Whitney Bold (H+F) on the web at small size

Timothy Gray's picture

I'm looking for a typeface that is easy to read on screen at small sizes (11-14px high). It will be reversed on a colored button and dark gray on a white button. I'm currently considering Whitney Bold, but don't want to drop the cash if it's not going to work at these sizes. Does anyone have a copy of this typeface that would be willing to do a test for me? I need a few representative words typeset in uppercase at 11, 12, 13 and 14 pixels high. Black on white is fine. Ideally the words would be things like "SAVE", "EDIT", "CANCEL" "ADD". I'd really appreciate any help you can give.

Feel free to make suggestions for alternate fonts as well. My primary requirement is that it be a stylistically neutral sans serif that's readable at small sizes. Here's an example of the button set in Kievit Bold. Thanks!

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Stephen Coles's picture

Kievit is just fine. We've found that Freight Sans works nicely for our e-commerce buttons. Proxima Nova is reads well at Virb, even at tiny sizes (see their nav).

Timothy Gray's picture

Here's an existing button on our site. Anyone else think we should stick with Kievit or "upgrade" to Whitney Bold?

Dan Petter's picture

Timothy: Kievit looks fine indeed. so does Freight Sans, and Whitney would work just as well.

to my eyes, what sets Stephens samples apart from yours is not the font choice but the generous tracking. small-size/all-caps is sooo much easier to read with that extra bit of air in there.

Timothy Gray's picture

Agreed... My text is a bit tight. I'll be sure not to repeat that with these new buttons. Thanks!

dberlow's picture

"Agreed... My text is a bit tight."

You are outlining the text, which besides confusing the reader at small sizes, has a tendency to make things tighter, as the outline is additional to the glyphs contour, and not internal to it, in my opinion.


Timothy Gray's picture

Can you elaborate on "confusing the reader at small sizes"?

hrant's picture

I don't have Whitney, but there is evidence that it's great at text sizes onscreen. Its judiciously non-orthogonal terminals might be the secret. Plus you'll end up using it to great effect in other ways too, so I would go for it.

If you're going to use only certain point sizes, another way you can go is a pixelfont - some of them even use anti-aliasing. For example for 13 point you might use Mana-13 Bold (the light-on-dark cut) which you can see here: http://www.themicrofoundry.com/manademo/


blank's picture

I do have Whitney, and while it does look good onscreen at text sizes, the difference between the it an Kievit will be negligible. What really makes Whitney stand out are the self-indulgent subtleties, and they get lost rendered onscreen. Here it is at 14 points in FEX:

Timothy Gray's picture

I decided to go for it... Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and critiques.

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