Where to find MetaPlus font?

xangelusx's picture

Hello, I came accross this forum while trying to track down a site that offers the MetaPlus font. I've searched on all the big font sites (Fonts.com, MyFonts.com, Adobe Type Library, etc) but no one seems to offer this font for sale or otherwise. Is there something I'm missing?

I really need it as a project I've been handed was started using the MetaPlus font. Alternatly, what would be a comparable font that I could substitute with?


hdschellnack's picture

And the new MetaLight, wonderful extension of the original concept...

William Berkson's picture

I read somewhere here that metaplus was the original name of meta, which was renamed meta with slight revisions...

Hildebrant's picture

What would the difference be between the two?

William Berkson's picture

My memory is that it had to do with hanging and ranging numerals. I'm sure the recent versions have a lot more in them than the original...

xangelusx's picture

Thanks for the link to FontFont. That's exactly what I was looking for!

hdschellnack's picture

You can also buy the font online at fontshop.com and fontshop.de -- downloadable, if I remember correctly. Meta had been way overused (at leats in Germany) for a while, but I think that period is over and one can use the typeface again without it being too obvious a fashion thingie.


marcox's picture

To confuse things further: FontShop just released FF Meta 3, containing the sexy new Hairline, Thin and Light weights. I ordered my copy the day they were released!

niferzilla's picture

Hi after reading your posts, (which were very helpful by the way)I am still confused.

I am looking for the MetaPlus font for PC, and all I have been able to find is the Meta 1,2,3 fonts. (Even on the Fontfont website.) Is the Meta 1 font the same thing as MetaPlus?

I appreciate your help.

kentlew's picture

Jennifer --

As Yves explained (quite thoroughly and admirably), Meta 1, 2, 3, and MetaPlus are all essentially the same typeface family. But MetaPlus was an earlier release. If you are trying to work with a legacy document which uses MetaPlus, then you should contact one of the FontShops directly to get a copy of the old version, as the recent versions have some subtle differences.

I had to help a client in this situation once. After getting them a license for Meta 1 and 2, I spoke with a representative at FontShop who gladly provided a legacy copy of MetaPlus at no additional cost, in order to work with documents that an outside firm had designed using MetaPlus.

If you are not working with a previous document and don't need to worry about changes in metrics, then Meta 1 and 2 are the current versions which match (and exceed) the range of MetaPlus.

niferzilla's picture

Thanks so much Kent,

I contacted Fontshop and have the same deal figured out. Unfortunately ALL of the company's promotional materials use the old MetaPlus font family. Do you think it would be worthwhile to switch them over to the newer font?


Joe Pemberton's picture


Also check out the grown up cousin of MetaPlus, FF Unit, also available from FontFont.

Bald Condensed's picture

> Actually, many of Erik's fonts look quite similar,
Officina, Info, Meta, Unit -- while all distinctively
different, they all share certain similarities.

Some further theorizing and reactions from Erik himself
at Typographi.ca.

Originally, back in 1991 when the very first batch of
FontFonts was released, there was FF Meta 1 (Normal,
Bold, Small Caps). Hanging figures and additional
ff-ligatures were already present in the Normal and
Bold weights, with lining figures in the Small Caps.

The first expansion came in 1992 with FF Meta 2
{Italic, Italic Small Caps, Bold Small Caps}.

FF MetaPlus, released in 1993, was the big leap
forward which tripled the number of fonts to 18, and
included a fine-tuning of some characters (most notably
the correction of the crossbar on the lc 't'). The family
at that point featured Normal, Book, Medium, Bold and
Black weights, all in Roman, Italic, Small Caps and
Italic Small Caps (except for the Black weight which
didn't include Small Caps). Still hanging figures in
the 'normal' weights and lining figures in the Small Caps.

Eventually, in 1998 it was back to FF Meta, which
saw a reorganization of the family into subfamilies:
FF MetaNormal, FF MetaBook, FF MetaMedium,
FF MetaBold and FF MetaBlack, all in Roman, Italic,
Small Caps and Italic Small Caps, which all got
coupled with their respective Expert and Lining Figures
weights: yep, 60 fonts indeed. Biggest change this
time was the addition of the Black Small Caps, and
moving the extra ligatures (ff, ffi, ffl which were
previously in the regular fonts) to the new Expert fonts.
And of course the Lining figures weights which means
you don't have to switch weights anymore to get the
desired type of numerals.

So, to conclude: don't mix the original six weight
FF Meta with FF MetaPlus nor the new FF Meta family
(different spacing, some redesigned characters), and
when substituting FF Meta for FF MetaPlus be careful
with disappearing ff-ligatures and different types of

This concludes the lecture for today (whew). :-)

Bald Condensed's picture

Marc, NO! I specifically left out the Cyrillic, Greek,
Central-European, Correspondence, Condensed
and DirtyFace versions to avoid critical information
meltdown! It's too much, simply too much! Brain...
oozing... out of my ears... (gurgle)

Bald Condensed's picture

THX Kent! I had a hunch this inside knowledge would
be of use someday. :-)

Stephen Coles's picture

Yves has written an extensive article documenting the change from FF MetaPlus to FF Meta and your options if you're using the old fonts: How MetaPlus Became Meta.

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