We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Meta Fonts?

By S.A. Keel
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The meta fonts are a family of typefaces with strong calligraphic features, not to be confused with the metafont programming language. The characters that make up the fonts have some variation to their line widths and are very readable. For this reason, the family of fonts is referred to as a humanist sans serif font style. The font family is frequently referred to by name of the library it belongs to, FF Meta®, and has found international acclaim among graphic designers, with extensive use as a corporate typeface.

The original design for the meta fonts came about in 1985 when the London-based Sedley Place Design firm was hired by the Deutsche Bundespost, the German Post Office, to create a complete corporate design. Part of this involved a new typeface that would serve on stamps, packaging, and fleet vehicles for identification purposes. For this reason, it needed to be highly legible at a range of sizes, easily printable on a variety of paper stock, and have distinct characters. The font's original conception and design was handled by Erik Spiekermann, who worked at the Berlin office for Sedley Place Design. The Bundespost eventually decided to forgo the use of a new font family, and so the meta fonts were temporarily abandoned.

Spiekermann, however, decided to continue work on the meta fonts through his own font foundry, FontShop International (FSI). He recreated the fonts by scanning the original outlines into a computer for reworking, and subsequently published them as part of the FontFont library. FF Meta® was released in 1991, with normal, small capitals and bold versions for the family. Within a year, an italic and bold-style small capitals set of characters was added, and the font rapidly grew in popularity throughout the rest of the decade. Ultimately, the sans serif FF Meta® family grew to nearly 50 different styles and weights, including a Cyrillic version that was released in 2001.

Throughout the 1990s, while the sans serif meta fonts were gaining in use, Spiekermann struggled to create a serif version of the font. He was often forced to recommend other typefaces that would complement FF Meta® in a single design, such as Swift™ or Minion™. Eventually, he recruited Christian Schwartz and Kris Sowersby to help with the new serif design.

The initial serif versions contained the same x height, the height of an "x" character from the baseline, as the original meta fonts, but the serifs on the new characters were still overpowering. The design team finally decided to adjust the metrics of the meta serif family so that even though the serif characters didn't match the sans serif meta fonts mathematically, they were still perceived as the same. In 2007, the FF Meta® serif family was released.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.