News: Tagged as Martin Wenzel
The Letter Fountain is a site created to support students and teachers who use the book Letter Fountain. The Letter Fountain is a unique typeface handbook: in addition to examining the form and anatomy of every letter in the alphabet (as well as punctuation marks and special characters), the book cross-references type designs with important works of art and art movements from Gutenberg’s times until today.
Offset is a new, curated collection of extraordinary, engaging imagery from top artists and storytellers around the world. Offset has an exceptional mix of photography and illustration, both commercial and editorial imagery from best-in-class artists who shoot for major advertising clients and world-renowned brands.
The California Sunday Magazine comes from the lab of Pop-Up Magazine. Together they set out to produce unforgettable storytelling from the West Coast of America. The pronounced serifs make Mitja Miklavčič’s FF Tisa Web extremely legible. Its unique details—including slightly exaggerated ink traps and a fairly upright italic—are particularly visible in display sizes.permalink
Our latest release line up features a FontFont newcomer alongside one of our seasoned type pros. Introducing FF Quixo, a brand new design by Frank Grießhammer as well as new weights to the FF Profile family in FF Profile Thin and FF Profile Extra Light by Martin Wenzel.
“Quixo” is an onomatopoeic exaggeration. If you are a good listener, you will know that the word comes directly from the sound of dipping a brush into a bottle of ink. It is also the sound of that same bottle, dropping on the floor: “Quix-O!!”.
FF Quixo is a tool-based typeface family, based on the contrast of the pointed pen. Conceived from Frank Grießhammer’s graduation project at the Type and Media program at KABK Den Haag, the typeface is rooted in handwriting and explores the concept of increasing tool size in relation to weight. The visual influence of the tool is barely visible in the Regular weight, but more extreme in the Black one. The incorruptible result is a diverse spectrum of 12 styles (6 weights with Roman and Italic in each) suitable for compact and concise passages of text.
FF Quixo plays on various sides of creative type – headline and text, bold and fine. It is a typeface that can show a playful side without looking goofy and is equipped with all the features and considerations necessary to produce complex typography. It feels at home whenever a touch of personality, whim, and symbols are required, but also provides the necessary precision for more functional applications.
FF Profile Thin and FF Profile Extra Light are the latest extensions to Martin Wenzel’s popular FF Profile family. Made for legibility, the family of sans serifs unites timeless forms together for a contemporary approach. Where other thin type players stay typically cool, FF Profile Thin and Extra Light manage to maintain warmth with its truly humanist design charm and special stroke endings.
Thinly sliced (at 100pt, the stem weight for FF Profile Thin is 2 points, with horizontal strokes at 1.8 points), the new extreme light weights stand firm and individual at large scales yet are still very legible in smaller sizes. The two new feather-weight faces come with Italics and Small Caps plus Greek and Cyrillic support, making them versatile all-rounders and ideal for flat design (hello iOS) and graphics.permalink
The Serebro Nabora type conference took place this past week in Moscow. In the spirit of the event and as part of our recent Cyrillic updates for FF Mister K, FF Mister K Informal, FF Profile and FF Tisa Sans we asked the designers of these typefaces, Mitja Miklavčič, Julia Sysmäläinen and Martin Wenzel, about their experience with non-Latin extensions, as well as the difficulties they faced in these design processes.
Creativity and communication is always at the FontFont forefront along with the aim to build typeface collections with different styles and purposes. Cyrillic is one of the most used writing systems in the world and the alphabet has been adapted to write more than 50 languages. Of the many scripts in use around the world today, Cyrillic is probably the closest in appearance and structure to Latin, particularly in the case of upright typefaces. For Mitja Miklavčič, the design process was not significantly different compared with his Latin designs, as in the case of FF Tisa or FF Tisa Sans. “The italics were a bit more demanding to draw, and personally I always find kerning in Cyrillic a bit more challenging, too.”
Mitja Miklavčič began the Cyrillic portion of FF Tisa while studying on the MA Type Design course at the University of Reading. “We had some Cyrillic specialists visiting the Department. My initial sketches there were done for the serif part of the FF Tisa family. Although they were over six years old, they were a helpful start for the FF Tisa Sans Cyrillic.”
In contrast to Cyrillic type, Cyrillic handwriting is more abundant in its form variety. Julia Sysmäläinen’s primary challenge while designing FF Mister K Cyrillic and FF Mister K Informal Cyrillic, was how to interpret handwriting typographically. “Like all kinds of handwriting, Cyrillic handwriting can be very expressive. I had to find solutions that suited Franz Kafka’s manuscripts, which were always written in German. For this I studied both historical and contemporary samples of Cyrillic handwriting, asked Russian friends and colleagues to produce samples – and of course, I made many myself. Before 1907, Kafka wrote in a German Kurrent script, and analyzing this was interesting, because some of the letterforms resemble Cyrillic characters. I also found a prominent Russian contemporary with a handwriting style that fits surprisingly well to Kafka’s.”
