News: Tagged as In-use

FF Tundra takes a starring role in the newly redesigned ‘stern’

Newsstands in Germany have looked a little different since March 14, 2013 – the day the redesigned stern magazine premiered. A weekly news magazine, stern is one of the major journalistic publications serving the German-language market. Whenever a well-established brand changes its appearance, typography and typeface selection are two of the many factors to be considered. In this case, stern decided to use FF Tundra as its main text face. While this is just a small element of the magazine’s new guise, it plays the most essential part of its reading experience.

FF Tundra for stern magazine

The typography of the redesigned stern appears quite objective. A number of typefaces are used throughout its pages, but each font has a specific role to play. The magazine is printed on brilliant white paper, with most text being either black or red. Aside from FF Tundra, stern also uses Kris Sowersby’s Metric typeface. That family may be found in sub-headlines and image captions, for instance. A condensed sans serif with rounded corners, Soft Press by Patrick Griffin is used on the magazine’s cover and for the drop-caps at the start of articles. This has something of a woodtype poster feeling, but the letters’ rounded corners also tie into several currents common to contemporary digital design.

FF Tundra for stern magazine

The headlines for most of articles inside the magazine are set in Nimbus Roman by URW++. Like Metric, Nimbus helps root stern’s typography in a German graphic design tradition. It calls to mind the paperback covers designed by Willy Fleckhaus for the Suhrkamp publishing house in the 1970s.

FF Tundra for stern magazine

FF Tundra itself is a rather new creation. Designed for FontFont by Berlin-based Ludwig Übele in 2011, FF Tundra was intended for magazine-setting right from the drawing board. The principal tenant of its design is its stress on horizontal movement. FF Tundra’s letterforms are rather narrow, but their long, flat serifs seem to stretch them out somewhat. The curved elements of some letters have been simplified and flattened. This increases the size of the letters’ counterforms, which is a common method to improve legibility, as well as strengthening the horizontal-ness of the typeface. A pleasant effect of FF Tundra’s reinforcement of the horizontals is that its letters appear to push the reader’s eye forward across lines of text. 

Since FF Tundra is stern’s new text face, it appears throughout the magazine in just a single point size. The features of its family are however employed in full. FF Tundra’s Italic is used in articles when necessary, as is the Bold weight and the fonts’ oldstyle figures.

FF Tundra for stern magazine

As is common for European magazines of its kind, stern is printed on gravure presses, instead of with an offset lithography technique. Gravure printing really allows colour photographs to look their best, giving them more depth than offset presses typically would. stern uses a thin coated paper stock, like that seen in many gravure-printed magazines. While the combination of gravure printing and this stock are great for images, they can really kill text; offset printing allows text to be printed much more clearly and sharply. Designers specifying typefaces for gravure printing must be extra careful, and it is here where the decision to apply FF Tundra to the redesign really pays off. Despite all of the little dots that appear around each letter – a typical hallmark of gravure printing – the images of FF Tundra’s letters remain clean and readable.

FF Tundra for stern magazine

This redesign of stern was coordinated by the magazine’s editorial team and supported by the art director, Johannes Erler (a FontFont-designer in his own right), as well as by Luke Hayman from Pentagram’s New York office. Ludwig Übele also revised the new logotype for stern. We’d like to congratulate the stern design team on the successful stern redesign, and for selecting FF Tundra in the process.

Learn more about the redesign process on Pentagram’s website.

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Share your work and win a ticket to TYPO Berlin!

Have you used a FontFont in a recent project?

Would you like to win a ticket to TYPO Berlin?

As proud sponsors of this year’s TYPO Berlin, we are delighted to give away three tickets to the conference. With an all-star lineup including Ken Garland, Kate Moross, Jessica Walsh, Anthony Burrill and Albert-Jan Pool (designer of FF DIN), it is simply too good to miss!

TYPO Berlin Competition

How to enter

Just send us an example of FontFonts in use from a project that you have worked on recently and you will automatically be entered into our draw. Please send a link to your website or a PDF of your project with a brief description to news@fontfont.com.

Closing date 

11.00 (CET) Tuesday 30 April. We will announce the winners shortly after the closing date.

