FF DIN is based on a group of typefaces known as Deutsches Industrie-Norm (DIN) Schriften (German industrial standard fonts), considered the official typefaces of Germany. Sometimes called Autobahn (expressway) typefaces because they are used for all German traffic signage, they are themselves based on the typefaces used by the Royal Prussian Railways early in the twentieth century. In the early 1990s German designer Erik Spiekermann noticed that the few available versions of DIN Schriften had become popular with graphic designers because of their "lean, geometric lines," and he suggested to Pool that he consider reviving and redesigning them with a complete set of weights, italics, widths, sizes, and characters. Pool obliged, and the typeface was released in 1995 by FontShop under its in-house FontFont label—hence the FF in its name.
Gallery label from Standard Deviations, 2011.