Font Friday

FR Kraken Slab

FR Kraken Slab is bold and lively. The slab serif typeface FR Kraken Slab shown on a mobile phone in the heading, body text and a big quote. The quote says: “Be in love with this strong personality, its weirdness, and uniqueness.“ and is my humble opinion.

Slab Serif typeface

by Béla Frank, at Frank Fonts

9 weights

from Air to Heavy

Licenses from

Single: $ 60 (web or print), $ 90 (app)
Family: $ 280 (web or print), $ 420 (app)
Air available for free

Best for

  • Headings (display text)
  • Long reading text (body text)
  • User Interfaces (functional text)

Specialty

A playful modern slab serif typeface with a retro vibe, and strong personality, that can be tamed with stylistic alternates.

My thoughts on FR Kraken Slab

Love is in the air … the sturdy serifs of FR Kraken Slab grabbed my heart and hold it tight. This typeface designed by Béla Frank is confident, playful and shows strong personality. In the bold weights it is loud and strong, in the light weights, it can be gentle. But it never loses its uniqueness.

Showing FR Kraken Salb's wide range of weights, from Air to Heavy. This typeface can be bold but also light & delicate OR AIRY while always standing out moclern, slabby, happy.

At first sight, you might say it does not look that modern, probably reminding you of the wild west or retro bulletins. That’s no coincident. The typeface was inspired by the lively and raw 19th-century English Antiquas, like Clarendron. What FR Kraken Slab does extremely well is captivating that spirit, while moving it to contemporary design with less contrast, and more characteristic features.

Soak in the lively spirit of this classic English Antiqua from the 19th-century. Clarendon URW Regular as one representative of English Antiquas with FR Kraken Slab Medium as a comparison
In comparison with a classic English Antiqua, you can see how FR Kraken Slab is a modern interpretation of that style.

The most striking features are the bent and extended strokes at the end of many letters, like the R, K, a, j, k, r, or t. They add to the playfulness, wildness and loudness of this typeface. Brilliant for headings, while it also can become distracting in body text. Luckily, there is a way how you can tame that typeface.

Comparing various details with and without stylistic alternates
Stylistic alternates tame FR Kraken Slab to make it less distracting in body text

It is called stylistic alternates and makes FR Kraken Slab simpler and narrower. I activated this OpenType feature for the body text in the phone image on top. See for yourself what impact this has, in the comparison below.

Overall, FR Kraken Slab is a great choice for branding, a playful editorial design (maybe using the free Air weight), or an attention grabbing web design for titles and shorter paragraphs. The power of stylistic alternates makes it more versatile, so make use of them, when it makes sense.


What do you think? Is FR Kraken Slab something for an upcoming project, or do you have a font recommendation? Tell me in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. This one is worth buying even though I don’t currently have the concrete project for it. My favorite letter is little ‘a’.

    Looking at the picture that you so nicely designed, do I see ‘s’ being jealous on ‘t’ and ‘y’ being in love?
    Are ‘c’ and ‘a’ fighting in ‘can’?
    (sentence: This typeface can be bold)
    R is a lazy guy, other favorable letters: g, q, r.

    Fantastic choice, both, FR Kraken and your lovely wife, your support! Cheers to 9 years 🥂 Make it x10 more Oliver!

    1. It’s somehow like buying jewelry you don’t have an occasion for. But there will be on, for sure 😉. Thanks for the good wishes, Jana ❤️!

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