Julia Sysmäläinen had always planned to make a Cyrillic companion to FF Mister K. “Kafka was strongly attracted to Russia, and he admired Russian writers like Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Kropotkin. Soon after the release by FontFont, I made a limited Cyrillic version of FF Mister K Regular to submit to the International Design competition “Modern Cyrillic”, where it received a Certificate of Typographic Excellence. Later, I went at the design more thoroughly, creating extended Cyrillic character sets for both FF Mister K Regular and FF Mister K Informal.”
FF Profile Cyrillic isn’t Martin Wenzel’s first endeavor into this writing system. “In 1992, FontFont asked me to draw a Cyrillic extension for my FF Marten typeface, which made me look closely at the script for the first time. The end result was no masterpiece, but still a good attempt to apply a simple modular concept to a different script. This was before I even studied Type and Communication Design at the Royal Academy in The Hague. With FF Profile’s Cyrillic, I talked with several designers about the script’s challenges in general, as well as specific letterforms. Over time I’ve consulted various books on the subject and completed my own calligraphic trials, which formed the basis for the structure of each glyph. If you can write it, you can draw it!”
Like Martin Wenzel, Mitja Miklavčič also had professional experience designing Cyrillic typefaces. He has previously worked with noted specialists, such as Maxim Zhukov. “I grew up in the former Yugoslavia, so I learned Cyrillic in primary school. Serbian and Macedonian both use Cyrillic. That might also explain why I’ve decided to draw language-specific forms for those two languages as well. I always consult with any other designers, no matter what type of type design project I work on. A few colleagues have become close friends in the process.”
FF Tisa Sans is unique in that it not only includes support for Balkan languages that use the Cyrillic script, but also many Central Asian languages, like Turkmen and Kazakh as well, which are not frequently a part of many Cyrillic typefaces.
While Martin Wenzel and Mitja Miklavčič are not native readers of the Cyrillic script, Russian is Julia Sysmäläinen’s mother-tongue. “I’m the child of a Russian mother and a Finnish father, so I learned both languages during childhood. As a native reader, you grew up with all kinds of Cyrillic texts accompanying your everyday life, everything from shopping lists to letters, notebooks and advertisements. You get a pretty clear feeling of how far and where you can move away from some kind of norm, without your result looking awkward. If the script is new to you, you run the risk of being overcautious, or making naive mistakes.”
In terms of OpenType features and character set size, the Cyrillics of FF Mister K are the most ambitious of FontFont’s new Cyrillic releases. “In Kafka’s manuscripts, readability was not a priority,” Julia Sysmäläinen mentions. “I carried this over into FF Mister K Regular as well. In its Cyrillic version, expressiveness and personality are paramount. Its style is easily readable for people who are at home in Russian and other languages with Cyrillic script, because context makes things clear, but it is not for learners of these languages. FF Mister K Informal Cyrillic is much easier to read, just like FF Mister K Informal’s Latin is. In Cyrillic handwriting some characters – especially д and т – can be written in various ways that do not really resemble one another; these forms can even be mixed within a single word.” This lively mixture is part of FF Mister K’s OpenType features, and it harmonizes well with Kafka’s turbulent manuscripts. FF Mister K Informal is more regularized, to stress readability.
As new communication methods continue to bring the world closer together, great typefaces have grown to speak for more languages and writing systems. FF Tisa Sans, FF Mister K and FF Profile join 30 other typeface families in the FontFont library with Cyrillic support, including FF Dax, FF DIN and FF Meta.permalink
FF63 saw a FontFont milestone with the App+ license and this latest release is just as much an occasion as the last. With two brand new designs and Cyrillic language updates to three of our Pro packages, we have been counting down the days in high anticipation – we are simply super thrilled to bring you FF64.
New meets old meets technic, FF Mark is more than just an average geometric sans. A special type project, Ze new Germanetric sans is a collaboration by Hannes von Döhren, Christoph Koeberlin, and the FontFont Type Department with creative support from Erik Spiekermann.
True to geometric tradition yet contemporary for today’s needs, the family of 10 weights ranging from Hairline to Black is designed with versatility in mind. Extreme weights have been engineered to shine bright in large sizes and middle weights optimized for body copy.
And to mark the launch of FF Mark, we are launching a new microsite to showcase and celebrate the thinking and creative process behind the typeface. Discover, interact with and download the exclusive Free Fönt at www.ffmark.com.
