News: Tagged as In-use

In-use: FF Unit in action at the Aviva Stadium

FF Unit

Aviva Stadium’s signage system is set in FontFont’s FF Unit typeface, designed by Erik Spiekermann and Christian Schwartz. Aviva Stadium hosts football and rugby matches, and is also a venue for concerts and other activities. Located in Dublin, Ireland, the stadium opened in 2010 and was designed by Populous in association with Scott Tallon Walker. The signage was designed by Populous Activate. We spoke with Alex Dale, a Senior Graphic Designer in their London office, to get more details about the project.

‘Before anything else, I wanted to use something that was inherently well-crafted’, Dale told us. ‘I wanted to avoid the safe signage choices, and select something a little more unusual and characterful. A unique building deserved a unique typeface. Overall, FF Unit lends itself to alphanumeric information systems – where numerals and letters are seen in isolation – for several reasons:

FF Unit in-use

‘The medium weight is the ideal boldness to reverse out of a dark background, while having all the other weights is useful for things like maps, where you need to communicate lots of different levels of information .


‘The default overall fit (or letterspacing) works ‘right out of the box’, in that it's relatively loose compared to some other fonts. A pet peeve of mine is typography on signage set too tight, or not attended to at all.

FF Unit Map 

‘The capitals are recognisable in isolation, which was really useful when it came to labelling the entrances. For instance, the ‘I’ has serifs top and bottom that disambiguate it from a ‘1’ or an ‘l’. Maybe not critical to the success of the system as a whole – people will find their door, eventually – but looking after these things communicates a broader concern for clarity and unambiguity. People pick up on these things and feel looked after.


‘The typeface includes gorgeous numerals, with tabular versions, which are ideal for setting number-heavy information. 

FF Unit

‘The alternate glyphs, which we used on the prohibited items signage, let us set nice big, heavy, imposing titles quite tightly, like a proper newspaper headline.


‘FF Unit has arrows for all the weights, built right in! A godsend for directional information.


‘The characters are fairly tall and narrow, which suited the tall, narrow proportions of the signs. We wanted to minimise the footprint of the signs themselves, because pedestrian space is always at a premium in these kind of environments, while still being readable from a good distance.’

FF Unit

FF Unit

FF Unit is the grown-up, no-nonsense sister of Spiekermann’s FF Meta typeface. FF Unit has been extended with two companion families: FF Unit Slab and FF Unit Rounded. Spiekermann himself is no stranger to signage systems. During the early-1990s, he designed the reunified Berlin’s transit system signage, which uses the FF Transit typeface. FF Info was created for a redesign at the airport in Düsseldorf.


Best FontFonts for Book Text from our Collection Tier

They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Yet the choice of a typeface in a book can have a fundamental impact on the reader’s experience of the book. If a book’s text is too tight it can be tricky to read, if parts of the letters are too thin they can disappear off the page. In the third installment of our Collection Tier blog series, we tackle the typographic heights of book text and offer some handy hints and tips as well as a roundup of our chosen picks from our Collection Tier suitable for book text.

FF ParableFF Parable

FF RemingaFF Reminga

FF ParangoFF Parango

FF Oneleigh

FF Oneleigh

FF TibereFF Tibere

FF Page

FF Page

In long passages of running text – either in a book or magazine – make sure to select a typeface whose letters are not too tight. Maintaining an even rhythm is one of the most important factors in a good text face. The white spaces between the letters of a word or line should be about the same size, visually, as the white space inside the letters (like the letter ‘n’). In display faces, letters can be spaced much more tightly together.

Make sure that the thin strokes are just right! When you are printing small, the thickness of the thin parts of the letters must still be thick enough on the page so that it does not break away. Book faces tend to have some degree of contrast between thick and thin strokes. Just remember that the thick strokes should not be too thick, and that the thin strokes should not be too thin. Display types can pump up the contrast a lot more than text faces should.

