The Story of FF Dingbats 2.0
Designed back when Zapf Dingbats were the only symbols in font form, the FF Dingbats™ package was the first to illustrate modern communication, with some 800 images and icons of faxes, ISDN, disks, and keyboards. But the face of the tech world has changed significantly since the early ’90s. Floppy disks and cassette tapes have gone the way of the dinosaurs. So Johannes Erler and Henning Skibbe have revisited FF Dingbats, redesigning it for the new modern age of flat panels and iPhones®.
What else is new in FF Dingbats 2.0? The style and finish of the pictograms is now consistent with today’s stylistic vocabulary. Arrow and number fonts have been reworked and extended. All symbols have been sorted into clear categories and the font “Strong Forms” font includes the most needed symbols with simpler, bolder lines. Also new in 2.0: quickly add color fills via an OpenType-powered layering feature. All this makes FF Dingbats 2.0 a state-of-the-art font package again and the largest collection of contemporary symbols and icons for office communication.
The Creator’s History of FF Dingbats
In summer 1992 I graduated in communication design at the Muthesius Academy, School of Applied Arts, in Kiel. My thesis was a typeface with information and warning symbols for packaging. To my delight, FontShop liked the concept and published it as FF Care Pack in the same year of my graduation. FontShop’s Jürgen Siebert soon suggested that we think about a modern alternative to Zapf Dingbats. Though Hermann Zapf‘s symbol font was pre-installed on nearly every computer, it was too incomplete, inconsistent, and out of date. Jürgen and I imagined a font system that was much more comprehensive and systemized — a real friend in the designer’s everyday search for pictograms, arrows, and other forms and symbols. The result was FF Dingbats, launched in 1993, just as I was forming our new agency, Factor Design. The fonts have become a fixture in communication design worldwide.
In 2007, recognizing the drastic change in modern technology and aesthetic style, Jürgen and agreed on an extensive update. Now here they are, the FF Dingbats 2.0. And they show state of the art — both in regard to the contents and the design.
— Johannes Erler