Question about fonts with too many anchor points

Hi, I have a question about these modern fonts that simulate a brush the ones that are scanned and vectorized as-is and pasted into Glyphs resulting in a font outline with a lot of anchor points. I’m not talking about script fonts with minimal anchor points carefully plotted. What problems could happen with fonts like that? Could a complex font like that slow down a computer processor, or if they are embed in a website would there be longer loading times, or could there be any problems?

Would you have this information – what’s the maximum number of anchor points in a given letter or what recommendation would you give in this case for designing complex fonts like that?

Fonts with many nodes have two problems.
First the produce big files that is mostly a problem with webfonts. You don’t like to download 2MB just to see you headlines.
Second it slows down rendering. I saw some fonts where the glyphs would appear one after another in Indesign.
And some systems refuse to use them at all.

If I remember correctly you’ll should not have more than 1000 nodes per glyph. But that is already a lot and should be reduced as much as possible.

What Georg said, and:

  • replace curves with straight lines (there’s a script for that in my scripts repository, or you can use Filter > Roughen for that), curves render much slower, and many curves can cause problems.
  • on Windows, use TTF instead of CFF/OTF.
  • don’t use any hinting, delete all hints (again, there is a script)
  • if you do use CFF/OTF, disable subroutines with the custom parameter of the same name.

I find that stuff tends to go wrong once you start pushing past 1,000 nodes per glyph, without curves. With more than that you’re going to run into performance and stability problems. Additionally, if you’re using a Retina display, performance in Glyphs will become a problem as you add points. If you get into the thousands of nodes per glyph the FDK won’t even compile the font.

And I second what Rainer said; eliminate all curves.

My process for this is to:

  • Autotrace in Glyphs with Georg’s TraceImage plugin. I don‘t autotrace in Illustrator because Illustrator generates messy outlines that require several steps (per glyph) to clean up.
  • Delete any big ugly shapes that I don’t in the glyph.
  • Copy/paste to Illustrator and reduce the complexity of the path.
  • Copy/paste back to Glyphs.
  • Remove extra points with Rainer’s “Retract BCPs” script
  • Use Paths > Tidy Up Paths two or more times to clean up redundant points
  • Manually adjust the path to make it not look like some halfassed autotraced logo. This part takes between five and thirty minutes per glyph. I charge a lot for this, because it’s a tedious PITA and by the time it’s done your back will hurt and your vision will be blurry.
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Cool, much expertise coming together here, perhaps I’ll channel this into a tutorial soon.

One more thing coming to my mind: to remove small paths, you can use the plugin of the same name in Window > Plugin Manager. You want to get rid of vector debris, usually 400 to 500 square units is a good threshold value.

And for reducing path complexity, you can also try Simon Cozen’s SuperTool. It works a little differently compared to AI, but you might save some time going back and forth between apps.

Great advice thanks.
There are some brush style fonts on that have that rough brush feel.
So I guess to achieve that they probably had to reduce points…I’ve been looking at their previews.
Some fonts that come to mind are:

  • sonica brush
  • XXII Grober Pinsel
  • plz print brush
  • Az Varsity brush
  • Canvas Acrylic Megafamily from