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FF Unit Rounded Ready to Roll

News just in from Erik van Blokland writing on SpiekerBlog is that Unit Rounded is now complete.

unitrounded.gif

One of the dangers inherent in creating one of these rounded types is the ‘sausage effect’. Those rounded corners may well look OK at one weight, but what happens when you want numerous additional weights? That’s where the Superpolator comes in—a kind of anti-sausage machine. To discover why FF Unit Rounded is no sausage, you can read the original article here.

FF Unit is serious enough to be rounded without becoming a sausage face or one only suited for comic strips. It looks friendly without losing its precision and changes its appearance quite dramatically as it grows in size. The Rounded version should be available at your local FontShop any day now.

It’s worth pointing out too that while the Superpolator looks like a pretty impressive piece of software, the final product was tweaked and perfected by human hands and trained eyes.

And here’s the original FF Unit designed in 2003 by Erik Spiekermann and Christian Schwartz:

FF Unit 1

See you Sunday for another Sunday Type. If you missed last week’s, you can read it here.


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  1. I jockied your image a bit to align the left sides of all of the “Rounded”s:

    I’m fascinated by the design choices regarding glyph width and kerning here. Every weight besides Light makes “Rounded” take up very close to the same horizontal space. The Light version is proportionately much smaller. I actually think it works for the face (though Ultra looks pretty New-York-City-subway tight) — I’m just really curious what the thought process was here.

    At any rate, a really nice face. And cool to see the Superpolator being put to good use!

  2. Alec
    Did you insert the image in your comment? I really need to find out why they sometimes don’t show up. Do you have a rounded type up your sleeve?
    I’m not a fan of the heavy weight ‘roundeds’, but they do have their place.

  3. It’s funny — the first time I posted the comment, the image didn’t show up; then I edited it and the image did show up; now I see that it disappeared. Must be something in the “you have x-minutes to edit your post” plugin you’re using.

    Here’s a link to the image:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2098/2186807626_b14c7007c0_o.gif

  4. Thanks for the image (though that link just hangs). Of all the things, I hadn’t thought that that plugin might be responsible. Off to check…

  5. Interesting typeface re-work. I’ve seen some pretty bad “sausage fonts” in my day, but this one looks really clean and still true to it’s original form.

  6. Alec
    That’s exactly what was causing the problem. Should be fixed now. Thanks.

    Robert
    I can also think of some unintentional sausage types, but I won’t mention them here.

  7. This link any better?: http://flickr.com/photos/gussie/2186807626/

    No, I’m not working on any rounded fonts myself — in general, I’m not the biggest fan, though I have had Montag in my shopping cart several times lately, before letting my finances click on the “remove” link.

  8. Great typeface, the Unit Bold Variation is so tempting :O

  9. RogueJunkie

    Not much of a rounded type guy myself. In my opinion, Ultra is just wrong.

    It is however, one of the best attempts I’ve seen.

  10. I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but when I look at the word “rounded”, up there in the yellow+black image, it seems like the glyphs aren’t on the same line, like they’re bouncing up and down. I’m guessing that wasn’t the intended effect?

    Having a second look, I see it’s just the last three, and that it gets worse (to my eyes) the heavier the weight.

    I’d be keen to see examples of these heavier weights used successfully.

  11. leah
    How are you doing?
    I think that the baseline ‘problem’ you’re seeing might have much to do with their reproduction on screen. It will be interesting to see and print a PDF specimen, when it’s actually released for public consumption.

    Watch this space.

  12. Johno,

    Ahh… you’re probably right about that, so it will be interesting to see it in print.

    I’m doing pretty good! It’s a sunny day here in Cape Breton and the temperature is 0 (Celsius), so it looks to be a fine Sunday. Life is good.

  13. Taggart

    Hi Johno,

    I’m happy every day having found your site. The past months I’ve just been lurking and now I carefully creep out from under the covers.

    I thought Erik Spiekermann wrote that post himself. Erik van Blokland worked on it with Superpolator.

    Keep up the great work!

  14. Hey! Another lurker! (See, Johno, it is a word!) :) Taggart, as a former fellow lurker, I haven’t regretted delurking on this site. Just sayin’.

  15. Taggart
    Hi. I’m pleased you’re enjoying the site. Initially I thought that Erik Spiekermann had authored the post, but at the bottom it says ‘posted by Erik van Blokland.’ it’s great to see that you have de-lurked.

    Leah
    It looks as though you’ve started something here. However, you shall always be the crowned Queen of ‘delurkers’. That’s something else for your CV ;)

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