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Questions tagged [fonts]

Questions about matching fonts, using fonts together, manipulating fonts, font selection and font purchase and usage rights. Please use a more specific tag if available.

210
votes
13answers
95k views

What is wrong with Comic Sans?

There's a great TEDxExeter talk by a colleague of mine, Simon Peyton-Jones, about the recent advances in the English lower school 'computer science' curriculum. Like all of his slide decks he uses ...
76
votes
7answers
25k views

What is so good about Helvetica?

For as long as I have known, a majority of designers have been beyond enamoured with Helvetica. While I can see that it's a nice typeface, I really don't understand the hype. Some research into the ...
54
votes
6answers
45k views

What is the difference between a font and a typeface?

Originally, the typeface is a particular design of type, while a font is a type in a particular size and weight. In short, a typeface usually gathers many fonts. Nowadays, with the digital design of ...
52
votes
19answers
338k views

What are Google Webfonts or Typekit alternatives to Avenir Next Pro?

I'm looking for fonts, available from Google Webfonts (ideally) or Typekit, that would look similar to Avenir Next Pro, specifically, Bold and Demi: Any similar-looking fonts, with good cross-browser ...
45
votes
8answers
14k views

“Serifs improve fast, easy readability for long text” - myth or truth?

It's an old question, but an important one. Let's see if we can get a good, nuanced, ideally evidence-based answer. So, old-school wisdom (certainly, how I was taught back in the day) says that serif ...
43
votes
3answers
6k views

Why should I ever use Unicode’s special characters for Roman numerals?

This is to answer a question which arose in the comments on this question on the Unicode characters for Roman numerals: Why is this necessary or preferred over the usual way of typing ai, ai-ai, ai-...
37
votes
1answer
9k views

Why is the minus sign not on the same height as the plus sign?

I noticed that the horizontal lines of - and + signs are not on the same height for non-monospaced fonts. That looks ugly to me. What is the design principle or reason behind that?
36
votes
5answers
6k views

Is monospacing URLs in academic papers still advised?

When papers are written in the academic world, URLs are often set in monospace. The reason for this seems to be historic and is described in this Q&A at TexSE. It may be summarized as a leftover ...
31
votes
1answer
12k views

Why do some fonts make I, l, 1 look the same?

Why do some fonts make the I,l,1 characters look identical? There are fonts where they don't just look similar - they are the same exact pixel locations. Why were they ever created? I'm guessing ...
30
votes
6answers
12k views

A font that's readable with a 5px height

For use in Photoshop, I'm looking for a font that's exactly 5 px high but still readable. I tried some system fonts myself like Arial, Tahoma, Segoe UI but it all results in a pixely mess. Ideally ...
29
votes
3answers
5k views

I need a font like this but don't know which terms to look for

I have an idea for a logo, and an idea of what the font should look like. However, I don't know how to go about describing that to find a font. I know that the lines of the S should be parallel as ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the difference between a well constructed and a poorly constructed font?

I'm speaking of both, fonts optimised for print, and fonts optimised for screens. Serif and sans-serif doesn't matter. Commercial or free — also doesn't matter. What matters is the quality of the ...
24
votes
2answers
16k views

Optimum line height in relation to font size

Is there an agreement on what the optimum mathematical proportion of line height and the size of a text is? And if there is, is it the same for print and web?
22
votes
3answers
6k views

Is that a good kerning?

What do you think of this kerning? What adjustments should I make?
22
votes
5answers
18k views

What is the difference between Glyph and Font?

I was going through one document and I came across this term 'glyph'. The term was new to me so looked into wiki for its definition. I felt both glyph and font is same. Am I correct? Else please tell ...
22
votes
6answers
67k views

How to package all faces of a font into one family file (Mac)

I've got a few fonts I've purchased over the past few years. These are decent quality fonts with, on average, 8–15 different faces for the family. The problem I have is each face is listed ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are fonts from the 19th century not in the public domain?

(This is probably more a "copyright" question than anything, but I have not found an appropriate StackExchange site for this kind of question.) Why are fonts like Akzidenz-Grotesk, that were made way ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is Corbel listed as bad font for body text in Butterick's Practical Typography?

We are creating branding guidelines for a nonprofit voluntary organization. Only around 10 people will create content, but a lot more people will need to be able to view documents and publications ...
20
votes
5answers
33k views

Font (anti)aliasing in Photoshop

I'm using Photoshop for designing websites and whenever I compare a photoshop design with the live browser preview the fonts appear to be rendered differently. Basically any anti-aliasing method I ...
20
votes
6answers
114k views

What are the more respected sans serif fonts that come standard on most computers?

I've been tasked with making a powerpoint theme for the company I work for and one of the requirements is that it uses a font that comes standard with most computers. What are some of the built-in ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Font overload in academic documents

I'm a researcher in cryptography and regularly read and write acedemic papers which are, to say the least, not objects of great beauty. Recently I've noticed that the guideline not to use more than ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

“Wire” (one dimensional) font

All fonts I have ever heard of are two dimensional: each glyph is basically a two dimensional region (a closed contour or some closed contours), which the software or printer somehow strokes or fills ...
16
votes
4answers
9k views

What kind of character/personality is expressed by fonts that mix capitals and lowercase letters?

I'm trying to guage the purpose of using fonts that have random capitals where there should be lowercase letters. The question came about simply because I was looking at a design like the one I'm ...
15
votes
4answers
35k views

What are great fonts for information-heavy data tables?

