Problem with bowls/counters

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Kostas Bartsokas's picture
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 - 6:57am
Problem with bowls/counters
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Hi everybody

this is my first spot and I am new to the forum. I am designing a typeface in Fontlab. I export the font and it looks great both in Fontlab and in Suitcase Fusion. But when I try and use it in Illustrator, when I zoom out the counters and bowls look weird, as if they are a bit offset upwards or downwards.

this image shows the screen in illustrator at 33% zoom. The top one is the written and the bottom one outlined.


this image shows the screen at 100%. Both look right.

Can anyone help me on this?

Thanks in advance!

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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Don’t zoom out: problem solved.

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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Have you set up alignment zones? Have you autohinted?

Nathaniel Winter-Hébert's picture
Joined: 20 Apr 2012 - 12:17pm
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I find Illustrator doesn't handle the hinting all too well, but even if text gets a little wonky when zoomed out, it should still print fine.

In your character panel, if you open up the advanced settings, there's a drop down with some options to set the anti-aliasing methods. Setting things to "crisp" tends to emulate print output in my eyes, and usually corrects those odd counter issues when zoomed out.

Kostas Bartsokas's picture
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 - 6:57am
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Oldnick, great advice!

Eliason, I think you are right. It must be a problem caused by autohinting. I haven't got time at the moment to fix it, but I did alter something and reexported the font and it did look different. I will try tomorrow and fix it.

Nathaniel, are you sure there is such a dropdown selection in illustrators' character palette? There is one in photoshop.

Thank you all for your support.

Nathaniel Winter-Hébert's picture
Joined: 20 Apr 2012 - 12:17pm
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It could be an issue with autohinting, but most "pro" typefaces I've used in Illustrator all exhibit the same wonky features when zoomed out; even Helvetica Neue looks like a jokey clown font at 33%. Setting it to crisp, however, makes it a lot more pleasant on the eyes.

Kostas Bartsokas's picture
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 - 6:57am
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Hi Nathaniel! You got me there! It's really there! Haha... and I keep telling myself that I know my whereabouts in illustrator pretty well! Indeed, there is a big difference when I set it to crisp - it all becomes normal. However, I think I will take the hard way and try and work on the hinting of the font, since I want other people to use it as well.

I will keep you posted.