Tag Archives: FF Chartwell

Buyer’s Guide: Will FF Chartwell work for me?

While FF Chartwell is a really cool font that you might want, it is also one of the most complex fonts we have available on FontShop — you may need to do a bit of research before and after licensing this font.

The #1 question you should ask yourself before buying and downloading FF Chartwell is: what program do I intend to use the font in?

If you’ll be using the font in design programs (such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop), you’re usually good to go. As long as the program can handle stylistic sets and contextual alternates, you’ll be able to use FF Chartwell. Of course, there are exceptions: most notably, color versions do not work when using QuarkXPress. Also, FF Chartwell Bars and FF Chartwell Bars Vertical are the only styles that are currently compatible with iWorks.

One of the best things you can do before getting your hands on this particular typeface is to read the FF Chartwell User Manual. FontFont has also dedicated a few pages on using FF Chartwell, including a video on How to Use FF Chartwell.

howtouseffchartwellOur type expert, David, also put together a series last year on using FF Chartwell, which you can find collected on our In Your Face: FF Chartwell Pinterest board.

Pinterested: Best Typefaces of 2012


For those of you who just can’t get enough of our Best of 2012 newsletter, we’ve pinned our top type for you to like and repin over and over again into as many of your own pinboards as you see fit. Our Best Typefaces of 2012 pinboard showcases the top 30 fonts on FontShop that made their debut last year from FF Chartwell to Quatro Sans to Romeo & Julieta. Get lost in the beautiful pastel samples of some of the best fonts from 2012 — this time, it’s ok to dwell on the past and reminisce through a yearbook-style list of typefaces that we’ll love for years to come.

If you missed out on the actual newsletter, be sure to check it out and find short ‘n’ sweet handwritten notes from other fonts!

Typographic Pinspiration of 2012

We started pinning back in July and have, since then, created almost 50 unique boards full of typographic eye candy. As 2012 comes to a close, here are some of our favorite pinboards:


The most delicious of them all. We have many tasty type samples up on Pinterest divided between various food-themed pinboards. From Edible Type to Savory Stems to SweetShop, you’ll find letters crafted from cookies and pancake mix to tempting fonts like Chocolate and Candy Script. Let your computer gain the holiday weight this season with more fonts!


The boards that get In Your Face. We dedicated a few boards to some of our popular FontFonts. FF Chartwell was an exciting new release for us this year, FF Mister K was one of many TDC Typeface Design Winners for 2012, and FF DIN is one of our top bestsellers. Learn more about these faces by checking out their spotlights on Pinterest!

pinterest-geekyboards2012The geeky side of FontShop. Here at FontShop, we geek out about more than just fonts. Our nerdiest pinboards reflect this best — we’ve expressed our love for videos games, the cosmos, and Middle Earth through typography. Explore the 8-bit overworlds of Mario and Zelda with pixel fonts on our Like A Boss board, relive Curiosity’s amazing landing on Mars with our Spacing Out board, and journey to the Shire with uncial fonts and beautiful photography from fStop Images on our Keep Calm & Hobbiton board.

Aside from our themed boards, don’t forget about some of our 2012 events: examine the decathlon competition and results from the Fontlympics and be thankful you’re still alive by taking a look at the fonts that were included from the Mayan Calendar Countdown. And to get you pumped up for our Best of 2012, browse through our Best Typefaces of 2011 pinboard while you wait!

FF Chartwell Web Ready to Shake Up Online Infographics

Since FF Chartwell’s May release, the design world has been abuzz with accolades for its unique approach to infographic creation. With the recent FontFont release, web designers can now rejoice – FF Chartwell Web is here!

Get FF Chartwell Radar Web free!

