Matthew Butterick’s Hermes FB is inspired by Hermes Grotesk, an early 20th century typeface by the Berlin type foundry Woellmer. Like Berthold’s Block it resembles German jobbing type of everyday printing around the 1910s and ’20s. Blunt corners suggest the wear and tear of rough presswork. The first styles of Hermes FB date back to 1995. In 2010, Butterick added more weights, italics, and glyph variants to expand the family’s versatility.
Just like its ancestors, Hermes FB lends itself as a typfaces for branding, display typography or headlines. It is of rather narrow proportions but generously spaced and therefore also suitable for body copy down to 14px in the lighter weights. As a titling font, it combines well with text faces such as Ibis RE or Giza RE.
By using the alternate forms for a, g and other key glyphs you can change the character of the typeface significantly. With the (standard) single story a and g it radiates a straightforward atmosphere with hints at geometric typefaces of the 1920s. The double story a and g stylistic alternates make Hermes FB more timeless and adaptable as a text face (used in the third specimen line). For even more experimental variations, try the unicase alternates.
A sample set of CSS code that can be used to access stylistic sets and features:
-moz-font-feature-settings: "ss08=1"; -moz-font-feature-settings: "ss08" 1; -ms-font-feature-settings: "ss08" 1; -webkit-font-feature-settings: "ss08" 1; font-feature-settings: "ss08" 1;
-moz-font-feature-settings: 'unic=1'; -moz-font-feature-settings: 'unic' 1; -ms-font-feature-settings: "unic" 1; -webkit-font-feature-settings: "unic" 1; font-feature-settings: "unic" 1;
As with all fonts on Webtype, Hermes FB can be tested free of charge for 30 days. For more details, see the Hermes FB webfont page.