Glyph Blur

I created an icon font in Glyphs that export perfectly crisp at 16pts. However, I noticed that when I add letters and ligatures to the font set, it causes the glyphs to become blurry at 16pts. I included a screenshot where you can see the fuzziness at the top of the glyph.


Any recommendations?

Rendered in which app?

You may want to experiment with setting the vertical metrics directly.


The icons are rendered in HTML. I set the vertical metrics according to Gerog’s recommendation in a previous post.

Here’s a screenshot of the vertical metrics I am using:

Any more recommendations would be appreciated.

Same in all browsers?

The OS X renderer measures your keys to calculate overshoots. So, it also depends on what your design is. Did you put the symbols in letter slots or do they have their own PUA Unicode value?

Yes, it’s the same in all browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox). The symbols have their own PUA Unicode values.

All of the icons were designed on a grid. The icons render perfectly when I don’t add letters or ligatures to the font the set.

I’m simply trying to figure out why the symbols become blurry once I add letters and ligatures.

As mekkablue said, MacOSX tries to find alignment zones from glyphs in the font. This is not documented and very difficult to fix.
For now you could make two fonts. One with the icons and one with the letters. Or are the “Letters” actually icons, too?

Georg Seifert, mekkablue
Thanks for the clarification. The letters are in the the “Letter” Unicode category. The letters are mapped to ligatures that display the icon, like Symbolset.

Would I be able to resolve the blur issue by adjusting the vertical metrics or redrawing the letters?

redrawing the letters might help. I had a similar problem once. I had to change the overshot of the lowercase o to fix it. I found out about this be trail and error.
But as we stated on an other thread on the forum, accessing icons by using ligatures might be not the best idea.

Georg Seifert
Thanks for the recommendation. I will go through each letter and export the font to find out which glyphs are causing the issue.

I will post an update with my results.

Try to narrow it down by first no exporting the first half of the letters and then the second half…

Georg Seifert
So, I thought I was making progress, but it appears not. I resorted to deleting all of the letter glyphs, and then adding back each letter one by one starting with the letter “a”. After I add a letter, I test the font to see how it looks.

Everything works fine with the letter “a”, however, when I add the letter “b”, the font icons immediately becomes blurry.

I also noticed that some combination of letters work fine, however, if I rearrange the order of the letters, the whole font becomes blurry. For example, if I import only the letters “a”, “c”, “e”, and write “ace” the letters and icons are crisp. However, if I write “cea”, the icons become blurry.

Any more recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

I uploaded a new screenshot to help show what I am referring to:

I believe I finally fixed the blur issue. Since all of the icons were already aligned on a grid, I aligned the cap height of all the uppercase letters to the same grid. I also adjusted the width of all of letter glyphs to align on the grid as well.

All of the icons now properly display perfect at increments of 16pts.