Well-finished look on typefaces

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ignaciogiri's picture
Joined: 30 Nov 2008 - 3:19am
Well-finished look on typefaces

Hello, this is my first post in here, and let me tell you that I'm from Argentina and I'm a huge fan of typefaces. Sorry for my english, is not that strong sometimes.

I look into the Hoefler & Frere-Jones website (by the way, I sent an email about this thread to them too) and I saw them recommendation for the use of their fonts.

I tried myself on photoshop, but my example doesn't look with that well-finished as H&F example, mine looks blurred or with more smooth than the H&F example.

Check in here:

I tried with unsharp features, high-pass filters, inner shadows, I can do something very similar, but not with that high well-finished, I'm sure that there should be a good technique or I'm missing something in the way, so if anyone can send me some tips about this, it could be great.

Thanks in advance.

Nick Shinn's picture
Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am

The thick strokes are slightly darker at the edges, indicating that their image has been sharpened.
So use the "sharpen" filter, or "unsharp mask", which may be fine-tuned.

Kent Lew's picture
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am

The type in the H&FJ samples may not have been set in Photoshop to begin with, but rather in InDesign and then rasterized into Photoshop, either via a PDF or possible even a screen shot. Then perhaps a touch of unsharp mask, as Nick suggests.

You may also want to experiment with different anti-alias settings in Photoshop -- i.e., 'sharp', 'crisp', 'strong', etc.

Also, in your sample the color contrast is not as strong, which could also contribute to less distinct edges.

J.P. Knox's picture
Joined: 8 Oct 2004 - 11:00am

As Kent mentions, if you want crisp looking text in Photoshop, make sure you select either "Sharp" or "Crisp" from the anti-aliasing options. Sharp is sharpest, but will distort the letters' geomteries more than Crisp will.

As for sharpening, "unsharp mask" is a very old sharpening technology that is not very good. I recommend you play around with the "smart sharpen" filter instead to achieve best results. For text at the sizes you are looking at you might try setting it to remove gaussian blur, .8px radius, 30% strength, and "more accurate" enabled.