I have a weird thing happening with this font. It's Avenir. I've used it in the past with no issues, but this one seems to pop up once in awhile. The issue if not obvious is that some letters appear larger than the others. The 'C" and the 'G' for example.

Any ideas?

I'm using a Macbook Pro

type issues

  • 5
    Rounded characters are traditionally slightly larger than their square counterparts. It's done intentionally to counteract the visual size variation which occurs due tot he rounded tops.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 18:37
  • Avenir seems to conform to that, probably 1-2 pixels height difference in larger type sizes ( linotype.com/43930/AvenirStd95Black-product.html ) Just scroll down until the "C" touches the top edge of the browser viewport.
    – horatio
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 18:43
  • They seem too big to me, for that to be the reason. I am guessing you guys are pointing to the effect demonstrated on Palatino here? i.sstatic.net/RFyMf.png
    – benteh
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 23:40

3 Answers 3


This can happen when the type is used at sizes not supported in the hinting. It's essentially a display error. When you print it's gone. Even exporting to PNG or jpeg will fix it in some cases. Other than that, the only fix is more complete hinting.

  • 1
    Would this particular instance benefit from setting the type larger, rasterizing the type layer, then scaling? Or perhaps a smart object with larger type scaled down.
    – horatio
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 20:59
  • That's a darn good question. I've never tried. Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 21:13
  • I'd imagine rasterizing the type layer would do the trick
    – SaturnsEye
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 15:53
  • Yes, rasterizing then down scaling haywire hinting does sort out hinting issues, but there are easier solutions: try different anti-aliasing mode like "crisp" or "strong", or try a size that's a rounder number (e.g. 22 instead of 21.5, or 24 instead of 23) Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 12:11

I sort of fixed it by changing the display method in Photoshop. I had anti aliasing method set to 'crisp' I changed it 'sharp' (or vice versa) and it cleaned it up.

  • Glad you got it sorted! You can set your own answer to the accepted one. Be good for future reference.
    – benteh
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 15:03

Scott is correct. Rounded letters are usually slightly higher than their square counterparts. This helps create an illusion that the letters are actually the same height when side by side forming words. If all the letters were indeed the exact same height the letters that are curved at the top and bottom will actually appear to be smaller in height due to the eye's limitation.

This becomes quite apparent in the case of the words formed here as the letters fail to delude the eye since each word only has one rounded letter each.

Avenir does tend to take the effect to the extreme and perhaps a screen view setting could reduce the noticeability slightly but not fully.

If the letters need to be the exact same size best thing to do it to use an actual art program such as Adobe Illustrator and manually set the height of each letter overtop your photo after the fonts have been converted to outlines.

Good luck.

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