FF Kievit™ is a humanist sans serif font designed by Michael Abbink and released in 2001 by FontFont. It is available in nine weights, contains old style figures, small caps and true italics.
FF Kievit History
FF Kievit&™ was first conceived by Mike Abbink in 1995 as part of a project he was working on when still a Bachelor of Fine Arts student in Pasadena, CA. Abbinks had been already been designing typefaces for about 3 years prior to the initial version of FF Kievit, but did not actually release Kievit for another 6 years, eventually completing the development of the typeface for Method Inc., a client at the time. Paul Van der Laan with whom Abbink was working at FontFont, also contributed to FF Kievit. The resulting typeface is a very clear and sharp font that is still extremely legible in small point sizes. This inevitably makes the typeface suitable for use in small print applications.
Abbink has stated his perspective on the creation of fronts and declared a “Gestaltist” approach to typeface design. In simple terms this means looking at the typeface as a whole entity rather than the individual characters and forms that make it up. The idea is to produce typefaces that look “comfortable” to the reader and is achieved by ensuring compatibility of shape across every character and glyph. FF Kievit was always intended to be a versatile yet unpretentious typeface and might be viewed as rather plain; this neutrality of appearance is actually what makes this font very useful in design and printed copy.
The simplistic shapes were inspired by some classic typefaces that we are all very familiar with – Univers® and Frutiger - and some older styles such as Granjon® and Garamond™. The result was a contemporary font that is equally suited to both body text and headlines. It was some time in the making so the end result is a highly polished typeface that despite its apparent lack of uniqueness or character is a popular choice in many applications. Due to its extreme legibility, a particular design aim of Abbink, FF Kievit is particularly suited to applications where small point sizes are used. It has good clarity down to 6 points making it a good option for labeling and other small-print applications.
In order to broaden the potential for FF Kievit, the number of languages covered was increased to provide full European language support including Cyrillic, Greek, Scandinavian, Baltic, Eastern European, Slavic, and Turkish versions.
FF Kievit Usage
The Signage for the New York Public Library uses FF Kievit. It is also the corporate typeface for Autodesk Inc., the AutoCAD software giant.
DE:BUG a lifestyle magazine from Germany uses FF Kievit for all its body text.
FontFont use FF Kievit as the main typeface in their catalog.