The making of FF Duper

Berlin-based Martin Wenzel might be best-known for his TDC-awarded sans serif family FF Profile. He runs his own studio, focusing on type and communication design and teaches type design at the Design Academy Berlin. Martin also runs his own shirt store WordsOnShirts that features some nice hand lettering designs.

ff profile specimen


Martin has just released a highly typographic handwritten family for professional use: FF Duper. This typeface is a reaction to the projects he concentrated on before: text families, text families, and text families.

ff duper pro

The time was ripe for something casual, a typeface with a home-made touch but just as complete and rich in features and character set as everyone would expect from an OpenType font family.

ff duper

The special extra: All weights contain three versions of each glyph that are used in succession, treating vowels and consonants separately and recognizing even spaces between words for a lively and hand-made appearance of the typed text via an OpenType loop. This makes for individual results each and every time you type. In the end, FF Duper became an extensive type family, that can even be used to set body text. The video below gives not just an impression of how time-consuming type design is, but also demonstrates how a modern OpenType font family is created.

YouTube Preview Image

FF Duper consists of Regular, Bold, Regular Italic, and Bold Italic, and supports 40 languages (FF Duper Pro supports 64), has several figure sets and fractions and includes alternative forms for a, g, and y as well as a set of arrows, bullets, and ornaments. A great alternative to…?


Tags:           

  1. Both Duper and Profile make for some really great looking families. Liking Profile as an alternative to Museo, especially seeing as I use that to death (!) and Duper is a fun-loving way of brightening up anything at all, in my humble opinion.

    Looks like it could particularly be used for veggie, organic, carbon neutral kinda projects, perhaps..

  2. Wonderfully crafted, Martin and thanks for sharing, Ivo.
    Awesome movie quickly explains typeface creation and considerations involved.
    Thank you and congratulations on its release!

  3. Justin

    Now this is a handwritten face I can see myself using without shame.

  4. This is a massive step forward for type. Schools in England still seem to be using Comic Sans for all of their communication, now they have an alternative — or maybe more to the point, we have an alternative to offer them.

  5. I am such a fan of Martin’s work. He is a fantastic craftsman and his joy in creating type is evident in his work. Bravo!

  6. Hi (from the Designer of FF Duper),

    Thanks everyone for your very positive feedback!

    Ad Taylor, your comment is interesting. I had an e-mail a few days ago from a publisher in Germany, making the same point.

    Hannes, dinner next week?

  7. Justin

    @Ad Taylor:

    I received a passport renewal form from the Canadian government last year…the address label was in Comic Sans. I sent them a nice letter, but never heard back.

  8. This is just fantastic, the font as well as the video.

    Nice to see how a seasoned type designer works - thanks for opportunity.

  9. Awesome work, Martin. Comic Sans should be banished from the kingdom and stricken from the record. Well, at least in my kingdom.

    :^)

    Both these fonts rock. The video is a nice touch. People need to know how much work goes into creating type. In my colleague’s Typography class, creating a functional font family is the final. I’m going to recommend he link to this video. Thanks for all you do, man.

  10. Just wonder how I could learn all this advanced OT programming stuff?

    I can add ligatures and swashes and all that pretty simple features now but I would like to learn this kind of programming I saw in this video as well.

    Could anyone suggest something? Book? A site?

    Thanks in advance!

  11. fabergraph,

    Try this site, Adobe’s OpenType Feature File Specification:
    http://www.adobe.com/devnet/opentype/afdko/topic_feature_file_syntax.html

    And look for “Contextual substitution”, with which you can controls the substitution of repeating glyphs.

    The (simplified) code that controls the replacement of the 3 available versions of the letter “a” looks something like this:

    feature calt {

    # if “a” is followed by “a” replace the second occurrence by “a.alt001”
    sub a a’ by a.alt001;

    # and if “a.alt001” is followed by “a”, replace it by “a.alt002”
    sub a.alt001 a’ by a.alt002;

    } calt;

  12. Thank you a lot, Martin for your help!

    I can’t wait to get to my FontLab and try all these :)

    Have a nice day!

  13. (Fabergraph, please note: what is shown as “quoteright” in feature calt really needs to be “quotesingle” (the ITL interface automatically changes those quotesingles).)

  14. Thanks for the quick code lesson Martin!
    Really interesting stuff.

  15. NIL

    nice site, i like it!

  16. Thanks for the quick code lesson Martin!
    Really interesting stuff.

previous post: The Font-as-Service

next post: Type Radio

April Fonts January Fonts January Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts december Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March 2011 Fonts February 2011 Fonts January 2011 Fonts December 2010 Fonts November 2010 Fonts October 2010 Fonts September 2010 Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February 2010 featured fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts November Fonts October Fonts September Fonts August Fonts July Fonts June Fonts May Fonts April Fonts March Fonts February Fonts January Fonts December Fonts November Fonts