FF Chartwell Rose Web

FF Chartwell Bars Vertical Web

FF Chartwell Lines Web

FF Chartwell Bars Web

FF Chartwell Pies Web

FF Chartwell Rings Web

Back in May we first introduced FF Chartwell’s nonconformist approach to creating charts and graphs: simply type in the numbers and let the font do the rest. Rings, rose, radar, pies, bars, lines, and vertical bar charts, all as easily styled as type, result automatically. Use FF Chartwell Web with static text or real-time data.

FontFont had to think creatively to work around the lack of OpenType support in most web browsers to keep FF Chartwell working to its users expectations. The end result is “more than just a font“:

All the chart drawing functions of FF Chartwell Web are provided as small JavaScript libraries. To create a chart you enter the values in a similar way to the desktop font and use HTML code to determine color and appearance.

Nobody likes bloated JavaScript libraries, so the JavaScript files are split into one base file and one file for each of the chart types. This way you never have to load more files than you really need. All FF Chartwell Web packages come with a demo page and example HTML code to help get you started. As with all Web FontFonts, you will also receive a WOFF and an EOT font called FF Chartwell Text Web Pro. Please note, that these only contain the alphabet part of FF Chartwell.

Web designers can test FF Chartwell Web on the FontFont How To site’s live demo. We can’t wait to see the beautiful infographic websites that FF Chartwell is bound to inspire. Please share your creations in the comments!

FF Chartwell Fever is Off the Charts

We here at FontShop have been pretty stoked about FF Chartwell since it came to us through FontFont’s May release. Over the summer, David showed you how to use the seven different styles of charts in Travis Kochel’s font and we hope you’ve had fun trying it out.

We couldn’t be more thrilled that the rest of the web has caught FF Chartwell fever. Check out these recent stories:



Cool Hunting

Daring Fireball

A little bird tells us that the “web” of FF Chartwell uses is expanding quite soon as well…stay tuned!

Daylight in FF Chartwell Pies

FF Chartwell Pies concludes our series on visualizing data with type. Pie charts are among the most familiar and easy to use, and in FF Chartwell Pies, that’s no exception. Just grab a set of values, make sure they add up to (or at least don’t exceed) 100, put plus signs in between, pick some colors, enable ‘Set 1’ from the OpenType Stylistic Sets, and you’re all set. More detailed instructions can be found in a previous FF Chartwell post.

To demonstrate FF Chartwell Pies, I created 366 pie charts, each representing a day of the year. The dark pieces represent nighttime hours and the light pieces represent daylight hours, as observed here in San Francisco this year. The two dark shades separate portions of the day between midnight and sunrise, and between sunset and midnight. Noting the abrupt change in angle of the daylight, one can spot Daylight Savings going into and out of effect, and other nice patterns. Today’s pie chart is the 16th chart on the 10th row, first image. Select the images for a closer view.

Though this is the end of our series, there’s more to look forward to still—including the soon to be released FF Chartwell Web, and all the stuff designers everywhere make out of this beautifully simple, utterly useful face.

Thinking how to close the Chartwell series, I thought of all the ways designers will be using FF Chartwell, and then thought up a few ways they probably wouldn’t use it. In the end I decided to make (and lead out with) type made out of charts made out of type. Thanks for reading, and send us back all the ways you use FF Chartwell. We’d love to see what you come up with.

Family Names in FF Chartwell Lines

FF Chartwell Lines is the sixth in our series of making charts out of type with FF Chartwell. Thinking about how foundries and type designers name their faces, I decided to pull some values from our internal data here at FontShop to see what the prevalence was by letter. For example, we have 625 type families that begin with A, and 723 that begin with B.

Taking the values for all 26 letters, I dropped these into a spreadsheet and then turned each value into a percentage of the highest value. The resulting integers were right where I needed them to be (between 0 and 100), so I put plus signs in between, set the font to FF Chartwell Lines, and enabled ‘Set 1’ from the Stylistic Sets menu within the OpenType panel. I set some colors and labels, et voilà!

