Font Hinting mystery/discovery

Perhaps the most exciting part of the new Merriweather release ( 12/26/2013) for me is a font developer geek discovery. I seem to have found a way of passing manual hinting into the auto-hinter TTFA. TTFA is what hints 99% of the font. It does a great job. But for the lower case g and the capital letter Ef if Cyrillic I was not happy. By passing manual hinting through TTFA I was able to get rendering of both letters to improve in Windows XP and Windows 7. This means even higher quality is possible for people using TTFA. I will be working to find out precisely how & why this happens with the author of TTFA Werner Lemberg so more people can take advantage of it. In the meantime if you want to try this – manually hint a glyph – say the ‘g’ for instance and then check the ‘pre-hinting’ checkbox in the GUI of TTFA. I’ll be interested to hear what people discover.

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About Merriweather

Merriweather: a type family being developed by Eben Sorkin.
This entry was posted in Announcement, Hinting, TrueType, Windows. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Font Hinting mystery/discovery

  1. Off topic comment, but since I saw hyphens in your post (or is than en dash?) let me bring it; I have been trying to use Merriweather Serif in a web site a while ago, it is a great typeface and I really like it, except the hyphen: it is very high for lower case letters and looks out of place, like if I’m using the wrong character not a hyphen (and it was specially anooying since the site was using automatic hyphenation). Is there a reason for the high position of the hyphen? Can it be improved, even if by providing an alternate glyph?

    • Merriweather says:

      I will be fixing that. The explanation is that when I made both the serif & Sans originally I tried to find a height for the hyphen & other dashes that was a compromise between the lower case and the the caps. The compromise was clearly too high! The new serif has a lower position for the hyphen and other dashed because I concluded that I would make a CASE feature for the version you can conventionally license that would address an all caps instance and so I could let the hyphen be genuinely lower case oriented. I expect to update the Sans to follow this. The Sans does not have the new hinting yet and needs that. I would also like to add a few more glyphs to add support for a few more languages. Indeed I would love to expand the Sans to support Cyrillic but we’ll have to see what Google wants in that case. That’s too much work to just volunteer to do it!

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