Graphic Design Firm
LettError
Medium
Digital typeface
Dimensions
Variable
Credit
Gift of FSI FontShop International
Object number
1084.2010
Copyright
© 2018 FSI FontShop International
Department
Architecture and Design
This work is not on view.
Erik van Blokland has 1 work  online.
Just van Rossum 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.

Imperfection and roughness are part of type history: in the predigital era, wood and metal letterforms wore down unevenly, and randomized differences were inevitable; truly consistent letterforms only became possible with digitized type. FF Beowolf brings uncertainty back to typography: it features a randomization feature in its code dictating that its forms change shape every time they are printed, so no letter will look the same twice. "A certain roughness or varying unevenness is quite pleasing to the eye," van Rossum has said. " . . . For reading, sameness is not necessary: we can read handwritten text, type superimposed on flickering TV images. The sameness of type seems an arbitrary thing that we can do away with in certain cases." In order to achieve this effect, they substituted the programming commands "lineto" and "curveto" in the PostScript code (PostScript is a computer program that describes what the outlines of letterforms are designed to look like) with their own command "freakto." "Freakto" causes a letter to be randomly generated with erratic outlines.

Gallery label from Standard Deviations, 2011

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

If you would like to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA, please contact Scala Archives (all geographic locations) at firenze@scalarchives.com.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.