Check the fonts’ OpenType feature availability. In immersive reading environments like books, oldstyle figures are both elegant and helpful. Lining figures can form a dark block, disturbing the even flow of a text. Small caps can be useful for acronyms, etc. – they help maintain a text’s consistent rhythm, too. Aside from making sure that the ‘f’ doesn’t collide with letters that come after it, ligatures aren’t really necessary in book text sizes. In display applications, though, ligatures can add a great note to a design. Larger-sized text allows plenty of room for ligatures to call attention to themselves.

Did you miss out on our previous Collection Tier posts? Have a look at our tips and picks for Music and Nightlife and Sports. Next up in our series, our Collection Tier selection suitable for Corporate Identity, Branding and Logos. 

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.


In-use: ElektroBIKE, powered by FF Milo and FF Milo Serif


Fans of e-bikes are a growing and devoted group. A publication aimed at these readers presents an opportunity to implement a typeface with a unique voice. When ElektroBIKE – a new German magazine – launched in 2011, it choose FF Milo and FF Milo Serif for its audience.

FF Milo and FF Milo Serif

FF Milo Sans

The magazine’s art directors haven’t fallen back on stock trends with their typography (like ‘sans for headlines, serif for text’). While most of the body text of the magazine’s articles are set in FF Milo Serif, the sans serif FF Milo family is used for much of the additional editorial information. Many of the magazine’s headlines – including most of the very large ones – are also seriffed. Both of the FF Milo families are really more like cousins than separate designs. They are both text faces, too, especially the FF Milo Regular and FF Milo Serif Regular fonts. 

Since ElektroBIKE keeps its headlines ‘in the family’, their pages rely on the full range of FF Milo and FF Milo Serif fonts. Including 30 weights in all, these two families make use of true italics, instead of obliques. FF Milo Serif Extra Bold Italic and Black Italic are both used in particular to set many of the magazine’s more dynamic headlines. When these heavier fonts are used, the high contrast between the letters’ thick and thin strokes creates a great effect. FF Milo in ElektroBIKE

ElektroBIKE FF Milo in close up

Just like most text faces in the FontFont library, FF Milo and FF Milo Serif include numerous figure styles. In the article pictured above, FF Milo’s oldstyle figures are used not just to add structure a list, but to give it visual power, too.

Almost all of ElektroBIKE magazine relies on FF Milo and FF Milo Serif. Flipping through the magazine, you only consciously notice other typefaces when stumbling across advertisement pages. The magazine’s nameplate is in a different typeface: Monotype's Neo Tech. This choice sets it apart from the text and headlines, and perhaps was made because of the technical – or electronic – nature of the subject matter.

Ligatures in action FF Milo

FF Milo Serif ligatures

We were pleased to see how ElektroBIKE implemented FF Milo Serif’s typographic features, too. The typefaces include several discretionary ligatures that may be accessed through OpenType. In the images above, you can see c-k and s-t ligatures in the ‘Packliste’ headline (packing list, in German), as well as a t-i ligature in ‘Südtirol’ (South Tyrol). None of these ligatures are linguistic or typographic requirements, but art directors know what sort of accent they can lend to large text.

 FF Milo and FF Milo Serif

The award-winning FF Milo and FF Milo Serif typefaces were designed by Mike Abbink and Paul van der Laan. The FF Milo family includes nine weights, ranging from Thin to Black, while FF Milo Serif is available in six weights, from Regular to Black.


In-use: FF Scuba at Norway’s largest Food Festival

The Norwegian agency Fasett, who are responsible for the corporate identity and communications for Gladmat (Norway’s largest food festival), used FF Scuba as the corporate font for this year’s festival. 

The campaign for this year’s event combined colourful and playful ‘food faces’ with bold statements.

 FF Scuba in-use: Gladmat

We spoke with Benjamin Hickethier from Fasett to find out more about the project and their choice of typeface ...

