuirMcNeil Design Systems set out to generate simple typographic forms which emulate traditional type design principles, where a wide range of almost invisible compensatory optical tricks are used to create the illusion of evenness in the basic fabric of text. 

Used throughout the books and on the Outcast Editions website, FF ThreeSix really complements the beautiful photography and design. Bilgola House Book set in FF ThreeSix

To hear more about the story behind FF ThreeSix have a listen to our first ever Talking Types podcast, with Erik Spiekermann interviewing McNeil and Muir about FF ThreeSix.

Win an Outcast Editions book for iPad

You can get your hands on one of Outcast Editions architecture books for iPad. All you have to do is follow them on Twitter and RT their tweet about the competition – the giveaway ends Friday the 14th of December.

FF ThreeSix


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)