Low stroke contrast, generous spacing, and fine-grained weights from Light to Extra Bold make FF Hertz a workhorse text typeface which holds up well under today’s widely varying output conditions from print to screen. The quite dark Book style works well on e-ink displays which usually tend to thin out letters, as well as in print when you want to evoke the solid letter image of the hot-metal type era. Two sizes of Small Caps are included: A larger size for abbreviations and acronyms, and a smaller size matching the height of the lowercase letters.
FF Hertz is a uniwidth design, that means each letter occupies the same space in all weights. This feature allows the user to switch between weights (but not between Roman and Italic styles) without text reflow.
Follow @hertzfont on Twitter for updates and colourful random glyphs:
I began work on FF Hertz in 2012. From a drawing exercise on a low-resolution grid (a technique proposed by Tim Ahrens to avoid fiddling with details too early), it soon evolved into a bigger project combining a multitude of influences which up until that point had only been floating around in my head, including my mother’s 1970s typewriter with its wonderful numbers, Hermann Zapf’s Melior as well as his forgotten Mergenthaler Antiqua (an interpretation of the Modern genre), and old German cartographic lettering styles.
9 point Mergenthaler Antiqua, from ‘Linotype-Schriften’, 1969
Melior printer’s filing card
German cartographic lettering template
Olympia typewriter sample, 1970s
FF Hertz: Experimental typewriter cut
Font editors — why choose one when you can use them all? I started drawing FF Hertz in FontLab Studio 5, then switched to RoboFont and finished my drawings there. Kerning was done in MetricsMachine. Final production for the release took place in FontLab Studio again. Bernd Volmer did the final production and TrueType hinting at FontFont. The Python FontTools were heavily involved in producing the resale fonts.
At the moment my time is very limited, but whenever I find some spare time, I continue to expand FF Hertz with more languages in the Glyphs font editor.
FF Hertz in Glyphs
Editing an f in Glyphs