News: Tagged as Martin Majoor

ÜberFontFont FF Nexus

For the first ÜberFontFonts of 2014 we take a look at FF Nexus.

Nexus Showing

The hottest superfamily of the moment (and the highest climbing in our popularity charts) is the creation of Martin Majoor, the designer of FontFont favourites FF Scala and FF Seria. When Martin designed FF Scala and FF Scala Sans between 1988 and 1994, the idea was to design a serif, humanistic typeface from which a sans serif version would be derived. Martin called it: ‘two typefaces, one form principle.’ This became the basis of his type design philosophy. However ten years later he expanded it to ‘three typefaces, one form principle’, a Serif, a Sans and a Slab – and so the FF Nexus type system was born, consisting of FF Nexus Serif, FF Nexus Sans, the slab-like FF Nexus Mix – plus the additional monospaced FF Nexus Typewriter.

‘FF Nexus is, in my opinion, the best typeface I have created so far,’ says Majoor. ‘With FF Nexus Mix, I introduced a third family member in my type design philosophy, and I am happy that this slab version is not a stand-alone typeface; it feels best when accompanied by serif and sans.’

And as one of our top rated ÜberFontFonts, it is clear that FontFont users agree!

Nexus Principle

Nexus Italic

Nexus In-Use

Warsaw Autumn Festival 2008 booklet designed by Martin Majoor.

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New Release | FF 62

Introducing FF Dora, a brand new design from one of the youngest and the newest FontFont designers to join the library, FF Signa Slab a delightful edition to the comprehensively developed FF Signa Superfamily and FF Scala Jewel Pro, the language extension of the decorative version to the bestselling FF Scala – this is FF 62, our newest release. 

New Designs

FF Dora

FF Dora

FF Dora was originally drawn as a graduation project at the Type and Media masters course at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, and was designed by editorial and book designer Slávka Pauliková. It is a headstrong type family consisting of five styles: Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, and Display. FF Dora’s construction principles – especially in the italic and display styles – are based on a detailed study of today’s handwriting styles. The main focus was on transforming handwritten shapes into a serif text typeface, not a script face. Much of the distinctive personality of the typeface is derived from this idea. FF Dora is perfectly suited to editorial design, particularly for book and magazine typography. Primarily, it is intended to be used in small sizes but FF Dora’s qualities and styles, especially the display style, bring a certain playfulness to larger sized text.

FF Signa Slab

FF Signa Slab

FF Signa Slab is the newest addition to the comprehensively developed FF Signa Superfamily designed by Ole Søndergaard. With square curves, high shoulders and a characteristically sparse construction, FF Signa Slab comes in seven weights, each with companion italics. The face includes all the necessities needed for professional typesetting such as small caps and the Pro version includes support for Cyrillic-based languages. 

Language extensions and format additions

FF Scala Jewel

FF Scala Jewel

The delightful and decorative FF Scala Jewel by Martin Majoor is now available with Pro language support (which includes Central European languages) and is also available in Web and Office formats. 

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In-use: FF Seria and FF Seria Arabic in Reflections on Islamic Art

FF Seria and FF Seria Arabic

The English and Arabic soft cover copies of the Qatar Museums Authority’s Reflections on Islamic Art. Each book is also available in a hardbound edition.

Reflections on Islamic Art is a new book edited by Ahdaf Soueif. It is available in two editions: Arabic and English. Both are typeset in FF Seria, one of our multi-script typefaces.

FF Seria started as a Latin script family; Martin Majoor began the design in 1996, and we released it in 2000. Nine years later, we brought FF Seria Arabic onto the market, which Majoor developed together with Pascal Zoghbi, a Dutch-trained type designer based in Lebanon. Their tandem Arabic family was the first Arabic typeface published by FontFont; it grew out of an earlier collaboration named Sada, which had been designed as part of the Khatt Foundation’s Typographic Matchmaking project.

Both the Arabic and English editions of Reflections on Islamic Art were designed by Muiz Anwar, a graphic designer based in London – and also a former intern with us at FontFont. Anwar’s solution for these books is reduced and thoughtful. Each edition is a mirror of the other. Images play the primary role in the design, often taking up full pages, or half of a spread.

