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FF Scala: a perfectly equipped font family group, for more than just text setting
In the mid-1980s, Martin Majoor worked as a designer for the Vredenburg Music Center in the Dutch city of Utrecht. At that time, one of the relatively new DTP systems was available to him. However, none of the only 16 installed PostScript fonts could satisfy his professional demands for text setting. He did not have any old style figures, for example, or small caps or ligatures. Majoor decided to compensate for this lack with his own font, Scala. The font was released in 1991 as the first real text font from the newly formed FontShop. A few years later, a sans companion was added and subsequently the font became a continuously growing super family. Today, FF Scala®, FF Scala® Sans and the ornamental font FF Scala® Jewel are available as well-equipped OpenType fonts, and not only for text setting.
Majoor modeled the serif Renaissance Antiqua on a number of historical fonts, without copying any of them exactly. A clearly perceptible, though not extreme, contrast in stroke width and some sharp shapes sometimes recall the stroke of a fountain pen. The serifs designed as rectangles provide for extra sharpness and a distinctive, powerful image. Nonetheless, the very legible font has a pleasant and friendly appearance, not in the least due to the rounded points.
As a small peculiarity, Majoor designed open counters for "b", "q" and "p".
The italic is a true cursive, in which all the characters have a clearly inclined and particularly curved form, with numerous references to a fountain pen and long, drawn outline ends. FF Scala is available in the four major weights for text setting, Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic. A Condensed variant complements both upright weights. Of course, the modern OpenType variants have the small caps, old-style numerals, and ligatures, which were so important to Martin Majoor at the time. A set of hand pictograms rounds out the character range.
All the fonts in the FF Scala family are co-ordinated in stroke width and X-height and fit each other perfectly. Whether in the typesetting or for other, large projects, you have access to rich and varied design options, not least thanks to the unique Jewel styles.
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