Four years in the making and designed with utmost precision Mike Abbink and Paul van der Laan’s latest expansion of the FF Kievit superfamily has arrived.
The long-anticipated FF Kievit Slab has been carefully adjusted and fine-tuned in width and contrast to help make it an extremely robust and elegant typeface.
Typographical finesse has been delivered in the form of small caps, old style, lining, and tabular figures, and a mountain of OpenType glory.
The entire superfamily is well suited for editorial and book design, packaging and superfit for corporate branding and creative industries.
Language Extensions & Updates
Talk in even more type tongues with welcomed Cyrillic updates for FF Mister K Regular, FF Mister K Informal, FF Profile and FF Tisa Sans. Our extensive library also offer fonts for several scripts aside from Latin, including Greek, Arabic, Hebrew and even Armenian.permalink
FontFont designers have been recipients of prestigious type design awards, but few can claim to have been even before their creations were officially published. Ludwig Übele’s FF Tundra — a recipient of a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design at this year’s TDC2 competition — is now available for licensing. Other new releases are Jörg Hemker’s versatile sans FF Sero; the informal cousin of the popular FF Mister K; a monospaced variant for FF Nuvo; and stencil versions for the Danish sans/serif type system FF Signa.
The new designs
FF Sero – Jörg Hemker’s versatile sans FF Sero combines the striking forms of an American grotesque with the legibility of a humanist sans serif typeface. It has open contours, a distinct x-height and a homogeneous grayscale value. During seven years of development the classic letter forms have matured into a balanced, sovereign typeface. Eight harmonized weights and an extensive character set allow for a flexible and versatile typography. Cyrillic and Greek characters provide an extended language support.
For a limited time, FF Sero Medium is available for free download in OT, Offc and Web formats. Download it on the Goodies page.
FF Tundra – Ludwig Übele’s award-winning design FF Tundra is a narrow serif typeface with stressed forms and soft contours. The idea evolved from investigating how a narrow typeface should look for optimal readability. To avoid a fence-effect, FF Tundra emphasizes the horizontal line. Ludwig Übele combined strong serifs, flat shoulders (see n) and open but heavy endings (see a, e, c) with a moderate contrast to achieve a balanced, legible typeface with a certain softness and humanity. FF Tundra has been designed for continuous text, but is also suitable for magazines and headlines (especially the Extra Light) and will surely work in newspapers as well. The family consists of six weights from Extra Light to Bold, each with Italics and Small Caps and many OpenType layout features.
FF Mister K Informal
FF Mister K Informal – This new design by Julia Sysmäläinen is the latest offspring of the FF Mister K font family. It began in one of Kafka’s Quart Notebooks with handwritten texts that look astonishingly clear. The letter forms are carefully placed line after line but still reveal the author’s characteristic writing style. There is a simple explanation: These are final, rewritten texts. The first version — loaded with heavy editing and correction marks — can be found elsewhere in Kafka’s literary remains. The strong personality of FF Mister K is often appreciated, but some designers find it too unpredictable for down-to-earth target groups. So enriching the K Family with a clear, friendly looking member derived from Kafka’s stylistic repertoire seemed predestined by the users’ needs.
FF Nuvo Mono
FF Nuvo Mono – Siegfried Rückel expands his magazine typeface FF Nuvo with a monospaced variant for all weights, including Small Caps and Italics. This offers new options for traditional and unusual designs. The design retains its stroke endings with “chipped” corners, which make them appear soft when seen from a distance or in small point sizes, but reveal their peculiar forms at a closer look. However its x-height was lowered somewhat in comparison to FF Nuvo to emphasize FF Nuvo Mono’s typewriter character. The calligraphic touch in the characters a, g and y make this typeface stand out among other typewriter-like faces, as do the alternate characters for a, g, k, s and y, which add typographic versatility.
FF Signa Stencil/FF Signa Serif Stencil
FF Signa Stencil/FF Signa Serif Stencil – Ole Søndergaard’s stencil faces can be used to produce actual stencils, but more often than not they are selected for their unique aesthetic. It is fascinating to see how separate “floating” fragments combine to form recognizable character shapes. The way those letters are cut up gives a stencil design its specific character. FF Signa — a typically Danish typeface — is rooted in architectural lettering rather than book typography. This sans serif of concise letter forms and a minimum of detail joined the growing collection of sans/serif type systems when the serif variant was added in 2005. Now both versions are available as stylish stencil designs.
