1 Year of Web FontFonts: Exclusive FontFont For Free
Exactly one year ago, on February 24, 2010, FontFont premiered its Web FontFonts. FSI FontShop International was the first type foundry to offer a type collection specifically aimed at web designers: 1250 FontFonts available in .eot and .woff font format, and optimized to achieve the best possible legibility on screen. Since then this number has grown to almost 2,500. One month before the launch of Web FontFonts – at the occasion of Firefox 3.6’s release – FontShop gave away its first .woff font FF Nuvo for free. And now FontFont is celebrating the first anniversary of this new decisive step in digital typography by offering the exclusive web FontFont FF World Wide Web for free. The font is based on FF World by British graphic design icon Neville Brody. This type family is derived from one of several lettering styles created for his seminal poster for the Mike Tyson–Tony Tubbs World Heavyweight Championship at the Tokyo Dome.
Neville Brody’s Tyson–Tubbs poster is remarkable, because it was highly unconventional compared to other collaterals announcing boxing matches. The usual scenario would be to have big images of both fighters, with medium-sized typography for their names, the location and date of the match, and other information. However Brody opted for a purely typographic design with a bare-bones, centred structure, using letter forms specially drawn for this poster. The importance of this match is conveyed by the simplicity of the design – the last names of Tyson and Tubbs in very large geometric white letters are powerful and authoritative. Although they belong to two separate information clusters, having the words “Fight” and “Tokyo” in white too emphasises the straightforwardness of the poster by paring the information down to just “what” is going to happen, and “where”. The weight of the design suggests its collapse; it is held fast by the strength of the two bars and the choice of a strong second colour.
Brody’s early FontFonts were digital versions of the hand-drawn alphabets and headlines he had made during the previous decade. The person who helped Brody complete and digitise these fonts was David Berlow, founder of the Font Bureau in Boston. The Dome/World/Tokyo series was the result of an interesting collaboration. Brody showed Berlow the poster, for which he had drawn single words using a different type of lettering in each line; the idea was to create a complete font based on each style. After scrutinising the poster, the analytic Berlow remarked that in most lines two or three slightly different construction principles had been used. Consequently, not only did each of the lines in the poster become a digital typeface (named after the words they had been used for: FF Tyson, FF Dome, FF Tokyo, and FF World), each of the fonts also had two or three variants, based on Berlow’s critical analysis of Brody’s lettering.
Download FF World Wide Web on FontShop’s Free Fonts page.
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