Characters' sizes guide?

Hello everybody!

Just a quick question: Is there such a things as a guide to typical or standard character sizes? I'm in the process of creating a new typeface and I'm having trouble deciding on the width of some characters in relation to each other... for example, what's the typical length of the minus hyphen compared to the m dash? And the plus character? And so on and so on... Some very good info is in the "Character design standards" Microsoft Typography site, but no info on widths/proportions.

Also, any resource listing all the characters that "need" to be included in a font? My typeface will be Latin and Cyrillic and I'm using other fonts to look at which characters to include.


quadibloc's picture

One possibility is to look up information on Monotype matrix-case arrangements, or on the Selectric Composer, since these were systems that made character widths explicit.

My web page, at

happens to deal with this very subject.

Graphirus's picture

Thanks a lot quadibloc, I'm gonna take a look at the given link.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Regarding Latin and Cyrillic, both of those are nearly open-ended. How *much* Latin/Cyrillic do you want to cover? It's a complicated question.

Some Latin groupings, each a superset of the previous

Western Europe (Adobe Latin 1 or 2)
+Adobe CE (includes Turkish, Baltic, etc, a.k.a. Adobe Latin 3)
Adobe Latin 4 (not much more than Vietnamese)

See for more on this.

One can make a similar ladder for Cyrillic. See for example:
Not quite as well developed, but a start.



Syndicate content Syndicate content