Fonts for low-resolution output

Addison Hall's picture

I know there are certain fonts designed especially for low-resolution output (desktop printers and such) such as Charter, Oranda, Amerigo, and even the Stone family. I'd like to understand more about the characteristics that make these fonts more appropriate for the low-res environment.

For instance, I've pretty much settled on using Stella for my own business where my output would consist mainly of my inkjet printers and clients who print PDF documents and presentations that I produce for them. I tested several fonts, including Proxima Nova which printed very clean -- cleaner than Stella -- but my wife (who needs glasses to read) still felt that Stella was easier to read. Where exactly do you strike the balance?

Thanks,
Addison

Stephen Coles's picture

Much of the performance on low-res output may be in the hinting. Proxima might have better hinting than Stella, but it doesn't read as a well for long texts because it's more geometric.

I would seek a typeface designed for text that has simple, sturdy forms (Charter, Oranda) and good hinting. The trouble is that it's difficult to judge hinting before purchase. It's one thing that type makers and sellers need to document more clearly.

Addison Hall's picture

Can you judge hinting at all by the "type-tester" outputs at different sizes?

What about sans serifs designed for low-resolution? While faces like Charter and Oranda are nice, I've never cared much about using bold weights of serifed text fonts -- I've always preferred a sans companion. Perhaps I should change my ways...

Is low-resolution output something other freelancers consider when creating their identity, or am I being overly obsessive about it?

Wow -- three more questions. Sorry.

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