News: Tagged as Paul McNeil

Makers and Shakers – FF ThreeSix for Makr Shakr

Imagine a bar staffed by robots. Yes, robots are not unheard of, but it’s fair to say that three orange robotic arms that can mix and serve bespoke drinks in real-time classifies as impressive.

FFThreeSix MakrShakr

Cue in Makr Shakr. Unveiled at this year’s Google I/O conference, the fun, but serious installation and social experiment saw many a cocktail concoction crafted by three KUKA robots and delivered via a conveyor belt. And not to mention the elegant live digital tessellations of honeycombed data on-screen behind the “bar” and across mobile screens, keeping track of every shake and stir. People gathered with Makr Shakr app in hand, drinks were ordered, robots made and shaked.

The robotic bartending system was developed and designed by MIT Senseable Lab in collaboration with the Coca Cola Company and Bacardi Rums in partnership with Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and team, who were responsible for the identity, web application and data visualisation.

FFThreeSix MakrShakr

FFThreeSix MakrShakr

The design intent of the app was to match the agility of the robots, as well as the scientific, step-by-step process of assembling the drinks. Cue in FF ThreeSix. Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir’s experimental geometric yet optically balanced typeface embodies this sentiment visually and conceptually. On why it was chosen, Opara, lead Pentagram partner on the project explains – “It exudes technology and the future”.

FFThreeSix Makr Shakr

FFThreeSix MakrShakr 

FF ThreeSix is subtle and humanistic in an absurdly mathematical rigour. It has been sublimely applied as part of the Makr Shakr identity not just as an alphabet, but also shape and form. The beautiful lines, dots and sometimes blobs work seamlessly in large and small scales together with the organic and mechanical honeycomb system.

The beauty of the identity is not only in the conceptual execution, but is also in its application across the various platforms (desktop, web, app) and mediums (digital, motion, spatial). Opara and his team have played to the strengths of FF ThreeSix taking advantage of the distinguishing qualities between the various styles, mixing and matching them at different sizes and scales typographically and graphically.

FFThreeSix MakrShakr

The identity and application also demonstrates the versatility in the FontFont product offering and the benefit of having a library of typefaces available for multiple uses. The diversity in formats and licenses allows for more possibilities in application.

FFThreeSix Makr Shakr

Male, Female. Bourbon, white rum. Lemon, lime, orange peel, mint. Mojitos or old-fashioned. Whether it be recipe, ingredient, drink or drinker demographics, or even what was currently on-drink-trend, the identity and data was magnificently visualised and optimised for the app and large screen display.

Makr Shakr is a fine example of possibility and how a typeface can work holistically to transform an identity.

For more on the making and shaking of the project head to Pentagram’s website.



FF ThreeSix recognised in Typographica’s favourite Typefaces of 2012

FF ThreeSix

Hamish Muir and Paul McNeil’s experimental optical type system FF ThreeSix has been chosen as one of Typographica’s favourite Typefaces of 2012.

FF ThreeSix consists of six typefaces in eight weights, including four additional monospaced weights. It has won a number of awards including the ISTD Premier Award and Certificate of Excellence

FF Scuba by Felix Braden, FF Tisa Sans by Mitja Miklavčič and FF Marselis by Jan Maack were also noted in the honorable mentions list.


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


New release: FF 60

How quickly the time has flown since FF 59, we can’t quite believe it is release time again. With two new designs, two extensions and a myriad of updates we are delighted to introduce our latest release, FF 60.

The new designs

FF Marselis  

FF Marselis FF Marselis

From the designer of FF Cube and FF Speak comes FF Marselis. Jan Maack’s newest design crossbreeds geometric and humanistic forms, creating a freshly dynamic sans serif family. All of the counters in the typeface are open; certain superfluous strokes have been eliminated – there are no spurs on the b or q, for instance.

Many designers chance upon using the same graphic shape for the lowercase ‘a’ and ‘e’ – indeed, the idea seems simple enough: just rotate the form 180° and you should be done! However, almost all attempts at this sort of theoretical simplification fail in practice. With FF Marselis, Jan Maack has found a key to making it work. Rather than whole letterforms, a tear-drop form repeats throughout the alphabet, not only in the bowl of the lowercase ‘a’ or ‘e’, but also in the ‘k’ and the uppercase ‘Q’. Its distinct character makes FF Marselis a perfect choice for today’s corporate and branding projects.