We chose FF Scuba as a new corporate font for Gladmat because we were looking for a fresh new approach, in an evolutionary modernization of the CI that was developed by Fasett more than a decade ago.


 Gladmat logo using FF Scuba

The Gladmat Team wanted to keep the old logo symbol, so we were looking for some letters that would work well with the strong image and with the theme for this year, which was fruit and vegtables.

 FF Scuba in-use Gladmat flyer

We loved FF Scuba from the day it was released, so it was not hard to choose, we had it in the back of our heads, waiting for the perfect deployment. It’s a lovely font with all its details and overall appearance – a pleasure to look at, and to read. It comes with a lot of character, while at the same time staying well-mannered in the background, presenting message and communicated images in a sober, yet joyful way.

FF Scuba in-use Gladmat advert

Technically, it’s a great pleasure of course, as with all FontFonts. FF Scuba is perfectly fit – both in print and screen.

Used on posters, t-shirts and in the below video, FF Scuba provided a great match for the project; the typeface’s friendly form lent a fresh and original feel to identity of the festival.

We think it looks truly scrumptious! You can still get your hands on the free regular weight of FF Scuba, grab it now!

Have you used a FontFont typeface in a recent project? We're always on the hunt for in-use cases and would love to hear from you, just send a quick note to  and she will be in touch. 


In-use: FF Tundra featured in Peek & Cloppenburg

FF Tundra is now a trendsetter!

FF Tundra for Peek & Cloppenburg

Peek & Cloppenburg KG, the international fashion and lifestyle retailer have recently relaunched their online presence. Part of the new design includes one of our newer typefaces, FF Tundra.

The Hamburg-based brand and e-commerce agency Medienwerft was responsible for the Peek & Cloppenburg project. At the heart of the redesign is the positioning and presentation of Trendmagazin, an online and print publication that features seasonal trends, the absolute must-haves and exclusive deals and offers. FF Tundra Web Extra Light Italic is featured through the publication and on the Trendmagazin section of the website.

FF Tundra for Peek & Cloppenburg

What is particularly noteworthy about the use of Ludwig Übele’s FF Tundra in this project is the contemporary elegance of the italic that manages to master the high demands of the fashion industry. It is present when it is the central point of focus, yet it also steps discreetly into the background when needed. A perfect model that is certainly en vogue for more than just one season.

Have a look at all in-use examples of FF Tundra.


Best Collection FontFonts for Sports

In July, we launched our Collection Tier FontFont Blog series. Each month, we will be sharing our top picks from our Collection Tier suitable for particular intended use with a few handy hints to boot! Inspired by London 2012, next up in our series are our ‘Olym-picks’ – a round-up of our favorite Collection Tier FontFonts suitable for Sports.

FF Archian Plastic

FF Archian

Image: Caspar Benson/fStop (677042)

FF World

FF World & FF Tyson

Image: Poster Boxing World Heavyweight Championship between Mike Tyson and Tony Tubbs 1988, designed by Neville Brody, using FF World and FF Tyson


FF NewberlinFF Newberlin

Image: Tobias Titz/fStop (577019)

FF Alega

FF Alega

Image: Andreas Schlegel/ƒStop (862020)

FF Rosetta

FF Rosetta

Image: Carl Smith/ƒStop (1123030)

FF SnafuFF Snafu

Image: Adam Burn/ƒStop (605010)

FF ScratchFF Scratch

Image: Brian Cassie/ƒStop (1085002)

FF Lance

FF Lance

Image: Sven Hagolani/ƒStop (693016)

FF Turmino


FF Turmino

Image: ƒStop (020023)


Rememberability: Quite a few kids in school would rather doodle the logos of their favorite bands and sports teams than pay attention to their teachers. As a designer, you need to give these kids a hand! Design team identities that are unique enough to stand out from the competition, but easy enough for 11-year-olds to draw.


