Ika

Timelessness of the highest order

The Ika™ Superfamily was designed by Jörg Hemker. While Ika is one of the most legible typefaces of our label, we claim Ika Compact to be the ideal symbiosis of American grotesque and classic European sans.

Stay awake from the trend. Identify, recognize, but stay away. — Steve Aoki

Story Ika

If the content is more important than the form, then a reserved design is required. If a brand wants to exude clarity, simplicity or transparency, then this promise should be made with a typeface that embodies these properties itself.

Ika is such a typeface. Its appearance is drawn in equal parts from humanistic, constructed and geometric influences. Its clear, open and balanced forms, the distinguishable characters according to DIN 1450 “Lettering – Legibility” and a perfectly balanced gray value also make this sans serif one of the most legible fonts in the Fontwerk library. It is the first choice for campaigns where a Frutiger may seem too soft or a Myriad or Corbel may seem too ordinary. As a modern alternative, it is as elegant as Frutiger (but has more of its own character), as simple as DIN (but appears more balanced) and as striking as Gotham (but runs more economically).

The character traits described also explain the typeface’s surprisingly short name: “Ika” is an Esperanto term and derives its meaning from the words: solid, transparent, modern and elegant. Should anyone be reminded of the mythological figure Icarus, they would be wrong, because in contrast to the myth, the design does not fly too high or too low.

Ika’s designer Jörg Hemker has already struck a chord with designers with his FontFonts, FF Sero, FF Nort and FF Zwo, not least because of the timelessness of these beautiful typefaces, all four of them defy and buck any trend in order to ensure their longevity. Ika is also a timeless family and, like its predecessors, leaves nothing to be desired in terms of its size. All nine weights from Thin to Ultra are equipped with the appropriate Italics and in addition to the extended Latin language support, the typeface also has Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. Speaking of languages, it is in fact Hemker’s largest family to date, covering 107 languages. Complex branding projects also benefit from a good number of extra characters, four different digit sets (with lining figures as default) and all the relevant OpenType features.

Ika is an ideal candidate for use in logos, branding, corporate design, posters, billboards as well as for wayfinding systems and texts, especially in small sizes.

By the way: In addition to the main Ika family, Jörg Hemker also drew a Compact version that is perfect for when the typeface has to leave its ideal altitude and climb a little bit higher for display purposes. Already on its way to becoming a highly extensive font family, a condensed and a narrow version are planned as well as a slab, serif and even a Didone version.

Story Ika Compact

Ika Compact flies a little higher than its normal counterpart, which strives for optimal flight altitude.

While its sister consistently subordinates itself to the content of a text, the compact variant pushes more to the fore, but without losing the characteristic humanistic, constructed and geometric elements of its sibling. Ika’s extensive language support (expanded Latin range with Greek and Cyrillic alphabets) is still there, as well as its clarity, balance and timelessness.

The similarities end with the glyphs and their contrast. They are significantly narrower and the contrast is less. The x-height is lower, the ascenders and descenders are shorter and the terminals are vertical. All of this results in an extreme compactness and a somewhat more decorative and striking character, but also a little more static character. What is actually intended for tight headlines works also well in small texts as well as in interface design, especially in call-to-action buttons and UI menus and the three widths are perfectly suited to such usage.

Stylistically, Ika Compact moves in the direction of tightly running American grotesque fonts with a rational form principle such as Alternate Gothic or Trade Gothic. Thanks to its open forms and the distinguishable characters based on DIN 1450, it is more elegant, accessible and clearly legible. Although she sees herself primarily as a family member of the Ika family, the Ika Compact also plays out its strengths as a display font independently of her sister.