Good Luck!

*Please note the prize is just the ticket for the conference and not travel to Berlin, so you’ll have to make your own way there ;-)

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Best Collection FontFonts for Small Text

Think of small text, and often legalese, terms of use, credits, and tiny annoying instructions spring to mind. When working with the strict number of constraints that come with small text, it’s sometimes tricky to know where to start. So to help you weave your way through the world of small text, here are some tips and tricks and a roundup of our best Collection Tier FontFonts suitable for this slight but by no means insignificant intended use.

FF Bradlo Sans & FF Bradlo Slab

FF Bradlo

FF Elementa

FF Elementa

FF Schmalhans

FF Schmalhans

FF Plus Sans

FF Plus Sans

FF Sheriff

FF Sheriff

FF Parable

FF Parable

FF Roice

FF Roice

FF Instanter

FF Instanter

When it comes to small text, it’s the size of the letters within the available space that counts. To ensure optimal legibility simpler forms help. No parts of the text should disappear. Typefaces optimized for small sizes often have reduced stroke contrast; the thinner parts of the letters are almost as heavy as the thick bits. A high x-height can help, too – plus short ascenders and even shorter descenders. Letters themselves are often somewhat wider. If your typeface doesn’t already have generous letter spacing, add more tracking to your text!

It may be true that we read best what we read most. For years, much of the tiniest text appeared in dictionaries and newspaper classified ads; these were often set in serif faces. However, sans serifs perform well in this environment if they have large counters and open apertures – think about the traits in humanist sans types. Whatever typeface you pick, it should not be too fancy: small text leaves no room for detail.

Small text rarely appears alone – who wants to read a document where everything is tiny? Go for a selection that works well small, but also includes some contrast between its family’s weights: If you set some words in the middle of a line in bold, you won’t want this to go unnoticed to the reader. Think about how your selection combines stylistically with the larger type in the document, too.

Catch up on our previous intended use posts:

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.

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FF Dagny in-use: Fabulous new visual identity for fasett

New Year, new typeface! Our friends over at the Norwegian communications agency, fasett have completely revamped and relaunched their visual identity using one of our very own FontFonts, FF Dagny.

FF Dagny featured on fasett

We particularly love the About Us page ... Follow their gaze as you pass your mouse over each person.

About Us fasett 

The award-winning FF Dagny family has five weights, each with a companion italic. Designed by Örjan Nordling and Göran Söderström in 2009, it was awarded an ISTD International Typographic Award in 2011.

We’d love to feature your work

Have you used a FontFont in one of your projects recently? If so, we’d love to feature you! Just drop Lucy a line (lucy@fontfont.de) and she’ll be in touch.

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Best Collection FontFonts for festive occasions

For the past few months, we’ve brought together our favorite FontFonts from our Collection Tier and top tips for a particular intended use. With only a few days to go until we head off on our festive break, we couldn’t help but tackle the typographical heights of FontFonts suitable for festive occasions. So grab a mulled wine and a mince pie and feast your eyes on these festive fancies.

FF Quill

FF Quill

FF Danubia and FF Danubia Script

FF Danubia and FF Danubia Script

FF Nelio

FF Nelio

FF Elegie

FF Elegie

FF Letterine

FF Letterine

FF Eddie

FF Eddie

Showings and images by Angelo Stitz,
except FF Elegie: Image by Tobias Titz/
fStop (1009056)

 

Holidays and celebrations have a steady stock of traits to fall back on. These give you excellent opportunities to explore new script fonts, fat faces, or Old English types. Really, anything that looks traditional is likely to be a nice fit. You can also run wild with pastiche or kitsch – letters that look like they are made of candy canes, leaves, ribbons or snowflakes are fair game.

 

Type for festive occasions often takes the form of text to be looked at, rather than actually read. Don’t go the safe route and pick a face that looks too much like something for a book. Go ahead and let your type call attention to itself; there is no need to be too text-y.

 

Most important of all, be sure to pick something that feels cheerful; nothing brings down an invitation like a typeface that is too dreary or formal. Your fonts won’t be the only element of an upbeat design, either. Color will surely play a role, as will illustration or other imagery. Fonts with holiday ornaments can help in a pinch, too.

