Dutch designer Erik van Blokland is fascinated by nineteenth-century Americana. FF Zapata is based on various wide slab serifs from the era of metal and wood type. The “Antiques” were widely used as display faces on posters, advertisements, even invoices. Every Antique was a new interpretation of an existing genre. And so is FF Zapata: an original, digital Antique that does not imitate a specific model.
There used to be many uses for typefaces like FF Zapata. Every foundry or printing house would have its own collection. For some reason, theses were never complete – either because the typefaces just took up too much space in the office, or because the foundry did not expect all characters to be used in all sizes. Over time, though, rational and frugal printers began worrying about their paper supply: soon, shelves full of narrow sans serifs became the rule. Tons of type were destroyed, and many designs did not make into newer typesetting machines. However, the typographic possibilities of very wide and sturdy type are still as interesting as they were in their grand and glorious past.
FF Zapata offers some of that nineteenth-century typographic feeling. The typeface is named after a county in Texas, because there aren’t that many typefaces starting with Z. FF Zapata is an ideal typeface for filling pages if you don’t have much to say – but it can be very loud, if you have a point to make.
FF Zapata supports 63 different languages such as Spanish, English, Portuguese, German and French in Latin scripts. (Please note that not all languages are available for all formats.)