A
#65

Glyphs

Uppercase

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Lowercase

a
b
c
d
e
f
g
h
j
k
l
m
n
o
p
q
r
s
t
u
v
w
x
y
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Latin Accents

Á
Ă
Â
Ä
À
Ā
Ą
Å
Ã
Æ
Ć
Č
Ç
Ĉ
Ċ
Ð
Ď
Đ
É
Ĕ
Ě
Ê
Ë
Ė
È
Ē
Ę
Ğ
Ĝ
Ģ
Ġ
Ħ
Ĥ
Í
Ĭ
Î
Ï
İ
Ì
Ī
Į
Ĩ
Ĵ
Ķ
Ĺ
Ľ
Ļ
Ŀ
Ł
Ń
Ň
Ņ
Ŋ
Ñ
Ó
Ŏ
Ô
Ö
Ò
Ő
Ō
Ø
Õ
Œ
Þ
Ŕ
Ř
Ŗ
Ś
Š
Ş
Ŝ
Ș
Ə
Ŧ
Ť
Ţ
Ț
Ú
Ŭ
Û
Ü
Ù
Ű
Ū
Ų
Ů
Ũ
Ŵ
Ý
Ŷ
Ÿ
Ź
Ž
Ż
á
ă
â
ä
à
ā
ą
å
ã
æ
ć
č
ç
ĉ
ċ
ð
ď
đ
é
ĕ
ě
ê
ë
ė
è
ē
ę
ğ
ĝ
ģ
ġ
ħ
ĥ
í
ĭ
î
ï
i
̇
ì
ī
į
ĩ
ĵ
ķ
ĺ
ľ
ļ
ŀ
ł
ń
ň
ņ
ŋ
ñ
ó
ŏ
ô
ö
ò
ő
ō
ø
õ
œ
þ
ŕ
ř
ŗ
ś
š
ş
ŝ
ș
ß
ə
ŧ
ť
ţ
ț
ú
ŭ
û
ü
ù
ű
ū
ų
ů
ũ
ŵ
ý
ŷ
ÿ
ź
ž
ż

Numerals & Currency Symbols

0
1
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9
¤
$
¢
£
¥
ƒ
0
1
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9
(
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+
0
1
2
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=
a
e
n
o
ə
(
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+
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
=
a
b
c
d
e
h
l
m
o
p
r
s
t
u
è

Small Caps

a
b
c
d
e
f
g
h
i
j
k
l
m
n
o
p
q
r
s
t
u
v
w
x
y
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ß
à
á
â
ã
ä
å
æ
ç
è
é
ê
ë
ì
í
î
ï
ð
ñ
ò
ó
ô
õ
ö
ø
ù
ú
û
ü
ý
þ
ÿ
ā
ă
ą
ć
ĉ
ċ
č
ď
đ
ē
ĕ
ė
ę
ě
ĝ
ğ
ġ
ģ
ĥ
ħ
ĩ
ī
ĭ
į
ĵ
ķ
ĸ
ĺ
ļ
ľ
ŀ
ł
ń
ņ
ň
ʼn
ŋ
ō
ŏ
ő
œ
ŕ
ŗ
ř
ś
ŝ
ş
š
ţ
ť
ŧ
ũ
ū
ŭ
ů
ű
ų
ŵ
ŷ
ź
ż
ž
ſ
ƶ
ǵ
ǻ
ǽ
ǿ
ș
ț
ȷ
ə
ʼ
̀
́
̂
̃
̄
̆
̇
̈
̊
̋
̌
ΐ
ά
έ
ή
ί
ΰ
α
β
γ
δ
ε
ζ
η
θ
ι
κ
λ
μ
ν
ξ
ο
π
ρ
ς
σ
τ
υ
φ
χ
ψ
ω
ϊ
ϋ
ό
ύ
ώ
а
б
в
г
д
е
ж
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и
й
к
л
м
н
о
п
р
с
т
у
ф
х
ц
ч
ш
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ъ
ы
ь
э
ю
я
ѐ
ё
ђ
ѓ
є
ѕ
і
ї
ј
љ
њ
ћ
ќ
ѝ
ў
џ
ѣ
ѳ
ѵ
ґ
ғ
җ
ҙ
қ
ҝ
ҡ
ң
ҥ
ҫ
ү
ұ
ҳ
ҷ
ҹ
һ
ӂ
ӏ
ӑ
ӗ
ә
ӣ
ӧ
ө
ӯ
ӳ

Punctuation

.
,
:
;
!
¡
?
¿
&
@
·
*
#
/
|
\
(
)
{
}
[
]
-
­
_
«
»
"
'

