Hinting Help


I am tweaking a font I’ve created. I believe it is a hinting issue here. The font is rendering poorly in smaller sizes when using Windows.

Example here:

I have, at least think I have, hinted the font following the tutorials on here. (By NO means a font afficionado… just an intrepid beginner/ learner) Perhaps I made a mistake in measuring stems, widths, etc? Any advice is appreciated!

For this design, hinting makes no sense. The font has too irregular features, e.g. the letters have very different heights. I advise to turn off autohinting and remove any hints you have in the font.

Besides, I do not think the rendering is so bad. It is just inherent to this design that you cannot scale it down as much.


That is what I thought. Alignment zones are not working at all due to irregularities.

“I do not think the rendering is so bad…” My sentiments exactly! But, in this case, a customer is complaining about the quality on screen. Is there anything I can do?

Manually hint each character by selection the nodes and adding horizontal and vertical hints? Or would that still make no sense?

Short of changing the design, like making a much more regular version for small sizes, where every glyph has the same x-height and so on… no, I don’t think you can do much in this case. PostScript hinting, be it manual or automatic, will not help here.

I would try to explain to the customer that the design simply is not intended for small sizes on screen.

I agree, in this case, the font should be completely unhinted.

In DirectWrite (Microsoft’s new rendering engine) in particular, completely unhinted fonts look quite good, very similar to the rendering we get in Mac OS.

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