News: Tagged as Travis Kochel
In our latest “In-Use” case we caught up with the team over at Berlin based communications agency Blumberry to chat to them about their latest project in which FF Chartwell and FF Tundra were a saving grace.
Who was your client and what was the topic of this project?
Our client was Huawei Technologies Germany GmbH, one of the leading suppliers of telecommunication solutions employing more than 150,000 people across 140 countries.
The project, named “Germany and China - Perception and Reality” was carried out in cooperation with the renowned German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg (GIGA) and the market research institute TNS Emnid in Bielefeld. Its aim was to examine the perceptions that Germans and Chinese have of one another in order to identify stereotypes before assessing them in a scientific context. In other words, what perceptions do the different nationalities have of each other and can they be refuted by facts?
Huawei had initially ran the study two years previous and so were keen to compare these results with those from the new study. However to use both lots of data to create a large, graphically and scientifically complex document that could be made accessible to a wider audience without hindering the scientific element of the content presented us with quite a challenge.
- How many people were involved?
As a team we were required to handle all aspects of presenting the survey results, and so during peak periods we had up to 15 people on the team.
Our responsibilities included the programming of the study’s microsite, implementation of a lavishly staged exhibition of the study results (in the form of an Experience Walk) and the production of collateral such as posters and bags.
- How did you decide on the layout?
The layout of the previous study was a great help. From this we were able to quickly see what worked with the data and what could be improved. We initially tried several versions of the layout, from the multi-column to single-column pages, as we wanted to avoid the graphics and text appearing to have no visible connection to each other. Instead, they should relate to one another and not inhibit the flow when reading the text. Against this background the one-sided layout proved to be the most effective.
- How did you choose the typefaces that featured in the final project? And in what way did the chosen typefaces help with production of the document?
We made the selection of typefaces very early on in the design process. We tried and tested multiple typefaces, including a sans serif typeface that is defined in the design manual. However, in continuous text weaknesses were obvious instantly – after all this particular sans serif typeface was originally designed for “way finding” and not for ease of reading when used for lengthy texts. For this reason, it was clear that we needed a serif for such an extensive study. Moving from the expressive FF Yoga and FF Tisa, we finally decided on the very reader-friendly FF Tundra by Ludwig Übele. FF Tundra’s quality in single-column layout with above-average long lines, made it the perfect choice for the study’s text.
With its focus around numerical data we hoped that FF Chartwell would save us an enormous amount of time. We had only a few weeks to build a variety of graphics from a data bundle of more than 1,000 pages, of which many of them contained graphical information and statistics.
Once we had all of the necessary data identified, extracted and excess material removed, the clear simplicity of FF Chartwell was very welcome. We would even go as far to say that had we been without this “chart tool” it would have been an even greater challenge to deliver on time.
Within a study of this size it is easy for mistakes to be missed. A graphical tool, such as FF Chartwell, helped to keep these errors to a minimum, because it works “only” by entering numbers, which as a result made the entire process less error prone.
We were also very grateful for FontFont’s detailed documentation on FF Chartwell as well as the useful tips and tricks from FontFont’s Jens Kutilek’s video tutorial. As a result even our consultants could proofread the entire study and make corrections via InDesign’s simplified mode without having to be taught about OpenType features first.
- What was the theme for the illustrations?
The style of the illustrations was closely coordinated with that of FF Chartwell – simple, clear and concise. This resulted in simple icons that clearly illustrated the content without lacking details.
left to right: Lars (concept and design), Christin (illustrations), Denise (concept) and Maurits (microsite and app).
For more information on these FontFont typefaces and further buying options head to fontfont.com.
Interview hosted by Alexander Roth, FontFont Marketing department.permalink
Our next TypeBoard takes place on Wednesday 15 May, so the time to submit your typefaces for consideration is fast approaching. But what’s it really like being a FontFont designer? We caught up with one of the newest designers to join the FontFont family, Travis Kochel (designer of the groundbreaking FF Chartwell) to find out about the path that he took to become a type designer and why he chose to submit his already successful typeface Chartwell to our library.
You studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with your BFA in 2008. What did the design curriculum there look like? Did you have a lot of typography coursework?
Typography was drilled into us. Even in classes not explicitly labeled typography, good type choices and typesetting practices were stressed. At the time it felt more like boot camp, and I actually tried to distance myself from it. It took a few years of real world experience to fully appreciate and understand the value of it. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it just sort of clicked one day, and turned into an obsession.
What inspired you to start designing type? Did your client work at Scribble Tone help while you started your first typeface?
At the time, my first explorations in type design felt more like a curious exploration of letterforms, and a way to take a break from client work. I think what keeps me coming back to it is a strong desire to control every detail of a project. Type is one of the most basic building blocks of a design piece, and there’s an interesting power that comes with controlling that.
