Old vs New : Merriweather on Windows

This is a preview showing the new TTFA hinted rendering I am getting today. Although the new serif Merriweather offers a huge range of improvements over the old including a much larger glyphs set to support more languages, better print performance, prettier letters;  the biggest difference for most people will be the way it renders in Windows. These samples are from IE8 running in Windows 7. I should note that rendering is better on the Mac OS X as well although I won’t be showing images of this in this post.

Note: You may need to click on the images to see them at full size



Here we see 8px in the current version (June 24 2013) and on the right the one that is coming soon. We can see that while the new one may not be lovely it is now readable.

Note: Some readers may need to click on the images to see them at full size

new9pxIEWin7Here the main improvement is to the “g” although the height of the hyphen and the shape of the @ sign is better as well.


At 10px the new version shows increased regularity in height. The new version is usable whereas the old version was not. The clarity of the strokes is also increased.

new10pxaccentIEWin7The image above shows  new support for more languages and the clarity of the new diacritics.


The 11px sample shows perhaps the least difference but even here the text reads slightly more easily on the right. The @ sign is clearly better. Hopefully the top of the 5 can be lifted in the final version.


To me 12px was the size at which the old Merriweather began to look ok. The new version begins to show some of the letter details like the improved K R T S { } along with the improved ascender clarity and overall improved cohesion. The type feels more solid and more reliable now.


At 13px the subtle raising of the x height becomes suddenly very obvious. In text this gives a more newspaper-like feeling. Even with the loss of whitespace between lines I find this easier to read. The changes to the shapes of ? { } are especially apparent as well.



At 14px the the slight lowering of the capitals which was done to better fit diacritics becomes obvious. The improvement to overall clarity of the new version is also on display.



Although at 16px the differences are minimizing the improvements to spacing are evident along with a subtle improvement to overall clarity. The slash in the ø Ø are less heavy and better looking in the new version.







About Merriweather

Merriweather: a type family being developed by Eben Sorkin.
This entry was posted in Check it out, Design, Diacritics, Font, Punctiation, Reading, Rendering, Screen, TTFA, Windows. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Old vs New : Merriweather on Windows

  1. rubenverborgh says:

    Very nice hinting, I’m especially impressed by the 8px which seemed to look like camelcase at some points of the old version, but now look very smooth. Congratulations!

    In the 13px and 14px versions, however, the dot of the lowercase i is way above the uppercase N in “Nibble”. The effect is also visible in “Riddle” and others, but it’s really pronounced in “Nibble”, where the i is trapped between two straight lines.

  2. Merriweather says:

    Good point! I raised the dot as far as it seemed acceptable to go in print because I felt it was too low in the old version. But you are right, it isn’t great at 13 & 14. I’ll see what I can do to fix this before the new version comes out.

  3. Craig Smith says:

    Hi Eben, I have a few problems with rendering Merriweather installed fonts (locally) on Windows. I downloaded and installed the entire group of TTFs from Google to use as previews. I have noticed so far that primes (as in, 6′ 6″) don’t render in Firefox (replaced by boxed x’s), and in Chrome all Merriweather regular is rendered in italics. If I delete the typeface group locally so webfonts are being used instead then all is well. Merriweather Sans does not exhibit the same behavior under precisely the same conditions. Any ideas? Something to do with the TTFs I assume, is there a reason OTFs aren’t available?

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