How do I get the truetype metrics right?

Hey all,

I’m trying to make my first typeface, and after a few bad experiences with settings I didn’t understand, I thought it best to leave the settings mostly at defaults. I had to scale every scanned image (no matter what dpi I scanned at) by exactly 7500, but that’s not why I’m posting.

I’m looking for a book or web tutorial recommendations on what settings I have to make to make a truetype font look mostly normal. You can see what I have so far here. I can spot at least half a dozen glaring problems and I’m sure you can spot many more:

  • It’s too big,
  • It’s too bold
  • The letters are squished up at the top of the highlight block
  • The letters are odd sizes at small size
  • The bottom of the g is cut off

Are there settings every ttf file should have? Are there common settings both Mac and windows software uses? Are there Windows essential settings and Mac essential settings? Are there settings already set by default I can look at and change and hope to have them become more correct?

General suggestions and ones specific to the linked image are welcome.



For example I wouldn’t dream of making changes to this thing until I understood what it did:
typoAscender integer The height of the ascenders in units.
Corresponds to the OpenType OS/2 table sTypoAscender field.
‘The typographic ascender for this font. Remember that this
is not the same as the Ascender value in the hhea table,
which Apple defines in a far different manner”

As far as Vertical Metrics go, I usually recommend the webfont strategy described in this tutorial:

The whole font appears too big for you? I would not necessarily agree, you have a certain degree of freedom, especially with hand drawn typefaces. But if you want it smaller, change File > Font Info > Font > UPM to something bigger than it is now, and then use a Scale to UPM parameter to the default value (2048 for TTF, 1000 for CFF).

Deactivate hinting. This typeface cannot be hinted. Add a parameter to your instance, Autohint, and set it to unchecked.

That would be your winDescent value. See the Vertical Metrics tutorial quoted above.

As far as Vertical Metrics go, I usually recommend the web font strategy

Ooh. A small number of practical metrics I can learn and understand. Thanks!

The whole font appears too big for you?

It’s not badly off. When placed on a page with bunch of other fonts it’s the obvious outlier until I give it a smaller size than the others.

Thanks for the tips,