The first drawings for the FF Clifford typeface date back to 1994. These were inspired by Alexander Wilson’s Long Primer Roman type, which was used to typeset an edition of Pliny the Younger’s “Opera,” printed by the Foulis brothers in 1751. The Italic is roughly based on Joseph Fry and Sons’ Pica Italic No. 3, from their type specimen dated 1785.
These Roman and Italic designs were combined to create FF Clifford Nine. Though based on metal type, the face was not intended to be a faithful reproduction. In fact, Akira Kobayashi created the typeface family specifically for contemporary digital use. At the same time, he did want to maintain the optically corrected size variations commonly used in the days of metal typesetting, so that the family would function well as a text face in a variety of sizes. So he added two more versions: FF Clifford Eighteen and FF Clifford Six. The former has more contrast in stroke, narrower letter forms and a tighter fit; while the latter is bolder and wider with sturdier hairlines and serifs and a looser fit.
The three FF Clifford variations were drawn separately, rather than scaled. Some characters were changed to function better in the intended size. Overall, the characters of FF Clifford Eighteen are more lyrical, and the characters of FF Clifford Six simpler than those of FF Clifford Nine. But the size indication is merely a recommendation; FF Clifford can and should be used as the user wishes, or as printing techniques dictate.
FF Clifford’s extensive character sets are sure to appeal to the typographically intrepid. FF Clifford includes a wide variety of ligatures, stylistic alternates and a collection of 18th century borders and ornaments. In 1998, the Clifford family won a first prize in the text font category as well as Best of Show at the First U&lc Type Design Competition. FF Clifford was also selected by the TDC judges for a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design in 2000.
FF Clifford supports 101 different languages such as Spanish, English, Portuguese, German and French in Latin scripts. (Please note that not all languages are available for all formats.)