Introductory offer: You can get 50 % off any FF Marselis product (until 31 October 2012).

FF ThreeSixFF ThreeSixFF ThreeSix

FF ThreeSix is a huge experimental optical type system consisting of six typefaces in eight weights, including four additional monospaced weights. It is the result of London-based Paul McNeil’s and Hamish Muir’s attempts to work within the restrictive rules of geometry to generate simple typographic forms emulating traditional type design principles, where a wide range of almost imperceptible compensatory optical tricks are used to create the illusion of evenness in the basic fabric of text.

The award-winning system – ISTD Premier Award and Certificate of Excellence – is based on a grid of 36 unit squares subdivided into 9 units and are constructed using only vertical or horizontal straight lines and circular arcs. Cap-height, x-height, ascent and descent measurements are consistent across all fonts and weights. The grid also determines character and word spacing, with all side-bearings and kerning pair values conforming to 9 unit increments.

As Wim Crouwel notes: ‘It is a fascination for the use of geometric systems in design that has resulted in these remarkable typefaces.’

Updated and extended FontFonts 

FF Chartwell WebFF Chartwell WebFF Chartwell Web

We always strive to give you the best possible solution. That’s why we didn’t make it easy on ourselves when it came to creating FF Chartwell Web. FF Chartwell already pushes the boundaries of OpenType, so when faced with the prospect of massive font file sizes (up to 47000 glyphs) and a lack of OpenType feature support in most web browsers to make FF Chartwell work on the web, we had to think creatively! Not satisfied with simply converting the desktop fonts into web fonts we sought to transform FF Chartwell into something more than just a font. Using some nifty JavaScript tricks you can now breathe life into charts, pies, graphs online.

Introducing FF Chartwell Web. Simple to use and fun to play around with, you can try it for yourself online using our demo.

Free font: For a limited time, you can get your hands on FF Chartwell Web Radar for free.

FF Meta Correspondence

FF Meta CorrespondenceFF Meta Correpondence

Erik Spiekermann’s best-known face is without doubt FF Meta. While it has proven its usability in almost any design task one can think of, its creator realized that it could be improved even more for use in the business world. The main features of the first version of FF Meta Correspondence included tabular figures (instead of oldstyle ones) and increased tracking, yet Spiekermann wanted to go a few steps further and take the typeface to another level.

Now, Erik Spiekermann and the FontFont team changed both proportions and shapes to a more robust style, removed contrast from accents and simplified forms and details to a more screen-friendly appearance. The very well-known lowercase g has been changed to a single-storey one, which is more common within the office environment. Above all, a set of useful arrows, icons, and office dingbats has been added. The resulting design is still FF Meta, but one that breathes Correspondence air.

The simplified forms and the high-quality screen optimization make FF Meta Correspondence a perfect typeface for use as a webfont or within the mobile environment.

New Office and Web FontFonts plus language extensions

Did you know our library contains over 2500 FontFonts? After a FontFont is released, the work doesn’t stop, we continually tinker and update our beloved FontFonts to ensure that they are in tip-top condition and in the most up to date and useable formats. In FF 60, some of our earliest releases such as Just van Rossum’s FF Advert, Ole Schäfer’s FF Zine, and John Critchley’s FF Child’s Play have been brought up to date and now come in Office and Web formats.

All these faces have also been upgraded so that they are now also offered in Pro versions, meaning they now include more Latin-based languages (e.g. Polish, Turkish, Czech).FF Advert

FF Advert/Rough (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)

FF Atma Serif

FF Atma Serif (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)

FF Child's Play 

FF Child’s Play (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro) FF Cube

FF Cube (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)

FF Eureka Mono

FF Eureka Mono (NEW: Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)

FF Fago

FF Fago Mono (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)

FF Hydra

FF Hydra/Text (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)

FF Instant

FF Instant Types (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)

FF Meta Correspondence

FF Meta Correspondence (NEW: Offc Pro | Web Pro)

FF Typestar

FF Typestar (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)FF Zine

FF Zine Sans/Serif/Slab Display (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)