Hinting a very thin slanted font

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Joe VanDerBos's picture
Joined: 14 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
Hinting a very thin slanted font

Confession: I’m a hinting novice. And I’m trying to make up for lost time. My problem is with a very thin slanted font. The stroke weight is about 38 units per a 1000 unit em. Here’s a small sample: http://www.joevanderbos.com/slanted.jpg

Fontlab has done a fairly good job with the type 1 hints. I’m not unhappy with the screen display (on MacOS) at most sizes I’ve tried.

My challenge is with true-type hints. In some odd sizes, the stems appear double width, which stands out like a sore thumb in a mono-stroked font. My efforts to improve them have been spotty at best. I don’t think I make much improvement by addressing each troublesome letter individually than I do by just auto-generating them. Is there a way to effectively hint diagonals?

How important is good hinting? Should I just forget it? Should I care about Windows users with lo-res inkjets? Do most people who use true-type fonts even know what they’re looking at? Yes, this is becoming more of a Dear Abby letter than a query to the techno-smarties out there.

Sorry this is vague and meandering… I’ve been struggling with a way to make a coherent query. I’ve read the Manual for fontlab hinting, and some of it has sunk in, but perhaps not enough.

Thanks, Joe