I'm designing a web application which has lots of data tables with business information both as numbers (sales, hours etc) and text (product names, region names etc). What fonts are great for dense ...
14
votes
4answers
149k views

How to use San Francisco font on Windows?

I'm doing all graphic design in a startup company of some friends, and a major part of our product is developing an app that should run on everything after iPhone 4. So after some researching (I have ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

What font is used on the “Passengers” movie poster?

This is the poster in question: And here is a close-up of the font I'd like to know: I would like to know what font is used here. Most font recognition engines can't see the "E" without the "...
14
votes
8answers
15k views

Handwriting font that at random picks characters?

First, I don't know much about creating fonts. I work with a childrens book author and want to create a font from her handwriting. This means that I have to have more then one character per letter ...
14
votes
1answer
602 views

When designing a latin-based typeface, how are diacritics handled?

I was looking into designing a font that could include characters with diacritics but outside of knowing any other language besides English I was unsure if there was a reference or method designers ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What considerations are there in designing pixel fonts?

I'm designing monospace pixel fonts for a game, and so far I've only been able to work with extremely small sizes (largest I've managed is 5x9) because those ones are the easiest to try and err with. ...
14
votes
2answers
15k views

Embedding fonts in inkscape

Does any body know what is the current status of embedding fonts into an svg file that is readable by inkscape. I find the lack of embedded fonts severely impedes portability of svg files, particular ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a typeface be designed to have characters depend on previous characters within a typed word?

I am embarking on a project to design my own font for a personal project that will resemble my handwriting. I have read a few good guides to get a broad view of what it will take for me to achieve ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Helvetica: trailing leg in lowercase “a”

Why sometimes I find Helvetica with the letter "a" with the right leg straight and other times I find it with the right leg turned to the right: Letter "a" with right leg straight: Letter "a" with ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are fonts more expensive when used in games?

I'm a video game developer who loves fonts. I noticed that fonts are often more expensive when they are bought to be used in games. For example, a font called Daft Brush on HypeForType is sold for $...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there a way to select OpenType features in Inkscape?

Today's OpenType fonts have a lot of features included like: kerning, capital spacing, ligatures, old style figures and stylistic sets. I miss these features a lot. Is there a way to select ...
13
votes
2answers
44k views

Fonts for technical reports

I'm building an MS Word template for my reports. I am not sure what to use for fonts. I see lots of reports from clients and others using Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambrai, ...
13
votes
5answers
915 views

Is there a standard font format that is considered best practice when creating an open source/free font?

If I want to venture into the world of typeface design, I of course would prefer to use the proper font file format. I'm wondering if there exists an industry standard for this, as well as whether ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there a font that has the same height for every character?

It occured to me that in all fonts I know of, different characters have a different height. Why is this so? Are there fonts where all characters have the same height? If so, is there a name for this ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a polynomial kerning table?

From Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style: Names like T.V.R. Murti and T.R.V Murti, for example, pose microscopic typographic problems that no binomial kerning table can solve. ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I specify tracking in a logo file I deliver to the customer?

I have made a logo in Illustrator and now I want to deliver it to our client. But I also want to send him a little logo guide and for that, I want to specify the tracking of the letters. A "-25" is in ...
12
votes
5answers
17k views

How to find open source alternatives to commercial fonts?

What is the best way to find an open source alternative to a commercial font? I was thinking as some service as alternativeto.net or a whatthefont.com that would spit out fonts that are similar to the ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Looking for a Japanese font to match Garamond

Question: I'm currently taking a Japanese History course, and typing up (what I believe to be) a very pretty set of course notes. However, I'm having trouble finding an appropriate font. I'm currently ...
12
votes
3answers
35k views

What can I do with AFM - Adobe font metrics file?

I received zip containing font in .afm format. Is this some sort of source-code of a font that can be converted TTF/OTF or so? How can I actually read and use this file?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I represent a country with a font?

I am working on a multilingual book about some European Union countries. The selected are: Poland, Greece, Spain, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, Austria, Turkey and Estonia. I wish to write a ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How to find/browse fonts that include certain rare characters? (unicode/international)

This question is similar to How to know which of my fonts do or don't support certain glyphs?, but for fonts in font shops, not just fonts I already have. I need to make a design which includes two ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

How to manually identify a font when the automatic services fail?

A common problem: Designer has spotted a delicious font being used on/offline, but there are no references what is the name of the font. The designer either gets unsatisfactory results from automatic ...
11
votes
4answers
22k views

How can I make a font monospaced?

Suppose that I have a font in a modestly popular format (.ttf, .otf, etc.), and I have the legal rights to modify it. As it stands, it is a normal font with different charaters (glyphs?) varying in ...
11
votes
1answer
29k views

How can I open a PDF in illustrator and convert text with a missing font into outlines

I have a PDF that is editable in Illustrator. I have to open the PDF in Illustrator and edit individual parts of the document but I am missing the font that is used in the PDF. When I open the PDF in ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a general rule regarding font spacing?

Lately I've been looking into designing my own font. As practice I did some small family jobs, like I had created this design with 3 letters, the whole thing was pretty much a "custom font". I was ...
11
votes
1answer
251 views

Is it ok to mix fonts in Japanese documents?

If careful, reading, understanding, and form can be improved when mixing fonts carefully. For example, using carefully matched sans-serif fonts for titles with serif-fonts for text can achieve a ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

How to determine what a font's personality is?

I've been doing a lot of research and reading on how to better myself with typography and one issue I would like to improve is pairing fonts. However, all the articles I have read discuss that ...