FF Karbid (1999) was originally inspired by a German storefront lettering from the 1930s. Using it as a starting point, I then disseminate its spirit into a family of well-behaved but energetic text faces. In 2011, the typeface has been redesigned an extended: it has now ten basic styles plus Text, Slab and Display versions. FF Karbid Pro Display kept most of the peculiarities of the inspiring storefront. FF Karbid Pro Text reveals a simplified, more neutral design while FF Karbid Pro Slab is a completely new companion. All families contain Light, Regular, Medium, Bold, Black and their Italics. Many alternate characters have been added, for example low- and high-waist uppercase letter versions in FF Karbid Pro, FF Karbid Pro Text and FF Karbid Pro Slab; single-storey a and g as well as bullets and arrows.
All versions of FF Karbid Pro contain numerous alternate characters, so that each typeface can considerably change its overall appearance. These alternates are based on Artdeco letterings with their sometimes rather eccentric shapes. You can choose between low- and high-waist alternates for the upper case letters, circular O and G versions, rounded down A and many more and you can mix them all. There are four figure sets, small figures, arrows, bullets as well as Latin Extended language support.
You will find a lot more information about the whole Karbid story, lots of great photographs, two fantastic essays on German lettering by Fritz Grögel, and a lot of fantastic type specimen in my just published (autumn 2013) book KARBID, BERLIN — de la lettre peinte au caractère typographique | From Lettering to Type Design | Von Schriftmalerei zu Schriftgestaltung.
FF Karbid Pro Text
FF Karbid Pro
FF Karbid Pro Display
This variant is the most obvious spin-off of the original FF Karbid. The shapes have been absorbed, although revised according to the new concept and completed by an Oblique and extended to five weights.
FF Karbid Pro Slab
Eventually, a new Slab version joined the family. It has a sober, journalistic character, inspired by 1920s’ magazines typography (like Memphis, etc.). The strong serifs give the typeface a proper standing and significance. It has more contrast than the sans serif version, to keep legibility and balance.
FF Karbid Pro Slab in use in the book The murder of Crows.