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Over 600 Hand-Hinted Web Fonts Released to Fonts.com Web Fonts

by Chris Roberts

PDF Catalog of Hand-Hinted Web Fonts

If you’ve been following the developments regarding “Web fonts”, you’ve probably heard someone complain about the way some Web fonts look in the Windows® operating system. You may have even heard that the problem is more specifically to do with Windows XP. If you really dug deep, you may have read that the most egregious cases are centered on a scenario where a Windows XP user is surfing with a browser that does not have default ClearType® support. And if you are a total Web fonts junky with way too much time on your hands, you may have looked up operating system and browser market share figures and arrived at the conclusion that over 30% of your visitors may fall into this category. Then, you may have been overcome with feelings of nausea, dread and hopelessness.

All is not lost. First of all, time is on your side. XP won’t be around forever. Every day Windows 7 is gaining ground on XP. Someday this will all be nothing more than a poorly rendered memory. Better still, you don’t have to wait for “someday”. There is something you can do today to cure those XP induced Web font blues. Fonts.com Web Fonts now offers over 600 “hand-hinted” Web fonts to help address this specific situation. Among them you will find several classics like Avenir®, Bookman Old Style™, Century Gothic™, Eurostile® Next, Frutiger®, Helvetica®, Trade Gothic® and Univers®.

What does hand-hinted mean? Basically, it means that a real person sat in front of a computer monitor and studied each character at different point sizes, making painstaking adjustments until they were satisfied with the result. But we are not talking about just any person. Hand-hinters are to fonts what sommeliers are to wine. It takes many years to learn to do it well. Every font is different in design and characteristic. It takes a rare and highly skilled expert to get it right.

Monotype Imaging has been in the hinting business since the beginning. Over the years we have accumulated a great deal of font hinting knowledge and talent. We’ve also produced a very large number of expertly hand-hinted fonts. Today, it’s our pleasure to share them with you.

Here’s a link to our hand hinted Web fonts now available on Fonts.com Web Fonts:
Click here

Here’s a link to a PDF catalog of our hand-hinted Web fonts:
Click here

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5 Responses to “Over 600 Hand-Hinted Web Fonts Released to Fonts.com Web Fonts”

  1. […] Read the original:  Over 600 Hand-Hinted Web Fonts Released to Fonts.com Web Fonts … […]

  2. Stephen Coles says:

    The is good news. When can we expect previews of the fonts in various rendering environments (ClearType on/off, GDI/DW)?

  3. John dudley says:

    There is big problem with the new fonts.
    Although the font face looks better in PC, it is aligned in total inconsistency with the Mac.
    On the Mac the fonts are aligned to the top of the line and in the PC to the bottom.
    It is now impossible to use the fonts in a reasonable manner in both systems when you have 4px difference in alignment.

  4. yameighty says:

    If what John Dudley says is correct then that’s a serious issue.

  5. In OpenType and TrueType Fonts there are two tables to store vertical metrics. One is meant to be used by the Mac platform the other by Windows. Ideally these values are compatible. However there is a third group of entries named WinAscent and WinDescent that are meant to be used by the Windows rasterizer to determine the absolute minimum and maximum values in vertical direction in the font. The rasterizer is supposed to use these values to avoid clipping. Unfortunately Windows not just uses these values to avoid clipping, but also as vertical metrics, while it ignores the actual values. This can lead to extraordinary line heights on Windows, if the font contains e. g. many single or even double accented characters or swash characters. In such cases the difference between the Mac platform and the Windows platform is enormous.

    Over the years font makers developed several approaches to set the vertical metrics of a font. The font vendor have to decide whether they want the fonts to be cross platform compatible or spec conform or something in between to guarantee not too extreme vertical metrics, almost platform compatibility, and minimum clipping.

    As has been pointed out above, in some cases this situation has created a problem for web fonts. Since webfonts will be used cross platforms more extensively than desktop fonts we have decided to optimize the vertical metrics of our webfonts to gain maximum cross platform compatibility. We are working on implementing these changes now and should have it completed for all effected web fonts within the next few weeks.

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