You first released FF Chartwell in 2011 under the TK Type label and it was received really well. As Chartwell was already successful in its own right, what prompted you to submit the typeface to FontFont? Do you think it fared better as a FontFont?
Releasing typefaces on your own comes with self doubt, and the nagging question of how it would fare with the feedback and marketing power of an established foundry. After the initial success of Chartwell, I started working on a few additional styles of charts and thought it would be a great opportunity to see what someone else could bring to it. I’ve always had a great admiration for FontFont, and they’ve taken on many experimental releases in the past, so it seemed like a good fit.
Admittedly, I was a little nervous about making the transition, but it has outperformed my expectations by far. FontFont has really given FF Chartwell an amazing second life. I’m also extremely happy with the team’s solution for the web version. It was a brilliant approach to break free of the font format, and instead focus on the interface.
What was the main advantage working with FontFont? Would you publish future type designs through FontFont again? If so why/if not why not?
I will definitely consider FontFont again if I have a design that fits well into the catalog. The biggest advantage is the feedback and insight from the team. It’s comforting to have experienced eyes looking over everything, and offering outside perspectives. It’s also quite apparent that they care every bit as much as you do about the work.
The nuts and bolts of FF Chartwell’s features really push the boundaries of the OpenType format. Are you tempted to continue experimenting and pushing OpenType technology even further?
There’s a lot of opportunity to push OpenType technology further, and it’s definitely something I think about a lot. I haven’t quite found another opportunity where an OpenType solution makes sense, but I’m keeping my eyes open.
How do you spend your day? Can you carve out regular chunks of time for type design? How does your work/life balance look?
My schedule is very erratic, and it usually comes in weeklong chunks of time being focused on one thing. A rough estimate of my time in the past year:
Chicago, New Zealand, Portland … you seem to get around a lot! Do you think that your geographic location feeds into the results of your design work?
The designers and community in each city have definitely influenced the way I think about and approach design. It brings new ideas and perspectives, but also forces you to think about where you stand on those issues.
What’s next for you? Do you think you will release another typeface in the near-future?
Type design will definitely continue to be a large part of my future. But I also really enjoy having a variety of types of projects to work on. It keeps the days interesting, but also brings new perspectives. FF Chartwell was one of those moments where two seemingly unrelated fields of design happily overlapped.
If you could offer a single piece of advice to an aspiring type designer, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just be sure to learn from them, and keep an open ear to feedback, even after releasing.
Following the phenomenal success of the first TYPO in San Francisco last year, they are back again with a star-studded speaker line-up and we are proud to be a sponsor for 2013. The stellar speaker list includes, Armin Vit, Jessi Arrington, Matthew Butterrick , Mandy Brown and Stephen Coles. A number of our FontFont Designers including, Erik Spiekermann, Nick Shinn, Peter Bi’lak and Travis Kochel will also be taking to the stage.permalink
Travis Kochel’s groundbreaking typeface FF Chartwell that transforms strings of numbers into graphs and charts has been awarded one of the most highly regarded accolades in the typographic world – a ‘Certificate of Excellence in Typeface Design’ by the TDC.
The TDC (Type Directors Club) was founded in 1946 by some of the foremost leaders from the world of typography. Their mission is to support excellence in typography on screen and in print. Each year they run two annual type competitions, one for the use of type in design and the other for typeface design.
This year, there were almost 200 entries submitted from 33 countries and only 14 winners, so we are absolutely delighted that FF Chartwell and Travis have been recognized. The winning entries will be presented at the TDC Awards Exhibition in New York this summer. They will also be included in a further 7 exhibitions that will visit the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.permalink
With over 1,700 entries, 56 finalists and an all-star judge list that included the likes of David Butler, Nicholas Felton, and Lisa Strausfeld, we were over the moon to hear that FF Chartwell had won the Innovation by Design prize for 2-D Design.
Judge and Facebook product designer Nicholas Felton said, “FF Chartwell is an ingenious hack. This easy-to-use tool could disrupt all manner of chart-making programs, thanks to a clever font system that turns chains of numbers into elegant charts. Tweaking a graph is as simple as changing a number.”
In our category we were up against the likes of NASA and the award-winning design and technology studio Stamen, so we are absolutely delighted to have won. Well done, Travis and the FontFont Type Team!
About FF Chartwell
Designed by Travis Kochel, FF Chartwell is a fantastic typeface for creating simple graphs. Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling. Following the release of FF Chartwell for print back in May 2012, we published the web version in September 2012. For a limited time, you can get FF Chartwell Radar Web for free.permalink
The inaugural Information is Beautiful Awards, inspired by Kantar, were held on 27 September at the ICA in London. They are the world's first global awards for data visualization and information design.
