Correct width and Em size

borishrncic's picture


I've been designing my first typeface for the last few weeks and I run into a question:

How do you know the proper width for each glyph?

I'm worrying that, for instance, the width of my "A" is too long compared to other letters. Is there a mathematical way or something like that, other than just the naked eye to figure out the correct proportions?

I'm mainly having this issue with the Caps.

Thanks in advance!

quadibloc's picture

It is an aesthetic judgement, not something determined by a fixed rule.

However, you can look at the widths used by other typefaces, particularly ones similar in style to the one you are designing.

I have a web page at

which may be useful, particularly if you are designing a conventional text typeface, in providing some starting points.

sanderpe's picture

Well, some Italian renaissance artists believed that an accurate, geometric construction of letters according to the golden ratio, or divine proportion, was the correct way to go about it. Others like Giovanni Cresci believed that using the naked eye and one's own discretion was better. So there isn't one way in making it “proper”, but I'm sure there are guidelines I don't know about that could help you improve your typeface.

borishrncic's picture


I found both of your answers usefull, THANKS!!!

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