FF Celeste is a typeface for those designers who like the idea of a Bodoni or Walbaum, but look for a robust and readable text face which tempers the sobriety of the modern with friendlier old-face features. The serifs tend to the triangular and the italics harmonize well with the roman in tone and width. The letterforms are less rationalized and modular than the starkest modern faces, but are influenced by old-style letterforms, even with some vestige of a calligraphic influence to provide a more readable dynamic.
Designer Chris Burke classifies FF Celeste as a modern humanistic face. The stroke-weight contrast is less pronounced than in traditional models such as Walbaum, making FF Celeste more suitable for current digital typesetting and offset printing techniques, where high contrast is very accurately – perhaps too accurately – maintained.
The font family FF Celeste was initially comprised of only four members, Regular and Bold with an italic for each. As the Bold was not particularly heavy, really more of a semi bold, it was felt that the family could do with some heavier members. So FF Celeste Extra Bold and Black have been provided for those occasions in which greater emphasis, impact or differentiation is desired. The Extra Bold provides effective emphasis with the Regular weight, and the Black can be paired with the existing Bold. These combinations will be useful in, for example, designing dictionaries or reference books, in which different kinds of information need to be given different tiers of emphasis. The Bold weights will also be useful in headings. In 2007 a Book weight was added.
FF Celeste supports 164 different languages such as Spanish, English, Portuguese, Russian, German, French and Greek in Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts. (Please note that not all languages are available for all formats.)