- When Erik Spiekermann and Christian Schwartz first started work on FF Meta Serif, they were also planning to do FF Unit Slab, either at the same time or right after FF Meta Serif was released. They figured that since FF Meta and FF Unit have so much in common, it would be smart to make two serif families that could be used together, along with either of the sans serifs. FF Meta, which has more organic details, was going to be the more traditional serif text face. FF Unit seemed like it would adapt well to being a clean and contemporary slab serif, especially since the i and I in the sans already showed them what the serifs would look like. Kris Sowersby and Christian Schwartz actually worked together to rough out complete ranges of testwords for both families at the same time, and FF Unit Slab sat halffinished while FF Meta Serif was completed.
- While FF Unit is FF Meta’s “grown up sister”, FF Unit Slab and FF Meta Serif are more like second cousins. While FF Meta’s seriffed companion plays up all of the organic quirks found in the original sans, FF Unit Slab’s serifs are decidedly no-nonsense and un-selfconscious. The sturdy and plain forms of the original lent themselves to a very straightforward serif treatment, inspired in part by mid-20th century typewriters, particularly where serifs have been left off of the left sides of stems to keep the counterforms open.
You can learn more about FF Unit Slab in The FontFeed and download the special specimen.