The Francker™ typeface is techno-modern and self-assured, but with a soft, human quality that distinguishes it from other structured sans serifs. Designed by Danish engineer Anders Francker, the typeface smoothly combines minimalist sans serif letter shapes, curves rooted in superellipses (a cross between an ellipse and a rectangle), and proportions derived from the golden mean. The resulting design is greater than the sum of its parts.
This is Francker’s first typeface. He’d long had the ambition of creating an alphabet design, and in 2001, he read a news item – about the availability of font development software on the Internet – that inspired him to get to work. Armed with a solid knowledge of mathematical shapes and relationships, he made his first trial drawings. “I started making sketches for a techno typeface that looked a little like the Eurostile® design but was more open and with a simplified lowercase,” recalls Francker. “I tried to find out if such a typeface was already available … and when I could not find one anywhere, I knew I should make the design.”
Francker has always been interested in letters and numbers, and he remembers becoming aware of type when he was still a child. He pursued studies in engineering, but also drew and painted for pleasure. When asked if he thinks there are advantages to approaching type design without a formal education, Francker replies, “Absolutely! Type designers with different backgrounds – such as architecture, engineering or other endeavors that require drawing skills often see things from a fresh viewpoint. Of course, you need to know the rules of what makes a good typeface.” He concludes, “You have to understand what it takes to make sound letterforms, but that does not have to come from formal training.”
The superellipse is at the core of Francker’s curved strokes. The lowercase is simplified, so letters such as a, b, n and u have no spurs. “While mathematical and geometric concepts are central to the design,” says Francker, “I felt free to temper them optically, by what looked right to me.” He summarizes, “My goal was to make a typeface family which was clean without being clinical.”
The Francker Family is available in nine weights from extra light to extra black in regular and condensed versions, for a total of 18 designs. The family benefits from an exceptionally large character set, allowing the setting of Pan-European languages, in addition to Cyrillic and Greek. Francker’s techo-modernity, coupled with its extensive language capabilities, make the family ideal for a wide range of branding applications – from corporate identity and advertising to packaging and environmental graphics. Additionally, the entire Francker family is available as Web fonts, from Fonts.com Web Fonts.