FF Meta is one of the most succesfull typefaces of the 1990s designed by the German typographer Erik Spiekermann. The animation illustrates the interesting story of the typeface.
The project was created as individual work as part of the course 'Typography for Screen and Motion' at the Swinburne University in 2015.
In 1985 the German Post Office Deutsche Bundespost commissioned Sedley Place Design in Berlin to develop a new typeface supposed to be legible, neutral and economical. It was called PT55. Although it received outstanding feedback from the academic world, the Bundespost administration, however, decided to stay with Helvetica and not to introduce the exclusive corporate typeface because it would „cause unrest“.
However, PT55 was used by MetaDesign, a company founded by its designer Erik Spiekermann, who was known for his lasting influence on the awareness of corporate design and public guidance systems in Germany. Spiekermann developed a wide range of typefaces, of which some of them are considered to be modern classics.
Today PT 55 is known as FF Meta and is regarded as one of the most successful typefaces of the 90s. As a result of its big counters and large x-height FF Meta is incredibly legible at all sizes.
Compared to its old nemesis Helvetica: It has rounded dots on the „i“ and „j“ and it’s easy to distinguish every single letter from one another.
A clear advantage over Helvetica.
FF Meta: A true modern classic.