Erik Spiekermann

FF Meta

1984-1991

Medium
Digital typeface
Dimensions
Variable
Credit
Gift of FSI FontShop International
Object number
1083.2010
Copyright
© 2017 FSI FontShop International
Department
Architecture and Design
This work is not on view.
Erik Spiekermann has 1 work  online.
There are 9,704 design works online.
There are 5,828 graphic design works online.
There are 71 software works online.

In 1984 the Deutsche Bundespost (West German post office) commissioned a typeface from Sedley Place Design, the office where Spiekermann worked. They required a neutral, space-saving typeface that would be legible when printed very small on a postage stamp but also appropriate for use on mailboxes and trucks. Spiekermann opted for narrow letters, to save space, and strokes that are thin enough to counter the tendency of characters to run into each other but thick enough to ensure legibility. Deutsche Bundespost chose not to implement the typeface, so in 1991 Spiekermann released it on his own. According to the designer, FF Meta was intended to be a "complete antithesis of Helvetica" (the quintessential modern typeface), which he found "boring and bland." Meta became hugely popular and is often referred to as the Helvetica of the 1990s.

Gallery label from Standard Deviations, 2011

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