As a first type design exercise and in order to properly learn how to use the software, I am redrawing the typeface Akzidenz Grotesk by Berthold in Glyphs. I am basing my exercise on the Akzidenz Grotesk Next version, a rendering of the font done by Bernd Möllenstädt and Dieter Hofrichter in 2006.

In order to study the original typeface, I opened the .otf-file of my Akzidenz Grotesk Next copy in Glyphs. Looking at the individual letters, I noticed the yellow-colored areas around the guidelines for the metrics (top, cap height, x-height, baseline and descender). In the new Glyphs-file which I created for my redrawing these are currently not being displayed. I am somehow unable to find out what these mean and what they are for. Could someone explain them to me?

What I see when opening the .otf-file of the original Akzidenz Grotesk Next: Akzidenz Grotesk Next

The Edit View of my current redrawing of the typeface (no yellow colored areas around the guidelines): enter image description here

1 Answer 1


They're alignment zones*, used for (auto-)hinting (which gives hints on how to render your font at smaller sizes). You can find a good overview of autohinting in Glyphs here: https://glyphsapp.com/tutorials/hinting-postscript-autohinting

You can also read more in the Glyphs handbook: https://glyphsapp.com/content/1-get-started/2-manuals/1-handbook-glyphs-2-0/Glyphs-Handbook-2.3.pdf

You set alignment zones in the Font Info dialog (File → Font Info... or cmd+i), usually with positions that correspond to your metrics and with a size of the maximum offshoot or deviation from those metrics that you want to align:

enter image description here

* Top, Cap Height, x-Height, Baseline and Descender are not alignment zones; they are metrics. Alignment zones are specific areas used for hinting (at least in Glyphs terminology).


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