I just started working on a grayscale font which will replace anti-aliased Univers 55 and 53 (9, 10 and 12pt) on a Flash site. The client isn’t happy with the current site (the text is “blurry” — which is due to the font, Flash antialising, and also the colors, which I can’t change) so I need to make two screen fonts, which won’t have features that stray too far from the Univers family.
I tried out existing pixel fonts, but they look too much like pixel fonts. Then I discovered Ultrafonts, and after a few tests in Photoshop, I’m pretty sure grayscale pixfonting is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, the result won’t look like Univers, it will just be the closest possible, as well as legible, at small sizes. Very neutral, not hip in any way.
I read on Typophile that it’s tricky to actually turn font designs into grayscale bitmap fonts. Why? is it a hack of some sort? I don’t intend to sell this font (it will belong to my client, since it’s based on a registered typeface etc.) so the concept of splitting revenue with Truth in Design just to use their software once seems silly. Then again, I don’t know how tricky the process is… Either way I’d love to learn more about it!
Oh and I’ll post some images in Critique when it’s over 5% done…
Building a grayscale bitmap font...