FF Kava


Release Year
Country of Origin
Sans Serif
Original Format


FF Kava was born in 2004 as Yanone Kaffeesatz. It was Yanone’s first ever finished typeface, who, at the time, still was a type design novice. Its bold weight was reminiscent of 1920s coffee house typography, while the rather thin fonts made the connection with present times. Lacking self-confidence, and having little experience with the type scene, Yanone decided to publish the family as freeware. This decision actually turned out to be one of the best he ever made, since it gained him international recognition in the earliest stages of his development as a type designer. Kaffeesatz was downloaded from Yanone’s website alone over 100,000 times to date, and you can see it used on German fresh-water gyms, Dubai mall promos, and New Zealand McDonald’s ads. And of course on coffee, food packaging, and café design all over the globe.

The new FF Kava is a redesign from the ground up of the free font classic. The most obvious difference is the addition of a black weight, which Yanone felt was missing ever since he finished the original Kaffeesatz. Less noticeable at first sight but at least as important is FF Kava being a truly professional OpenType family, with extensive language support, small caps, various figure sets, and all the bells and whistles you expect to find in a quality FontFont. And five years after Kaffeesatz Yanone fixed many of the design defects he wasn’t aware of at the time. Now FF Kava can confidently join the ranks of FontShop International’s own foundry FontFont and brush shoulders with contemporary classics like FF Dax, a typeface that once suspected Kaffeesatz of plagiarism. FF Kava has become the professional tool that Kaffeesatz never was, despite the fact that the original has been used worldwide.

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Elliot Jay Stocks’s avatar

Last edited by Elliot Jay Stocks on September 6, 2010, 09:34am EST

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