Updated and extended FontFonts
FF Info Text, FF Info Display, FF Info Correspondence Pro – Erik Spiekermann’s and Ole Schäfer’s FF Info Office is the typeface Erik Spiekermann himself feels should be more popular “because it works well on screen and is really cool but nobody has found it behind the larger FF Info Text and Display families.” It has been renamed FF Info Correspondence to avoid confusion with the Office font format. The complete FF Info family, one of the best wayfinding type systems, has now been upgraded to Pro language support and has been carefully fine-tuned.
FF Profile – Martin Wenzel’s FF Profile is one of the more beautiful humanist sans serifs in the FontFont library. This clear, uncluttered and attractive family based on the broad-nibbed pen was already available in OpenType Pro format. Its character set was expanded to include Greek.
New Offc and Web FontFontspermalink
FontFont represents some of the most talented and interesting type designers in the world. And for most of the year, that’s where they are: scattered all over the globe. In celebration of FontShop’s 20th Anniversary, FSI’s Ivo Gabrowitsch took the opportunity of a rare gathering this spring to talk with seven FontFont designers and get their take on their personal history in type design and what’s coming next. These conversations, peppered with insight about the creative process, are a rare look at the faces behind the typefaces.
The first of three FontCasts – published as part of FontShop’s FontCast series – from the day features Michael Abbink from New York City (FF Kievit, FF Milo) and Erik van Blokland from The Hague (FF Trixie, FF Erikrighthand, FF Beowolf).read more
BERLIN, GERMANY, July 2009 - FSI FontShop International announced the latest additions to its award-winning FontFont® typeface library.
The new FontFonts
FF Dagny™ — In 2002, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) changed from broadsheet to tabloid – a change that came along with a major impact on DN’s journalism, editing and design. Pangea design’s Creative Director, Örjan Nordling, had already worked with DN as a design consultant in 1996. In 2000, DN had been redesigned under the leadership of Dr. Mario Garcia. For the new design Nordling had created DN Bodoni exclusively for Dagens Nyheter. The change to tabloid called for a more compact setting and Pangea design was commissioned to produce a matching sans serif for Sweden’s largest daily newspaper. This became DN Grotesk which now has evolved into FF Dagny.
For the FontFont library Nordling and Göran Söderström made several adjustments, the contrast in stroke thickness was reduced for better legibility in small sizes and characters were redesigned together with the FontFont Type Department. The family now includes a range of consistent weights from Thin to Black making it perfect for use in body text and all kind of other applications. The name Dagny is an abbreviation of Dagens Nyheter as well as an old nordic female name meaning “new day”.
FF Duper™ — Martin Wenzel’s original idea from 1998 evolved into a kind of informal FF Profile in the end. The new FF Duper has a home-made touch, but provides of course all typographic qualities of a contemporary OpenType font. FF Duper consists of Regular, Bold, Regular Italic and Bold Italic weights, supports more than 60 languages, has several figure sets and fractions and includes alternative forms for a, g and y as well as a set of arrows, bullets and ornaments. And there is a special extra: All weights contain three versions of each glyph and via an OpenType feature the three alternatives are used in succession, treating vowels and consonents separately and recognizing even spaces between words for a lively and hand-made appearance of the typed text. Preliminary versions of the typeface have already been successful in education and school projects, but there are surely more areas where FF Duper perfectly fits in.
FF Kava™ started out as a free typeface called Kaffeesatz, published by Yanone in 2004 during the early stages of his type designing career. The bold weight was reminiscent of coffeehouse grotesk typefaces of the 1920s, while the lighter versions were supposed to bridge the gap to contemporary type design.
The current FF Kava family is a carefully revised, more rounded version of the old Kaffeesatz fonts. A black weight has been added as well as small caps and more figure sets to form now an attractive modern and soft sans serif type family.
FF Unit® Slab: When Kris Sowersby, Christian Schwartz and Erik Spiekermann were designing the parameters for FF Meta Serif, they spent quite some time on details like the thickness and the shape of the serifs – should the face veer towards a slab with blocky, heavy serifs or should it be more of a traditional book face? In the end, they went for a “normal” serif face with fairly solid serifs, but some thick-thin contrast and counters that aren’t totally parallel to the outside shape of the letters. Stronger and thus more useful than Times New Roman while not as constructed as Rockwell.read more
The judging of the Type Directors Club Type Design Competition 2000 took place in New York City on January 23, 2000, at the School of Visual Arts. The contest was judged by Matthew Carter, Barry Deck, John Hudson and Kathleen Tinkel. Maxim Zhukov chaired the Jury.
One hundred two designers from twenty-four countries participated in the competition. One hundred eighty-five entries competed in five categories: Text designs, Display designs, Text/display type systems, Type superfamilies, and Pi fonts.read more