{ Designing fonts with an underlaying screen grid }

Rene Verkaart's picture

Hi guys,

Think Verdana. I want to start designing a new font and I want to use an underlaying screen grid to get the geometry of the glyphs just right. I don't want to make a grid-font, but want to use the screen grid as a starting point for the porportions. The font should be something like Verdana, Helvetica, DIN, or so.

Is there anyone that has ever worked this way? Perhaps you have some information on the topic or just anything to get me started the right way.

I hope that this way the font better works onscreen (in the right pixel size) and might therefor needs less hinting. On the other hand it should work best in print. Therefor the underlaying grid is just a starting point.


Pieter van Rosmalen's picture

Hello René,

Base by Emigre is a typeface based on a (pixel) screenfont.
Is this perhaps what you mean?


hrant's picture

Our Eben has put a lot of thought into this sort of thing.

> needs less hinting

Although this would only really work out for a single PPEM size.


negativespace's picture

I may be mistaken but I think this is something Peter Biľak did with Fedra Sans, not designed specifically to be a pixel font, but to work just as well in print as it does on screen by making some of the forms relate to the grid structure. So that may be a good reference.


Rene Verkaart's picture

Thomas, that's what I need. I knew someone did this before, but couldn't find it again or remember who it was.
Hrant, sure it works for a specific PPEM size, but that's fine. I think most fonts on screen are used between 10 and 13 pixels (correct me if I'm wrong). Pixel fonts can go smaller.

Is there more info out there? Just experiences from people who did this procedure before. I don't want to step into any (to me) unknown pitfalls.


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