FF Seria Arabic Reflections on Islamic Art front page FF Seria English Reflections on Islamic Art front page

In order for the Arabic and English titles to take up the similar amounts of visual space, the Arabic title employs long kashidas – or lengthening strokes. However, the English title makes use of additional space, too. Had Anwar set the English title in upper and lowercase, its words would have been much shorter; by switching to all caps, letterspacing may be applied. The combination of tracked capitals in English and kashidas in Arabic is an interesting solution.

FF Seria Table of Contents in English FF Seria Table of Contents in Arabic

The books’ colour palettes are reduced, drawing more attention to the images themselves when their appear. Text in the Reflections on Islamic Arteditions is always either black-on-white or white-on-black. The tables of contents are handled in a similar way as the books’ title pages. Yet the typographic hierarchies are not identical in each edition: for the English-language, author names are set in FF Seria Italic, setting them apart from the main text in FF Seria Regular. Whereas in the Arabic typography there isn’t an italic weight in FF Seria Arabic, so the Arabic text has a slightly more even feel.

FF Seria Italic is an upright italic. Its letters have only a minimal slant. This sets it apart from the italics in Majoor’s other typeface families; FF Nexus Italic and FF Scala Italic both feature a steeper slope.

FF Seria Reflections on Islamic Art Calligrams by Anwar

Anwar is a type designer and letterer himself, and he contributed more to Reflections on Islamic Art than just its typesetting. Each chapter opens with a very short text in a thin, dotted-line constructed Arabic script that he designed for the purpose. The hard geometry and ‘digital’ nature of Anwar’s lettering in these books contrasts well with the pen-shaped form of FF Seria Arabic.

Regarding his design, Anwar wrote to tell us that he aimed ‘to reflect the architecture of the Museum of Islamic Art, an environment with an amazing collection of unique and intricately wrought works of art’. He continued, ‘the book is the building and its design is the architecture; its job is to maximize the impression the words and the images make on the viewer/reader. My design is rooted in the grid system traditions evident in the layout of Qur’anic and other Islamic manuscripts. Margins are wide and generous to allow the eye space to appreciate the variant detail of each piece of work. The reduced colour palette for the book is an extension of the architectural aesthetic I.M. Pei established for the MIA building.’

FF Seria English spread FF Seria Arabic spread

Great care has been taken to ensure that the harmony achieved and evident in an
Arabic spread is reflected with equal beauty in a Latin spread – with particular elements
reflected/reversed to conform to Arabic and Latin reading patterns. The grid layout for internal spreads is based on the proportions of early Arabic manuscripts, which characteristically featured expansive borders. Although these borders were often used for annotation, commentary and illumination, in many cases they were left blank, allowing greater emphasis to be placed on the content centralised on the page.

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Swashin’ around with FF Nexus

When Martin Majoor designed FF Scala and FF Scala Sans between 1988 and 1994, the idea behind this was to design a serif, humanistic typeface from which a sans serif version would be derived. Martin called it: Two typefaces, one form principle. Ten years later, he expanded his idea of two typefaces, one form principle into four typefaces, one form principle, creating a new superfamily as a result. FF Nexus, today one of the most popular typefaces in the FontFont Library, borrows some of its structure from FF Scala, but adds the slab-like FF Nexus Mix and the monospaced FF Nexus Typewriter to the set.

FF Nexus and FF Scala

And as if FF Nexus itself wasn’t amazing enough, designer Martin Majoor made one of the styles stand out even more; FF Nexus Serif Italic comes with two additional swash alphabets:

Recently, while working on the Web FontFonts of FF Nexus, we decided to revisit the OpenType features of the OT versions as well. So our Type Department worked closely with Martin Majoor to achieve the optimum result from the revision.

“The happiest period in my type design life was when I worked on FF Nexus Serif Italic Swash. I found out that it is impossible to create one ideal series of swash capitals, so I decided to make two.”

“Even though my first typeface, FF Scala, is still more popular, FF Nexus is, in my opinion, the best typeface I have created so far. With FF Nexus Mix, I introduced a third family member in my type design philosophy, and I am happy that this slab version is not a stand-alone typeface; it feels best when accompanied by serif and sans.” says Martin Majoor.