Mathematical Signs & Symbols

+
×
÷
=
>
<
±
~
¬
^
µ
%

Arrows & Shapes

Ligatures

ff
ffi
ffl
fft
ft
tt

Greek

Α
Β
Γ
Ε
Ζ
Η
Θ
Ι
Κ
Λ
Μ
Ν
Ξ
Ο
Π
Ρ
Σ
Τ
Υ
Φ
Χ
Ψ
Ά
Έ
Ή
Ί
Ό
Ύ
Ώ
Ϊ
Ϋ
α
β
γ
δ
ε
ζ
η
θ
ι
κ
λ
ν
ξ
ο
π
ρ
σ
τ
υ
φ
χ
ψ
ω
ί
ϊ
ΐ
ύ
ϋ
ΰ
ό
ώ
ά
έ
ή
·
΄
΅

Cyrillic

А
Б
В
Г
Ѓ
Ґ
Д
Е
Ѐ
Ё
Ж
З
И
Й
Ѝ
К
Ќ
Л
М
Н
О
П
Р
С
Т
У
Ў
Ф
Х
Ч
Ц
Ш
Щ
Џ
Ь
Ъ
Ы
Љ
Њ
Ѕ
Є
Э
І
Ї
Ј
Ћ
Ю
Я
Ђ
Ѣ
Ѳ
Ѵ
Ғ
Җ
Ҙ
Қ
Ҝ
Ҡ
Ң
Ҥ
Ҫ
Ү
Ұ
Ҳ
Ҷ
Ҹ
Һ
Ӏ
Ӂ
Ӑ
Ӕ
Ӗ
Ә
Ӣ
Ӧ
Ө
Ӯ
Ӳ
а
б
в
г
ѓ
ґ
д
е
ѐ
ё
ж
з
и
й
ѝ
к
ќ
л
м
н
о
п
р
с
т
у
ў
ф
х
ч
ц
ш
щ
џ
ь
ъ
ы
љ
њ
ѕ
є
э
і
ї
ј
ћ
ю
я
ђ
ѣ
ѳ
ѵ
ғ
җ
ҙ
қ
ҝ
ҡ
ң
ҥ
ҫ
ү
ұ
ҳ
ҷ
ҹ
һ
ӏ
ӂ
ӑ
ӕ
ӗ
ә
ӣ
ӧ
ө
ӯ
ӳ

Languages

Afrikaans
Albanian
Asu
Basque
Bemba
Bena
Breton
Catalan
Cornish
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Embu
English
Esperanto
Estonian
Faroese
Filipino
Finnish
French
Friulian
Galician
Ganda
German
Gusii
Hungarian
Icelandic
Inari Sami
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Jola-Fonyi
Kabuverdianu
Kalenjin
Kamba
Kikuyu
Kinyarwanda
Latvian
Lithuanian
Lower Sorbian
Luo
Luxembourgish
Luyia
Machame
Makhuwa-Meetto
Makonde
Malagasy
Maltese
Manx
Meru
Morisyen
North Ndebele
Northern Sami
Norwegian Bokmål
Norwegian Nynorsk
Nyankole
Oromo
Polish
Portuguese
Quechua
Romanian
Romansh
Rombo
Rundi
Rwa
Samburu
Sango
Sangu
Sena
Serbian
Shambala
Shona
Slovak
Slovenian
Soga
Somali
Spanish
Swahili
Swedish
Swiss German
Taita
Teso
Turkish
Upper Sorbian
Uzbek
Volapük
Vunjo
Walser
Welsh
Greek
Azerbaijani
Belarusian
Bosnian
Bulgarian
Chechen
Macedonian
Ossetic
Russian
Serbian
Ukrainian
Uzbek
Credits & Details
Design Contributions
  • Andreas Frohloff
  • Eugene Yukechev (Cyrillic consultancy)
Mastering, Production

Andreas Frohloff
Christoph Koeberlin

Marketing

Jörg Hemker (naming, graphic design)
Ivo Gabrowitsch (copywriting, specimen, imagery)
Lucy Beckley (English translation)
Anja Knust (imagery, graphic design)

Design Period
2017–2020
Release Date
July 20, 2020; Variable Fonts July 6, 2021
Awards

D&AD Awards 2021 Shortlist
2021 ADC Awards Merit
Modern Cyrillic 2021 Awards Shortlist

Recommended Use

Editorial & Publishing
Film & TV
Small Text
Logo, Branding & CI
Software & Gaming
Poster & Billboards
Wayfinding & Signage
Responsive Designs