Sports logos are something that fans of all ages identity with. Here is an opportunity to design a feeling – go ahead and try letterforms that are ornate or complicated. When it comes to sports, relying on tradition can be helpful, too. Fans will remember the style of lettering on their team’s championship-winning uniforms decades later. Script typefaces are a natural choice for team logos – especially in baseball – but can appear too nostalgic for some other sports. Big, chunky angular type is a perennial favorite. Whatever you select, make sure that it has individual and memorable shapes. 

Clarity: When it comes to player identification, clarity is important; referees, announcers and fans all need to be able to see the names and numbers on player uniforms clearly. These can take a different style from a team’s logo. Since the playing field isn’t an immersive reading environment, using all-caps text is OK. Remember, though, that uppercase letters are less differentiable than lowercase – no one wants to mix up names like KAHN and HAHN. Selecting type families that include multiple widths may be helpful, too, as the same team might have players with both long and short last names: BECKENBAUER and PELÉ, for instance. 

A low-contrast sans serif, slab serif or semi-serif family is almost always going to be the right way to go. Multiple width-options are more important than having multiple weights, but two or three levels of stroke thickness to choose from is never going to be a bad thing. 

Dynamism: The right typefaces for sports usages should look ‘fast’. Even though it is a bit cliché, picking styles that are slanted or italicized is a still good shorthand for speed. Some sporting events have other iconic elements that typefaces can play off of: simple, light geometric forms combine well with the Olympic rings, and typefaces with round letters allow for gimmicks, like substituting various balls for letters like the O. 

As is mentioned above, typefaces with clear, hard-working forms lend themselves well to many different kinds of sports. Picking fonts that are part of larger families gives you access not just to multiple widths or weight, but may offer you dynamic italic or oblique styles, too. Make sure to look at all of the fonts in a family when comparing different typefaces. 

Have a browse of all our Collection Tier typefaces suitable for sport. Which ones are your ‘Olym-picks’?

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.


In-Use: FF Clan for HootSuite

HootSuite, the social media dashboard service, uses FF Clan in its logotype. The corporate design pairs this with an illustrated owl named Owly.

FF Clan: HootSuite

The HootSuite service offers users a quick overview of their social network feeds. Users of the free tier can track five profiles from networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, and WordPress. HootSuite also supports apps for YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram and over a dozen other services. Profiles are grouped inside overview tabs in the interface, viewable in a browser or on a dedicated mobile or tablet app.

With an Android, iPhone or other smart phone, HootSuite is a great way to stay updated on Twitter and Facebook accounts. Without switching back and forth between separate apps, users can jump between various feeds inside the unified HootSuite option.

Variations on the mascot

Owly, something of a mascot for the HootSuite service, is the logo’s second element. This illustration is customized playfully throughout various media channels, appearing and reappearing on as well as on the company’s blog and Tumblr.
FF Clan

The HootSuite logotype is a two-color word mark set in FF Clan Narrow Bold. FF Clan is an extensive family from Warsaw-based type designer Łukasz Dziedzic. A fresh take on the contemporary sans model, FF Clan is equipped with seven weights across six widths. Its strong, readable letters feature a large x-height and short descenders; they have a distinct personality that engages the reader while also remaining legible. Dziedzic’s other FontFont families include FF Good, FF Mach, FF More and FF Pitu.


Spiekermann transforms Olympics typos in record-breaking time

Our founder, Erik Spiekermann tackles the typography of the Olympics with lightning speed and with the help of the Twitter community.


Borrowing a screen grab posted by Aegir Hallmundur, Erik spent thirty minutes on a little sketch to transform this


Screen grab
into this …
Erik’s sketch

The original design included a number of common typographic mistakes: all caps (which makes it difficult to read), spacing that was too tight, use of italic (which was confusing and redundant), artificial small caps, messy gradations and an uninspired font choice (Arial). 