 

Catch up on our previous intended use posts:

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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

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In-use: FF Kievit helps you get where you need to go

FF Kievit in use by Hofstede Design

The Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre – located outside Melbourne, Australia – implements Mike Abbink’s FF Kievit typeface family into its wayfinding and environmental graphics. Hofstede Design began work on the project in late 2006. A symbol incorporating two interlocking ‘E’s forms the central element in their flexible and wide-ranging brand identity program. We caught up with the studio to ask them a couple of questions about the project.

FF Kievit

How did you find working with the typefaces?

The brief was to develop an identity and signage system for a shopping centre on the outskirts of Melbourne. We were commissioned by the design manager who oversaw all aspects of the centre’s redevelopment. We chose FF Kievit because we needed a versatile typeface which could work both in printed material, and also on the signage component. FF Kievit has an ‘approachable’ feel, and we felt it provided just the right mix of legibility and individuality. I think there are some default choices for signage (e.g., Frutiger, Helvetica, etc), and we wanted to do something a little different as well.

On your website, you mention that you are first and foremost graphic designers. Indeed, your portfolio reflects a very considered and real approach to design. What drives your head and hand to keep your originality and inspiration flowing?

I have been working for over twenty years now. Finding inspiration and originality gets harder and harder. As a studio, we strive for individual solutions for our clients, but the reality is that nothing is truly original. We do our best.

FF Kievit and FF Info

FF Kievit is a warm, open sans serif typeface, designed by Mike Abbink and extended by Paul van der Laan. The initial work on the typeface began in 1995. After years of development, the family was first released in 2001. The letters’ proportions make the typeface ideal for use in signage systems. Like many classic faces in this category, designers have found over the years that these forms let in enough light to allow the typeface to work in small print sizes, too.

Some aspects of the Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre design system are set in another FontFont typeface with a signage pedigree of its own: FF Info. In the image above, the pictograms and the arrows come from the family’s symbol fonts FF Info Pict. These were originally designed for use in the airport at Düsseldorf, Germany.

FF Kievit and FF Info in use by Hofstede Design

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Best Collection FontFonts for advertising and packaging

Our Collection Tier are affordable hidden gems, containing one family (sometimes more) at one very reasonable price under €/$ 100 each! Over the past few months, we’ve brought together a round up of our favorite picks and some tips for a particular intended use.

As mentioned in our previous post, making your mark in today’s brand saturated world is not always easy. A corporate identity often has to be many things at once: useable, memorable and interchangable. So when it comes to packaging and advertising for your brand, how can you balance the right amount of ‘look-at-me’ to make it stand apart without losing the brand voice? In this month’s installment of our Collection FontFont series, we bring together our top tips and FontFonts from the Collection Tier suitable for advertising and packaging. 

FF Motel Gothic and FF Care Pack

FF Care Pack and FF Motel Gothic

Image: Paul Hudson/fStop (793034)

FF Maverick

FF Maverick

Image: Angelo Stitz

FF Clair

FF Clair

Image: Halfdark/fStop (450017)

FF Sale

FF Sale

FF Matinee Gothic, FF Golden Gate Gothic and FF Catch Words

FF Catch Words, FF Matinee Gothic and FF Golden Gate Gothic

Image: Larry Washburn/fStop (1129036)

FF Dolores

FF Dolores

FF Jambono

FF Jambono

FF District

FF District

Large. In this category, type is often set very large. While your selections don’t have to be too thick or heavy, they should ‘fill the space’ well. Letters that are a little condensed, and which you can set tightly, are a good bet. They’ll help you fit more text on a line and still pack a punch.

Attention. These typefaces are made for selling. Choose one whose letterforms are individual; your advertising and packaging should grab attention. Keep an eye out for what your competition is doing, though – you don’t want your products to appear interchangeable.

Multilingual. Not all of the text on packaging is meant to immediately call attention to itself. Lists of ingredients or instructions are a vital part of a package’s design, even if they aren’t one of the first elements noticed. Depending on where your products are sold, you may need to print this information in multiple languages, too. Make sure to select fonts that have the corresponding glyph ranges in their character sets.

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.