With a stellar panel of judges including Aziz Cami, Brian Eno, David McCandless, Maria Popova, Paola Antonelli, Simon Rogers and more than 1000 entries, we were absolutely delighted to hear that FF Chartwell by Travis Kochel was selected for the silver award in the category of Tool or Website.
There were a number of different categories including Data Visualisation, Infographic/Information Design, Interactive Visualisation, Data Journalism, Motion Infographic, and Tool or Website.
The best individual contribution went to Moritz Stefaner and the winner of the Ultimate award went to the CNN Home and Away visualization by Stamen, which maps the coalition casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
About FF Chartwell
Designed by Travis Kochel, FF Chartwell is a fantastic typeface for creating simple graphs. Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling. Following the release of FF Chartwell for print back in May 2012, we published the web version in September 2012. For a limited time, you can get FF Chartwell Radar for free.permalink
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
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 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
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.
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.
FF Atma Serif (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)
FF Child’s Play (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)
FF Cube (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)
FF Eureka Mono (NEW: Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)
FF Fago Mono (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)
FF Hydra/Text (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)
FF Instant Types (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)
FF Meta Correspondence (NEW: Offc Pro | Web Pro)
FF Typestar (NEW: Pro | Offc Pro | Web Pro)
FF Zine Sans/Serif/Slab Display (NEW: Pro | Offc | Offc Pro | Web | Web Pro)permalink
It is with much anticipation and excitement that we announce our 59th release. With three brand new designs, one extension and a whole array of new Offc, Web and Pro versions of some of our classic FontFonts; FF 59 is one of our biggest releases yet.
The new designs
FF Scuba is a legible contemporary sans with a distinctive character. Searching for an offline companion for Verdana and not finding the exact tone he was looking for, designer Felix Braden set off to develop a new series of types. The resulting family is a bit tighter and more condensed than Verdana. In small sizes FF Scuba blends well with Verdana, and in display sizes it reveals its particular originality. The design combines constructed letters, like an almost rectangular o, with dynamic strokes and other elements referring to writing. This mix gives the typeface a lively touch, while still keeping true to its technical roots.
For a limited time, FF Scuba Regular is available for free download in OT and Web formats. Download it on the Goodies page.
FF Tisa Sans
FF Tisa Sans is Slovenian designer Mitja Miklavčič’s follow-up typeface to FF Tisa. Whether used together or separately, both of his families are excellent choices for branding projects and complex editorial applications. The original FF Tisa is one of the new-millennium favorites in the FontFont library—known for its sturdy and friendly forms, hence its common use in newspapers and magazines.
In all important details, FF Tisa Sans matches FF Tisa perfectly. Aside from the lack of serifs, the Sans features slightly reduced ink traps. Necessary system elements have been fine-tuned to one another, including the color density of blocks of text, the proportions of the letterforms and their distinctive stroke endings, and even the eye-catching Italics. Of course, the FF Tisa Sans character set contains the same range of characters and typographic features as the original FF Tisa, too. Since FF Tisa Sans should prove quite suitable for signage and information design projects, Miklavčič included a range of specially designed arrows in each font as well.
Designed by Travis Kochel, FF Chartwell is a fantastic typeface for creating simple graphs. Driven by the frustration of creating graphs within design applications and inspired by typefaces such as FF Beowolf and FF PicLig, Travis saw an opportunity to take advantage of OpenType technology to simplify the process.
FF Chartwell (Pies, Lines, Bars) was originally released in 2011 under the TK Type foundry. In 2012, it was added to the FontFont library with the addition of four new chart styles, the Polar Series as well as Bars Vertical.
The Polar Series (Rose, Rings, and Radar) is a set of new designs, which take on the form of more experimental charts. In an effort to make the charts smarter and more dynamic, each design reacts not only to the data entered, but the number of values.
Updated and extended FontFonts
FF Meta Serif: Light and Extra Bold
Following the Greek/Cyrillic language update to FF Meta Serif in FF 58, we’ve now added two new weights to FF Meta Serif—Light and Extra Bold.
New Pro versions
Pro FontFonts enjoy the distinction of extended language support and ease of use, affording the typographer the ability to set text in a much broader range of languages. All Pro FontFonts include Extended Latin (Central European) characters, but may additionally support Cyrillic, Greek, or other/additional scripts. The following FontFonts now include Pro language support and thus speaking 36 Latin-based languages more.
New Office and Web FontFonts
We are continually updating our library to ensure that our FontFonts are in the most up to date and useable formats. With our latest release, we’ve updated a whole host of our portfolio for the use on the web, among them classics such as FF Strada, FF Legato, FF Transit, and FF Schulbuch.
All these faces additionally come in Offc versions, fonts tuned to work best in programs like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.permalink