Using his very own FF Unit, his quick fix improved the legibility, kerning and artificial small caps. His twitter followers then helped to finesse and finalize the picture. Together they proved what a difference good typography makes.

We love the result!


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.


In-use: FF Quadraat in ‘The Shape of Design’ – An interview with Frank Chimero

‘A fieldguide for makers. A love letter to Design.’

FF Quadraat in use: ‘The Shape of Design’ by Frank Chimero

The Shape of Design is a beautiful and thought-provoking insight into the role of design as a way of planning and as a medium for change. It’s a veritable handbook not just for designers but for anyone who wants to make something.

Frank Chimero, photo by Jessica HischeWritten by Frank Chimero, a designer, illustrator, teacher and writer based in New York, the book came about following a highly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2011. Set in our very own FF Quadraat by Fred Smeijers,  the Shape of Design is available both in print and as an eBook.

FF Quadraat is one of the FontFont classics and has been part of our library since the early days. Over the years, it has grown into a formidable super family and in 2011 was completely overhauled and updated by Smeijers and our Type Department

We spoke to Frank Chimero about his experience writing the book, his love of reading and his choice of typeface.

Over the past year, numerous great ideas have been brought about through Kickstarter, including films, products, even typefaces. Indeed at the next TypeCon 2012 there will be a whole panel discussion about using Kickstarter as a means to fund new typefaces. How did the experience influence your approach to writing the book?

Kickstarter opens up the creative process to an audience, and makes it feel less like a black box where ‘magic’ happens. This is both good and bad. It’s great because that openness turns a book into a continuum of experiences for the audience. They now have back-story and can connect to the work before they read it. There’s the story of making the story, and you can build a small community of people with that.

On the negative side, that openness turns the process into a kind of performance. The writer has people watching, and that can be stunting. There were several points while writing where things were a total mess, and I felt like I had to be very strategic about what I shared with the backers to make it seem like the train was still on the rails.

But let’s not be too dour about this stuff. The Kickstarter campaign gave me a year to think about the ideas I wanted to pursue. And now, there’s a group of smart people considering those ideas, and in certain cases, running with them. That’s marvelous. A miracle.

FF Quadraat in use: ‘The Shape of Design’ by Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero’s ‘The Shape of Design’ – Table of contents; © Portrait by Jessica Hische

Your book is somewhat classical, in terms of proportion and layout. Your website is more whimsical and light-hearted. Did you find the printed book as a medium somewhat limiting, in terms of design and production possibilities?

No. My design choices were based on the writing, and I decided the words required a simple presentation. There was no need to get fussy with it, because I was confident in the ideas and happy with the writing’s clarity.

Many of the design decisions were also influenced by the affordances of ebooks and their readers. The cover was designed to be very iconic so I had a design system which could transition to each reading environment. The page size of the printed book was chosen to be similar in size to what would be experienced on an iPad or Kindle. The illustrations are two-color, because I knew I could make them look good on a Kindle, iPad, and in print.
Basically, I wanted to design a system that was flexible enough to keep its identity intact as the words went from place to place. I think it is possible to craft books in a way so that no reading environment is obviously inferior to another, whether printed book or ebook. Each piece has to shine on all the other parts to make a better whole.

Would you agree that The Shape of Design isn’t a traditional design book? Whilst there are passages where you mention things about your working process, there aren’t specific case studies presented, images of your work (other than the beautiful illustrations!), or a list of favorite clients, etc. Instead, your book is more a collection of stories about the design process?

I never wanted this book to be about my work or specifically anyone else’s. I think the title speaks to that: The Shape of Design is more about the field’s body of work. What happens if you group all the work together? What are the similarities, and what is it trying to do? Once you start thinking this way, personal examples or in-depth, individual case studies seem inappropriate.