A combination of the OpenType features Discretionary Ligatures and Contextual Swashes

FF Nexus Serif Italic: A combination of the OpenType features Discretionary Ligatures and Contextual Swashes.

It was a great challenge to translate Martin’s ideas into a well-performing OpenType font, but no matter if you prefer activating features or choosing from the glyph palette, in the end you'll see that we achieved maximum flexibility. This screencast shows you how it works:

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New release: FF48

BERLIN, GERMANY, April 2009 — FSI FontShop International announced the latest additions to its award-winning FontFont® typeface library.

The new FontFonts

FF Dingbats 2.0 OT — The original FF Dingbats font package was designed in 1993 when there was no other symbol font available except Zapf Dingbats. The FF Dingbats package was the first with some 800 symbols and icons from the world of modern communication: faxes, ISDN, disks, keyboards … all absolutely usable. But over the following years times have been changing and quite a lot of pictograms for office communication are no longer needed – no-one uses floppy disks nowadays – or simply changed their appearance, so Johannes Erler and Henning Skibbe started a complete redesign two years ago.

FF Dingbats 2.0 OT

All pictograms have now been revised and adjusted according to the current stylistic vocabulary. Arrow and number fonts have been reworked and extended as well. All symbols have been sorted into clear categories, and the font “Strong Forms” includes the most needed symbols in a bolder version. Besides this, many symbols can be layered and coloured via an easy-to-use layering feature (see FF Dingbats 2.0 info guide PDF). All this makes FF Dingbats 2.0 a state-of-the-art font package again and probably the largest collection of contemporary symbols and icons for office communication.

FF Milo® was started in 2000 with the goal of a compact typeface with very low ascenders and descenders. Because of its compact design FF Milo is a workhorse typeface suitable for magazine and newspaper typography. It has modern bones with a touch of detail for distinction (especially in the italics). The name Milo is from a resilient grain and that's why the designer chose this name for the typeface. He wanted it to be a basic usable font like corn or grain is to any culture.

FF Milo Serif OT

With the help of Paul van der Laan for kerning, spacing and production, Michael Abbink developed FF Milo Serif as a companion to the Sans, but it is also perfectly suitable as a stand alone typeface or used together with any other sans serif typeface. Like FF Milo, FF Milo Serif is a text face with the utmost legibility, perfect for setting newspapers and magazine copy. Although rooted with historical attributes it is truly a contemporary face. FF Milo Serif comes with SC, TF, OSF, LF as well as a wealth of ligatures. Like the Sans, FF Milo Serif is also a resilient grain!

FF Seria Arabic

FF Seria® Arabic, originally called Sada, by designer Pascal Zoghbi, is an Arabic type companion to FF Seria, designed in the nineties by Martin Majoor. The Arabic type family was part of the Typographic Matchmaking 01 project organised by the Khatt Foundation. Echo, which means “Sada” in Arabic, is the repetition of a sound caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface. Accordingly, Sada/Seria Arabic is the echo of FF Seria. FF Seria Arabic is a young crispy type based on the Arabic Nasekh style. The Regular and Bold are text typefaces, the Light is both display and text type, while the Black is purely a display typeface.

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ISTD Awards 2001: FF Kievit, FF Seria and FF Seria Sans

The International Society of Typographic Designers, with jurors Derek Birdsall, Anita Boyd, David Carson, Fred Flade, Chris Foges, Vince Frost, Lucienne Roberts and Erik Torstensson, have chosen two of our FontFont families for ISTD International TypoGraphic Awards 2001. The awards ceremony took place in London on November 27th, 2001.

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bukva:raz!: FF Kievit, FF Seria and FF Seria Sans

ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) sponsored the international competition of type design bukva:raz! as a special contribution to the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations 2001. The name of the competition translates as “letter:one!”; bukva is the Russian word for “letter” (as in letterform) and raz for “one” (as in two thousand one). Bukva:raz! is aimed at promoting cultural pluralism and encouraging diversity, interaction and co-operation in typographic communications. Type designers from many regions and nations, of various ethnic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds had been invited to contribute to the contest. We had asked our FontFont designers to submit their FontFonts and here are the winners:

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