But do I have to have some fancy design program to use FF Chartwell, you ask? It helps, but no. You can make charts out of type using FF Chartwell with any program that supports OpenType Stylistic Sets and Contextual Alternates. Word 2010 does. TextEdit that comes with your Mac does.

Above is a precursor image to the next and final segment of our Chartwell series on FF Chartwell pies. Read it here on Monday.

Tour de France Stages in FF Chartwell Rose

FF Chartwell Rose gives you a unique way of grouping data visually. You’ll notice that while sized differently, the rose ‘petals’ are all of equal width, which makes them ideal for demonstrating values that differ in one dimension, but remain the same in another. In this case I show 20 stages of differing lengths in the Tour de France. The stages progress one per day, and I’ve made two rose charts with 10 stages per chart.

Making the charts was really simple. I just took a list of stage lengths, normalized the values to percentages of their ceiling, and put plus signs between the resulting integers. (The values need to be between 0 and 100.) Once set in FF Chartwell Rose, I enabled ‘Set 1’ in the Stylistic Sets menu within the OpenType panel, and chose some shades of gray to represent each stage. There’s a screenshot of this panel in action in the previous FF Chartwell post.

I could have put all 20 stages into a single chart, (the maximum is 30 values per rose chart) but I opted to simplify a bit. Here’s what you get when you put all 20 in one.

The FF Chartwell series on making charts out of type continues on Monday.

The Planets in FF Chartwell Rings

FF Chartwell Rings is useful for comparing percentages of completion of a task, particularly cyclical tasks like laps around a track. My inspiration for today’s look into FF Chartwell’s ring charts was similar—planetary revolutions around the sun. Looking ‘up’ at our solar system from along our sun’s polar axis, this chart shows the planets’ relationship to the sun and to one another as they are now.

Jupiter clearly appears to be in the lead, except of course that the gravitational pull on planets nearer the sun causes their revolutions to be ten or more times that of the more distant planets.

To create the chart, I started with eight values separated by plus signs. FF Chartwell Rings accepts integer values between 0 and 100. To make the text into rings, I just enabled ‘Set 1’ in the stylistic sets menu of the OpenType panel. I chose some colors and then overlaid the chart with a copy of itself using a slightly more muted palette. Last, I reduced the values of the overlaying chart by 1, so the brighter colors could show through, and I stuck on some labels.

And here’s another view as seen from (roughly) Polaris, looking ‘down’ on our solar system. The chart is perhaps a bit misleading, since from this vantage point the planets orbit counter-clockwise. ‘Where’s Pluto,’ you ask? Sorry. Stars and planets only. You should make your own.

Have you got a fever, and the only cure is more Chartwell? You’re in luck. Today’s post is the fourth of a seven-part series, so there’s plenty to go back and read, and a new one comes out here on Monday.

Superfamilies in FF Chartwell Bars

One of the things FF Chartwell Bars does well is it shows how individual contributions add to the whole. This turned out to be a perfect way of showing the numbers involved in superfamilies, and how they added up. To start, I chose two superfamilies to visualize, Novel from Atlas Font Foundry, and FF Meta from FontFont of course, and used bars of differing length to represent individual fonts in each superfamily as they fit into a particular style or classification. You’ll have to excuse the colors, as similarly colored bars hold no relationship from one line to the next. (Maybe that would be an interesting dimension to work with.)


FF Meta

Rather than representing values as percentages, FF Chartwell Bars stacks values up to 1000, leaving plenty of room for me to use actual values. Just to make them easier to see, I multiplied all values by ten.

Novel is 54 fonts spread across five styles. Additionally, I’ve taken those 54 fonts and added them up in different ways to illustrate a few different dimensions of the superfamily.

Choose some colors (I’ve used more or less the process primaries and secondaries) and you’re done.

By way of reminder, Novel Sans Rounded is half off through the end of the week. You also may have noticed up there, FF Meta has a little-known distressed variant, FF Meta Plus Boiled. It also occurs to me that I had not even mentioned FF Meta’s vowel-free variant, FF Mt, a FontFont exclusive.

