ErickSpiekermann designed the with the aim of establishing differenttypes of readable fonts. The initial ones were mainly used on postagestamp scales, post boxes and post vehicles. They were commissionedbetween 1991 and 1998. By the time the 2ndbatch was being released, it contained the FF , which consistedof normal, bold and small caps fonts.
Anotherbatch of the family was released in 1993, which was referred to as FF Plus. This has a huge influence and a major step towards themodern systems because of several factors. For example, it increasedthe number of fonts by three-fold to a total of 18. Additionally, itenabled the user to fine tune some of the aspects and characters aswell as improvements in kerning and spacing of elements. It createdseveral features which could be in Roman, italics, small caps oritalic small caps.
However,the FF Plus was abandoned, and the previous FF wasreintroduced in 1998. Several developments took place and led to thereincarnation of the latter. Some of the aspects that had aninfluence on the evolution include the role of foreign languages,condensed family, additional light weights, and other recent changessuch as the group of headline cuts.
Immediatelyafter its release, it quickly evolved into a primary typeface and wasadopted in all aspects of life. In the modern computer era, it is oneof the most popular developments. Nonetheless, it is usually referredto as the “Helvetica of the 90s”because of similarities withHelvetica. It is also one of the few discoveries that have survivedthe evolution of computing. Additionally, it can meet communicationneeds in the 21 century.
Several factors can be attributed to the success FF has enjoyedin the technology era. For example, it was the first digital typefacethat was able to incorporate old styles and treat them as standards.Secondly, compared to the major competitors, its letters weredistinct and more appealing.
Inthe first release, the typeface was mainly designed and used forin-house projects. However, it was introduced in the mail ordercatalogs and foundry, which were all founded by the developer, ErikSpiekermann. One of his companies, FontShop, pursued the licensing ofthe . This had a huge influence on its success.
Thereare several characteristics of , which makes it stand out amongits competitors. The ‘C’ has a wider opening and angled finialscompared to others. The Capitals have flat apices, which arecomparable with Helvetica. It also has unique ‘K’ and `M’junctions with oblique stems. Other prominent and noticeable figuresinclude ‘E’ with an extended base, G and J without a spur andloop respectively, W with a flat base and junction, angled finials onE, F, G and S, wavy tail on Q, and curved R leg.
Animportant distinguishing characteristic of is the angled finialsin the majority of the letters, mainly, C, E, F, S, and Z, as well assmall case v, w, and y. The ascenders, stems and spurs of b, h, k, m,n, p, q, and u are slightly bent. The open bowl of ‘g’ is themost esential aspects through which users can identify the typeface.
Therefore,the typeface was able to meet the communication needs byproviding flexible and durable fonts with a broad range of print andscreen uses.
一本书20th-Century Type 作者：Lewis Blackwell P165