I could use some hinting help, please

Hi, I’m trying to hint some glyphs, especially ones with horizontal lines, and I’m having some issues.

I added the following horizontal hints to my glyph:

When I view it in Illustrator, the anti-aliasing is blurring the top bar (sometimes is is one of the others, depends on the font size). Sometimes the middle bar jumps around and is not in the middle (closer to top or bottom).

Zoomed in

Am I doing something wrong? Or is my expectation incorrect?

Just trying to figure out how to make the bars look the same at all font sizes.


The same distance all the time and pixel snapping: impossible in some sizes. Think of distributing three stripes and two gaps across 6 pixels. There’s no solution, Hinting cannot do magic and change the number of pixels on your display.

If you want to preserve shapes as much as possible, do not hint. Hinting is a technology for distorting your shapes to fit on the pixel grid, not for preserving the shapes.

Thanks for the response.

I thought that’s what I was trying to do. I basically want to tell the rasterizer: make these bars the same size even if you have to move them to fit the pixel grid.

Anyway, are there any tricks to help the rasterizer? Like making sure coordinates are multiples of N?

Right now, the bars are 77 units high and 169 units apart. Obviously those are not nice round numbers, so that would most likely make it hard to align to the pixel grid.

Thanks again.

Even if you give a rasterizer all the help thinkable, it will not solve the logical problem of gridfitting x pixels into x+1 pixels.

You want to stay true to the shape? No hinting.
You want a distorted but crisp image? Hinting.
Pick one.

I think the problem is that even with hinting it is blurry. There might be something wrong with the stems or zones.

Sorry. I’m not a type designer, so not familiar with all the lingo.

I read up on alignment zones, but wasn’t sure if this applied.

Anyway, I guess I’m just trying to translate what appears to be “marketing speak” in this blurb about type fitting in pixel grids from here…


… with reality. They must be doing something right, because the ScreenSmart fonts do look crisp at lower resolutions.

Thanks to all for your feedback.