News: Tagged as Max Phillips

Are you the next FontFont designer?

The stories and faces behind some of our FontFont Designers

Have you got a tremendous typeface design up your sleeve? At FontFont, we are driven by our love for type and typography and are always on the lookout for new typographical talent. When we started back in 1990, our mission was to create ‘fonts for designers by designers’. Since then, designers from across the world have contributed to our library. Twice a year, the TypeBoard, a committee of internal and external experts come together to review submissions.

Our submission policy continues to be as open as ever; we look for original designs and judge all submissions based on their aesthetic, technical and practical merits. If accepted your design will join the ranks of typographical triumphs such as FF Meta, FF Scala, FF DIN, FF Ernestine, and FF Tisa.

From the well-known to the newly discovered, our designers come from all walks of life. Here are the stories and experiences of three different FontFont designers, who have recently released their typefaces through us.

A lengthy love affair | FF Spinoza

Max PhillipsMax Phillips, a New York–based art director, illustrator, toy designer, and novelist (of the award winning ‘Fade to Blonde’), released his first ever typeface as a FontFont. His first beautiful typeface FF Spinoza was developed over a period (on and off) of eleven years. An elegant workhorse, FF Spinoza is a classic text family with individual character to hold its own in display sizes.

We asked Max what it was like to become a FontFont Designer:

‘Basically, I was asked to join a club whose members include Kris Sowersby, Tobias Frere-Jones, Akira Kobayashi, Jean-François Porchez, LeTeRror, Hannes von Döhren, Martin Majoor, Nick Shinn, Jeremy Tankard… the list goes on. And, of course, Neville Brody and Erik Spiekermann. It was the greatest honor of my professional life.’

When describing what it was like to work with FontFont, he said,

FF Spinoza

‘FontFont took tremendous pains with the work. When Andreas Frohloff returned his first edits on Spinoza, I was a bit dazed.  He’d altered almost every glyph in every font.  In some cases he'd clearly improved things.  In some cases I felt that he was correcting real problems, but that I wanted to correct them in my own way. Andreas was there to help. And that's the way things went. FontFont put a lot of work into Spinoza, but they left the final design decisions to me, even though I was a first-timer and they're the world's foremost independent foundry.’

Joining forces | FF Basic Gothic

Hannes von DöhrenIn contrast to Max, Hannes von Döhren has been designing typefaces for a number of years and set up his own foundry HVD Fonts in 2008. He became well known for his highly successful releases such as Brandon Grotesque, Brevia, Livory, ITC Chino, and Reklame Script. 

In 2010, working with Livius Dietzel, he joined forces with FontFont to release FF Basic Gothic.

FF Basic Gothic

‘On the one hand type design is all about creativity, optical decisions – the visual, but on the other hand there is a lot of engineering behind a font. Therein, I believe, lies the strength of FontFont. There are many type designers who would prefer to concentrate on the visual. FontFont takes over the visual and technical quality testing of font production and with that guarantees an high level of quality for their fonts.’

Fulfilling a FontFont dream | FF Ernestine

Nina StössingerNina Stössinger was also one of our designers who released her first ever commercial typeface design, FF Ernestine, through us. Having studied Multimedia Design and later Type Design, Nina set up her studio in Basel in 2008. Ernestine was born from the search for a versatile monoline text typeface; it's warm with a serious overtone, feminine with an underlying rigid assurance, above all it is charmingly sturdy. She first drew the Roman as a study project at the postgraduate Type Design programme in Zurich, and the Italic in dialogue with Hrant Papazian’s Armenian design.

When asked about what it was like working with FontFont she said:

FF Ernestine

‘To be honest, I have for a long time dreamed of one day not only designing a typeface, but releasing it through FontFont! Ambitious dreams – and I’m still amazed that they have actually come true. I am both proud and humbled to be part of this great library which in my perception sits right at the crossroads of relevance and innovation, utmost professionalism and agile freshness, trustworthiness and openness to experiment.’

Now it’s your turn …  

With the next TypeBoard happening on May 21, you still have time to submit your designs.

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New release: FF55

BERLIN, GERMANY, April 2011 – FSI FontShop International announced the latest additions to its award-winning FontFont® typeface library.

The new designs

FF SpinozaMax Phillips developed FF Spinoza over a period of eleven years. With the goal of readability in mind, Phillips named the typeface after 17th century rationalist and lens-grinder Baruch Spinoza, a man whose job it was to help people see clearly. The family is meant as an elegant workhorse, a classic text family with just enough individual character to hold its own in display sizes. It was inspired by mid-century German book faces like Trump Mediaeval and Aldus, and by the types of Nicolas Kis. The forms are narrow and economical, with open counters. The line is firm and distinct. It has strong thick strokes and serifs to help it grip the page. Its intended virtues are firmness, clarity and modesty.

FF Spinoza

Download the FF Spinoza specimen (PDF, 1.9 MB).

FF More — It’s easy to find sans serif typefaces with multiple widths and weights, but large serif families are much less common. The 30-font FF More fills this void. Five weights in each of Condensed, Regular, and Wide widths answer every need of publication design, from strong headlines to readable text and space-efficient information graphics. FF More’s sturdy serifs and gentle contrast withstand the rigors of magazine and newspaper design — retaining clarity despite size, background, or substrate.

Łukasz Dziedzic built FF More to work alongside FF Good, resulting in a powerhouse superfamily, versatile in both its function and aesthetic.

FF More

Download the FF More specimen (PDF, 5.4 MB).

Updated and extended FontFonts

FF Meta HebrewErik Spiekermann’s FF Meta is the foundation of the FontFont library, released at the label’s inception and still a signature of the brand. Its ancestor – PT55 (1985) – was conceived for the West German Post Office as a economical typeface for use at small point sizes, but once FF Meta was released to the public it was used for nearly everything, quickly becoming one of the most popular typefaces of the computer era. It has been called the “Helvetica of the ’90s”  – not because the two typefaces have anything aesthetically in common – but because FF Meta fulfills so well the needs of modern communication. Oded Ezer designed a Hebrew version for Book and Bold.

FF Meta Hebrew

FontFont Release 55 marks a distinctive milestone — the entire FF library is now available in OpenType, while PostScript formats have been retired.

In addition, more FontFont families were converted to the Offc format (e.g. FF Sanuk and FF Isonorm). An important improvement is that Small Caps are now bundled for Offc fonts — if a font has a Small Caps version it is sold together with its companion, heavily discounting the Small Caps font.

On the OpenType Pro front, FF Sanuk was extended to Pro, and the lightest weights of FF Meta Pro, FF Meta Condensed Offc Pro, and FF Signa Correspondence Pro all received Cyrillic upgrades.

New Web FontFonts

New Web FontFonts

Aside from the two new families, ten more popular FontFont families were converted to webfonts: FF Balance, FF Chambers Sans, FF Isonorm, FF Magda, FF Oxide, FF Pitu, FF QType Square, FF SanukFF Signa Correspondence and FF Tartine Script. Web FontFonts are optimized for use on web pages using the @font-face rule. This means websites can now display HTML text in fonts other than the handful of “web safe” options of yesteryear. Because HTML text is far more flexible and easier to update than an image, using Web FontFonts gives the user customized, dynamic type. Furthermore, branded typography on web pages can be found and indexed by search engines. Text is also more accessible to users with disabilities. And because it can be resized, copied, and edited by website visitors, webfonts allow for stylized interfaces, forms, and applications without relying on Flash or other hacks.

Learn more about our different formats here.

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