Dynamic Super family in Sans, Slab and Rounded versions
Spiekerman’s typographic all-rounder – now available on Linotype.com
FontShop became part of Monotype in summer 2014. This means that you can now acquire the acclaimed and outstanding typefaces of the FontFont library directly through linotype.com. In a series of occasional articles, we will be profiling selected representatives of this remarkable library.
Designed by Erik Spiekermann and produced by Christian Schwartz, FF Unit® can be said to represent an adult, more reserved sister of FF Meta®. This neutral super family has three styles that make it perfect for use in larger scale projects.
Originally conceived as a variant of FF Meta and as the house typeface for Spiekermann’s “United Designer” studio, FF Unit soon took on a life of its own and became a separate super family. The characters of Unit, in comparison with those of its sister Meta, are somewhat more compact and it is apparent that their basic forms are based on that of the superellipse so that they are not dissimilar to a modern square sans.
In addition, Spiekermann has abandoned the calligraphic allusions to be found in Meta, such as the slightly oblique finials of the “h”, “l” and “n” and the bowed spur on the “a”, “b” and “d”, although these two style elements are retained in the italic variants.
When contrasted with Meta, FF Unit thus appears slightly more squat and reserved but by no means boring despite its more reticent character. And there are numerous alternative characters that can be used to vary the appearance of text in special situations, such as in headlines. For example, there is a single-story “g”, a closed “a” and an uppercase “M” with diagonal stems. FF Unit is available in seven weights, from Thin to Ultra, each accompanied by the corresponding italic.
In addition to the sans serif variants, Spiekermann has also created styles with rounded terminals – FF Unit Rounded – and a slab serif version – FF Unit Slab.
FF Unit Slab
This condensed slab serif was designed by Christian Schwartz and Erik Spiekermann more or less in parallel with Meta Serif with the intention of ensuring that the two would mutually complement each other. While the somewhat more lively Meta has all the attributes of a traditional antiqua font, the forms of Unit are much more consistent with the more formal outlines of a slab serif. The lowercase “i” and “j” of the sans version already had tiny slab serifs that could be readily adapted for the other characters. The slab variants are also available in the same seven weights as FF Unit, also with the corresponding italic versions.
FF Unit Rounded
With the aid of the Superpolator software developed by Erik van Blokland, Spiekermann and Schwartz designed FF Unit Rounded, a font consisting of only two styles that was commissioned by a customer. The rounded terminals needed to be individually adapted for each stroke weight to ensure that the warm and friendly character of the font could be appreciated to its best advantage without it appearing sausage-like or being hijacked for use in comic books. The individual character of FF Unit Rounded is particularly evident when it is used in larger point sizes.
In contrast with the other two members of the super family, FF Unit Rounded does not have the Thin weight or the italic variants.
The FF Unit super family will provide you with the tools to master all challenges. The fonts can be used, for example, for major tasks such as creating a corporate identity for a company. With the perfect typographic support and the condensed, elegant or powerful bold fonts you will always be able to find the right tone. Not only can the various FF Unit styles be readily combined with each other, there are also attractive options for use together with Unit’s sister, FF Meta.
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Unit is a trademark of Monotype GmbH registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. FF is a trademark of Monotype GmbH registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.