FF ThreeSix is a huge experimental optical type system consisting of six typefaces in eight weights, including four additional monospaced weights. It is the result of London-based Paul McNeil’s and Hamish Muir’s attempts to work within the restrictive rules of geometry to generate simple typographic forms emulating traditional type design principles, where a wide range of almost imperceptible compensatory optical tricks are used to create the illusion of evenness in the basic fabric of text.
The award-winning system – ISTD Premier Award and Certificate of Excellence – is based on a grid of 36 unit squares subdivided into 9 units and are constructed using only vertical or horizontal straight lines and circular arcs. Cap-height, x-height, ascent and descent measurements are consistent across all fonts and weights. The grid also determines character and word spacing, with all side-bearings and kerning pair values conforming to 9 unit increments.
As Wim Crouwel notes: ‘It is a fascination for the use of geometric systems in design that has resulted in these remarkable typefaces.’
FF ThreeSix supports 99 different languages such as Spanish, English, Portuguese, German and French in Latin scripts.