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Best Collection FontFonts for logo, branding and corporate identity

We are confronted by logos and branding on a daily basis and yet some of the most memorable logos are composed of just a typeface. But how do you choose the right typeface to fit the face of your brand? Making sure the face is recognizable, useable and at the same time interchangeable, is by no means an easy task. In the fourth installment of our Collection Tier Blog series, we bring together our top three tips and a selection of FontFonts from our Collection Tier that are suitable for logo, branding and corporate identity projects.

FF Typeface Six

 FF Typeface Six

FF Marten

FF Marten

FF Moonbase Alpha

FF Moonbase Alpha

FF Govan

FF Govan 

FF Zapata

FF Zapata

Frank Sinatra School of Art, design by Pentagram


 

Memorability: Your logotype and your corporate typefaces don’t have to be the same – but they should harmonize, visually. Make your logo unique. Many logos use no type at all, but every logo will be paired with text. Your branding and CI faces can be individual, too, but their primary function is to be recognizable and readable. Choose selections that differentiate your brand from competitors, while still appearing clear and ‘corporate’. Although many companies rely on modern or humanist sans serif typefaces for their identities, your brand’s face could be a serif.

 

Usability: Does your typeface family have enough weights and widths to support a strong typographic hierarchy? Consider how much differentiation is necessary between the elements in your documents, both for internal corporate communications and external advertising. A superfamily, with sans and serif variants, may be an apt choice. Families with optical sizes for text and display help, too – a logo and the text around it should function well in virtually every size and resolution.

 

Interchangeability: Corporate fonts are rarely used in isolation. Depending on a company’s communication strategy, your faces are likely to be seen together with other types, too. How well does your selection play with others? If your corporate fonts have to degrade to standard fonts in certain settings – like online or in office memos – can your design cope with this substitution? Which typographic extras typically appear in your corporate documents (e.g., small caps, tabular figures and fractions)? Consider the fonts’ default glyphs, as your fonts may also be used in office applications that don’t easily support OpenType features.

 

Did you miss out on our previous Collection Tier posts? Have a look at our tips and picks for Music and Nightlife, Sports and Book Text. Next up in our series, our Collection Tier selection suitable for Advertising and Packaging. 

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.

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In-use: FF Netto is truly out of this world

FF Netto in-use

Have you ever wanted to own something that was truly ‘out of this world’? Thanks to a new venture, Treasures from Space, you can now purchase your very own piece of heaven, brought down to earth. Their website sells authenticated elements that have fallen to our planet from outer space. The company relies on our very own FF Netto typeface for its visual identity. 

FF Netto in-use

Treasures from Space uses FF Netto both in print and online. Something of a reduced, space-aged design in its own right, FF Netto really shines in this multi-media branding application. We caught up with Adrian Friis, who explained his thinking behind choosing FF Netto:

‘Treasures From Space was launched late 2011 by meteorite collector Morten Bilet and graphic designer Adrian Friis. We wanted to put real space artefacts in the hands of people of all ages – young and old. We decided early on that high-quality and engaging packaging and marketing materials would be a key factor in giving our quirky product wide spread market appeal. To market the product, a strong brand identity would also be needed, and FF Netto was chosen for its utilitarian and contemporary look that works well for copy-text, the logo and in charts, diagrams and infographics. In addition, we were looking for a typeface that could also be specified via Typekit for our website and FF Netto has served our purposes very well both online and in print.’

FF Netto in-use

FF Netto’s letters are monolinear, but also look simple and honest. They almost appear as if they could have been constructed out of wire; in a way, this makes it reminiscent of the old NASA logo. Perhaps this association subtly played a role in its selection for this identity. FF Netto in-use

About FF Netto

The award-winning FF Netto is 21st century sans serif family designed by Daniel Utz. Starting from the idea to develop a no-frills typeface with as little historical ballast as possible, Utz reduced letterforms to their characteristic basic shapes, removing all dispensable details. FF Netto uses its own geometric construction principle, giving balance to the design as whole. The FF Netto family also includes a series of icons and arrows. These symbols are useful when typesetting text for information and orientation systems. Their weights and size are adjusted to match their respective alphabets.

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