The most striking characteristic of FF Avance is the use of asymmetrical serifs in the upright styles, something normally seen in italics. Uppercase as well as lowercase letters have serifs in the upper left and lower right corners, remnants as it were of the connection between handwritten letters. Evert Bloemsma’s interest in contemporary design made it difficult for him initially to consider drawing a face with serifs. But with FF Avance, he rediscovered the expressive qualities of such details which emphasize the movement and direction of reading.
Bloemsma said about the design, “the serif has many purposes and possible origins, and it took some time before I felt ready to handle this item. The serif may carry a burden of outdated conventions, so applying serifs is risky when trying to avoid the swamp of traditions. Static monumentality does not really belong in our present world. A serif could be seen as a remainder of the movement of the hand in writing. But is writing – and especially broad-nib calligraphy – still a valid inspiration? Think about how much we really write in daily life. Much text is produced using the computer’s keyboard. The self-evidence with which many type designers use writing as their main inspiration is not that self-evident anymore. On the other hand it will be difficult to invent another convincing foundation. No other design discipline relies so heavily on habit and therefore on convention as type design. Some interesting properties of serifs improve the typographic appearance: a more regular word image. The eye guided along the line. The overall image of text could be more pleasant because serifs can bring more differentiation of forms, a wider spectrum of forms. An expression of dynamic movement, a stream of thoughts. Reading is moving. Serious contemporary typography should strive for transparent expression and prevent itself from building facades that disguise. Revivals of ancient masterpieces have a limited value. Their superb qualities should find new means of expression, no matter how hard it will be to capture a similar refinement.”
FF Avance supports 114 different languages such as Spanish, English, Portuguese, German and French in Latin scripts. (Please note that not all languages are available for all formats.)