Martin Majoor made the first sketches for FF Seria in the fall of 1996 while he sat in the train from Berlin to Warsaw. As a book designer he had often had difficulty using FF Scala because the short ascenders and descenders gave a very “stubby” look inappropriate for literary books and poetry. For this reason FF Seria was drawn with extremely long ascenders and descenders and very fine detailing.
Having seen how well other designers combined FF Scala and FF Scala Sans, Majoor decided straight away to make a sans version for the Seria family. Like the serif version, FF Seria Sans has extremely long ascenders and descenders – remarkable for a sans serif face. There are plans for sans and serif versions with shorter ascenders and descenders for newspaper and magazine design.
Critical reception to FF Seria was good, too. Aside from receiving an ISTD Award in 2001, the typeface was included in the ATypI’s list of the best designs of the previous decade during its 2001 bukva:raz! contest and exhibition.
In 2009, an Arabic version has been added to the Serif version. FF Seria Arabic was developed by Lebanese designer Pascal Zoghbi. Its working title was “ Sada,” the Arabic word for “echo.” “Sada” is the repetition of a sound caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface. Accordingly, the Sada design is an echo of Martin Majoor’s FF Seria typeface. It was originally published as part of the first Typographic Matchmaking project, organized by the Khatt Foundation.
The quality of this Majoor–Zoghbi collaboration was so high that FontFont chose this design to be the first Arabic typeface it ever released. FF Seria Arabic is a young, crisp type based on the Arabic Nasekh style. The Regular and Bold are text typefaces, the Light can be used for both display and text, while the Black is purely a display typeface. Besides FF Seria, this Arabic face works well together with all modern serif fonts that share similar proportions and characteristics. FF Seria Arabic also functions independently as a modern Arabic typeface.
FF Seria Arabic combines basic Latin (Western) and Arabic character sets. As FF Seria does not have any Light and Black variants, the FF Seria Arabic Light comes with FF Seria Regular Western characters instead, while FF Seria Arabic Black contains the Western characters of FF Seria Bold. Type designer and font engineer Hasan Abu Afash programmed the OpenType layout features that are necessary to support the Arabic script on a typographical level.
FF Seria supports 117 different languages such as Arabic, Spanish, English, Portuguese, German and French in Latin and Arabic scripts. (Please note that not all languages are available for all formats.)