The book is about being tasked to make useful things for others. That means being generous in who it uses as examples, whether graphic designer, poet, or chef. I wanted to pull insight from the outside. It also requires me to shine a light on the creative process in an abstract way, then consider the products of design as things that seek to produce change and be consequential. This runs counter to the usual presentation of design as a set of beautiful artifacts. There’s an important place for that sort of treatment, but this wasn’t it.

FF Quadraat in use: ‘The Shape of Design’ by Frank Chimero

What was your ‘Why’ behind the Shape of Design?

I wrote the Shape of Design because I thought it was important to have a reminder of the effects of our work. There is beauty and consequence and joy to making things for other people, and I thought it deserved a rumination. I initially wrote it for my students, but in the process I discovered I needed it as well.

The Shape of Design is set in FF Quadraat, a rather traditional and classic text typeface. Why did you choose this one?

I read a book of essays by Michael Chabon typeset in FF Quadraat, and was really happy with the effect. The type felt warm and friendly, yet still refined and thoughtful. As you said, FF Quadraat isn’t a traditional text typeface, so reading Chabon’s book was a little bit less fluid than I was used to. It metered my consumption, and gave a better opportunity to reflect after each essay. I decided that this was something important to my book since it’s a shorter title, and while having a full arc, each of the chapters stands on its own.

You were an early adopter of webfonts. Is FF Quadraat the text typeface on your website at the moment because it is also the face of your book? Or, perhaps the other way around?

At first, my selection of FF Quadraat Web wasn’t an overtly conscious decision. I chose it as the typeface in Pages as I wrote, and my words seemed to grow into it. Then I stumbled upon Chabon’s book, became pleased with the fit, and changed my site to use the webfont. We’ve had a good relationship since then.

FF Quadraat in use: ‘The Shape of Design’ by Frank Chimero

Screenshot — FF Quadraat is also used
in the book PDF as well as on the website (FF Quadraat Web)

Your book is offered in a printed version and as an eBook. What is your preferred way of reading?

Fiction in print to shut out the world, non-fiction as an ebook to keep track of my marginalia. In either case, if I enjoyed what I read, I buy the nicest printed copy I can find. I want the things I love to be a part of my day-to-day life.

FF Quadraat in use: ‘The Shape of Design’ by Frank Chimero

How did the process of writing this book compare to other long-term graphic design projects you have tackled?

I wrote this book over the course of a year, and I noticed that I developed a ‘window of approval’ that my lengthier design projects never had. I felt the things I had recently written were good, but the old parts always needed work, even if liked them before. So, I was perpetually out of sync with myself, where the person who was reading the words was conceptually further along than the writer who wrote them. It meant that I was growing, but it also felt like I was never getting closer to finishing, because I’d always have to go back two months later and fix what I wrote. Snake eating its tail, and all that.

My frustration came from a misunderstanding I think many of us have about creative work: we forget that doing the work makes us better, and being better makes us dislike the work that made us that way. Design seems to be more friendly to this problem, because big projects are typically released piece by piece, and you can course-correct over time. The work can exist in flux, where as a book has a canonical version. Books, unfortunately, must be printed all at once, so it’s easier to worry and toil endlessly. Now I understand why many authors spend five years on a book.

I thought writing a book wouldn’t be much different from writing essays. That was a naive thought. It is totally and fundamentally different, simply because you can’t hold a whole book in your head at once.

You have a fantastic ‘library’ section on your website, with brief descriptions of 45 books. Do you think that we’ll see more and more books like The Shape of Design in the future?

I hope so! There are solid fundraising platforms like Kickstarter, and small-run and vanity presses like Lulu and Blurb. Right now, there’s little in the way of someone publishing their thoughts, they only need to muster up the time and focus (which is a battle on its own).

I am excited about what’s to come. I foresee more opportunities to share what we write, and better things to read. It’s a good time to like words.

FF Quadraat in use: ‘The Shape of Design’ by Frank Chimero

Find out more about the Shape of Design and buy it online and see more pictures of FF Quadraat in use in the book in our gallery.