4

Designers have provided us with the specification that a font should be rendered with weight 75 Bold.

The software I am using (CSS, WPF) expects font weights in the range of roughly 100 and 900. How do I have to interpret the 75 in practice?

From one question, I figure that the 100 to 900 range is from what is called Linotype system, or TrueType dimensions, as they are called elsewhere. Also, again the aforementioned question indicates the one digit numbers seem to be from the so-called Panose system.

Is it legitimate to simply assume the range from 100–900 proportionally matches the range from 2–9, as is implied in a question? I am also wondering about this as, for instance, the WPF values slightly exceed that range by using value 950 (not that this would be a problem if I assume a linear relationship).

  • 1
    Is this in relation to a specific font, or was this specification given as a general rule? "a weight of 75 bold" without referring to a specific font doesn't mean much – Cai Nov 10 '16 at 11:24
  • @Cai: Yes, a font name was given, as well (Helvetica new). However, it is obvious to me how to set the font name in the target system, whereas it is not obvious to me how to use the indicated font weight. – O. R. Mapper Nov 10 '16 at 11:29
  • Did they supply the font? There is a "Helvetica Neue 75 Bold" which is basically what they are telling you to use. – Cai Nov 10 '16 at 11:32
4

Font weight numbers don't mean much except in regards to that specific font, there is no universal standard and the numbers are used as a naming convention to differenciate the weights within a typeface—75 bold in one font will not neccesarily be the same weight visually as 75 bold in another.

Helvetica Neue, as many other fonts, has specific numbered weights (which you can see for example on MyFonts). You can see the specific weight Helvetica Neue 75 Bold:

enter image description here

If you're using a version of Helvetica Neue that doesn't have a number in the name (as the version installed with your OS probably is) then I'm almost certain that the "Bold" version will be the same weight—compare with another version if you're unsure or ask the designer who specified the font to you.

In CSS the "Bold" font-weight is generally set as font-weight: 700; but this depends on how you are loading your fonts. When you include a font with @font-face for example, you can set the corresponding font-weight to anything you like, all that matters is that you're loading the correct font file and the numbers between your declaration and use match.

0

Adrian Frutiger seems to have been the one who started that numbering system with his Univers family.

In his system, 65 is Bold. Bold seems to map to 700 in the other system.

75 is Black, so that would be somewhere in 800 to 900.

(Just for reference: Frutiger's system uses the first digit for weight and the second for width and italicising (odd is upright, even is oblique). So...

55 is the middle: regular/book weight, neither condensed nor wide.

56 is 55's italic

63 is Bold Wide

65 is Bold Normal/Regular

67 is Bold Condensed

43 is Light Wide

45 is Light Normal

47 is Light Condensed

59 is regular/book weight, XCondensed

93 is XBlack Wide

et cetera)

  • 1
    But OP is using Helvetica Neue—in which 75 is Bold, not Black :) (hence my comment that the numbers don't really mean anything between typefaces—even if there are systems, they aren't universal) – Cai Nov 10 '16 at 12:26
  • Very true that there's no universal standard. But for that very reason I might choose to double-check that, e.g., "Helvetica new", the font name given, was actually meant to mean "Helvetica Neue" and not "Neue Helvetica" or some other font that is actually named "Helvetica New". – MMacD Nov 10 '16 at 12:46
  • Fair enough. AFAIK "Helvetica Neue" and "Neue Helvetica" are actually the same typeface, and regardless every version I've ever seen uses "75 Bold". – Cai Nov 10 '16 at 12:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.