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Best for desktop publishing and is the most full-featured font format (although OT-savvy apps such as InDesign are required to access advanced typographic control).

Created for use with Microsoft Office.

Optimized for use exclusively on web pages. Self-hosted or hosted through Typekit, these fonts are perpetually licensed based on the number of pageviews per month for all sites in an organization using the font.

For embedding into mobile apps, eBooks, games, editable PDFs, embedded applications, and more. Unlimited usage for the duration of the licensing term.

FF Unit

A FontList

Curated by
FontShop Staff

Filed in
Super Families

FF Unit was designed by Erik Spiekermann and produced by Christian Schwartz. FF Unit is the grown-up, no-nonsense sister of Spiekermann’s famous FF Meta. With FF Unit, puppy fat is off, some curves are gone and the shapes are tighter. While FF Meta has always been a little out-of-line and not exactly an over-engineered typeface, FF Unit is less outspoken and more disciplined. It is – like FF Meta – very suitable for use quite small and large, but FF Unit lacks some of the diagonal strokes and curves that give FF Meta its slight informality. However, FF Unit is not cold or uptight, just cool: no redundant ornamentation, just a lot of character. The tighter shapes make it suitable for big headlines set tight. Smaller sizes benefit from the increased contrast between vertical and horizontal strokes and open spacing. Thin and Light perform well set large, displaying the characters to their advantage. There is a great difference in weight between the Thin and Ultra, providing a good range of weights for contrasting combinations. Alternative characters (a, g, i, j, l, U, M) make for interesting headlines. The Small Caps are a bit larger than normal, making them suitable for abbreviations and acronyms. The many weights include old style, regular, and tabular figures.

FF Unit Rounded
To blunt the corners on his FF Unit, Spiekermann turned to Erik van Blokland, whose technical wizardry took care of a lot of the issues common to rounding letterforms. While it is soft, FF Unit Rounded isn’t a sausage face or one only suited for comic strips. It looks friendly without losing its precision.

FF Unit Slab

When Kris Sowersby, Christian Schwartz, and Erik Spiekermann were designing the parameters for FF Meta Serif, they spent quite some time on details like the thickness and the shape of the serifs — should the face veer towards a slab with blocky, heavy serifs or should it be more of a traditional book face? In the end, they went for a “normal” serif face with fairly solid serifs, but some thick-thin contrast and counters that aren’t totally parallel to the outside shape of the letters. Stronger and thus more useful than Times New Roman while not as constructed as Rockwell.They did, however, like some of their explorations into a “humanist slab” so much, that they asked Sowersby to develop the initial sketches further as a companion for FF Unit. That, in fact, is FF Meta’s more serious sister, and it looked good with heavier serifs.

FF Unit Slab is a fairly condensed slab which pulls a punch in bold headlines and looks surprisingly good in text with its typewriter-like discipline. It can be mixed with FF Unit, of course, but also works as companion to FF Meta, while FF Meta Serif looks good when mixed with FF Unit — whether for headlines or small text like captions. The two families share a common heritage and like to hang out with each other.


FF Unit fonts can be purchased individually, but the packages on this page offer the best value and performance. Discounted packages containing complimentary fonts ensure you get all the styles you need for professional typography.

While TrueType and PostScript formats are still available, we recommend the newer OpenType fonts to most customers as they offer the most versatility and ease-of-use, as well as compatibility with modern design applications.

The difference between “OT” and “Pro” OpenType fonts is in their language support. Read more about which fonts speak which languages.

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