The FF Chartwell series continues on Monday. To find out how all this type-to-charts magic works, read the last one, or catch up on all previous editions here on our blog. And hey! How are you using FF Chartwell? Let us know.

Radar Charts in FF Chartwell

FF Chartwell Radar comes next in our series on turning type into useful visuals. Radar charts are ideal for quickly comparing strengths and weaknesses between a few comparable entities, in this case, soccer players. Above you see data from Alan Dzagoev, Mario Gómez, and Mario Mandžukić, presently the top scorers in the UEFA Championship.

To create the charts I took six comparable values (that aren’t commonly grouped), converted them to percentages, and put plus signs in between, resulting in these six-pointed polygons. Points that extend the farthest from the origin represent larger values, and the closer points represent smaller values. Since we need percentages, or rather, integers between 0 and 100, there’s a little math involved in coming up with values that make sense visually.

For example, since a soccer player’s height is represented as a percentage, you may be asking, ‘A percentage of what? The height of the tallest player in the league?’ The answer is—just pick a number to serve as your ‘ceiling.’ If the results look depressed, like the third value in the chart here on the left, just bring your ceiling down a bit. But—be sure to keep a consistent ceiling across all the players’ heights. Keeping the values straight was easy to manage by using a spreadsheet. It’s nice that it handles the arithmetic for you too.
Tip: Use your spreadsheet’s INT function to get whole number results.

After getting the data ready, it’s as simple as dropping it into a text box and enabling Set 1 from the Stylistic Sets OpenType menu.

My final step was to set the numbers in some analogous colors and include a grid for some common reference by putting ‘a+’ at the beginning of each string of numbers. Try a–f for differently scaled / filled grids.

That’s it. We’ll continue the FF Chartwell series here next Monday. In the meantime, go get FF Chartwell and come up with some other useful or ideas on how to use it.

Tall Things in FF Chartwell Vertical Bars

Let’s start the first of our seven-part series on making charts with type—with a closer look at FF Chartwell’s Vertical Bars. Bar charts are best for comparing a few data points along a single axis. In today’s examples we explore the heights of tall things and the depths of profound things.

Tall things

After coming up with a list of values, just do a little long division to get the numbers you need. Here I divide the height of the items by the height of the tallest item. Translate those percentages to integers between 0 and 100 and put plus signs in between, then choose Set 1 from the OpenType Stylistic Sets menu.

Setting the colors can be slightly tricky. One InDesign tip Jens Kutílek shares in his how-to video is to set the colors in the Story editor. This saves you from all the back and forth of enabling and disabling stylistics sets. Because FF Chartwell is type, you can simply track your vertical bars tighter or looser. I’ve left them at their default tracking values here. And it’s that simple to create great looking bar charts.

Profound things

Look for another edition of our FF Chartwell series here next Monday.

Travis Kochel’s FF Chartwell

Update: The series is complete! See the list below for links to each part.

When Travis Kochel submitted his plans to expand and re-release Chartwell through FontFont, we were thrilled. The degree to which the fonts constitute something completely new to the world of type is something we haven’t seen in a long time—arguably ever. FF Chartwell isn’t like other faces in that its letters and figures aren’t intended to be displayed; They only serve as placeholders for chart and graph elements. When a stylistic set is applied via OpenType, simple strings of numbers become charts.

Lots of interest and buzz and how-tos came with FF Chartwell’s release, but we at FontShop decided to make our own in-depth study of each of its seven chart fonts, and have some fun visualizing data along the way. Our FF Chartwell series starts Monday.

All seven parts of our series:

Tall things in FF Chartwell Vertical Bars

Radar Charts in FF Chartwell Radar

Superfamilies in FF Chartwell Bars

The Planets in FF Chartwell Rings

Tour de France Stages in FF Chartwell Rose

Family Names in FF Chartwell Lines