Optimizing "classical" typeface for screen

pixelrecon's picture

I would like to ask if anybody have some experience with optimizing "classical" typeface for screen. Could you tell me more about hinting, global hints, delta hint, differenc between True type and PosctScript fonts on screen...etc

pixelrecon's picture

Thanks Adam very good links. A lot of to read :-) Seems to me is more complicated than ever thought.
I am writing disseration about Adrian Frutiger and his typecases. I would like to test Univers on scren - how it looks like on low resolution. Could you tell some tips what is the best way to do it? I've just try it in Fireworks. Homestly I'm not sure if its the way. Anyway thank you a lot. :-)

Si_Daniels's picture

Not sure if you

twardoch's picture

Vojtech,

As Simon writes, there are different digital versions of Univers: official designs and their clones. Some of them are still available for sale, some are not. Below is a short list of those I know of. I agree with Simon that the Linotype "XSF" version is probably the one with the best screen quality.


1. Font: LTUnivers (LinotypeUnivers-BasicMedium)
Format: Type 1
Copyright (c) 1997 by Linotype Library GmbH / Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

2. Font: Univers LT Std 55 Roman (UniversLTStd)
Format: OpenType PS (UniversLTStd.otf)
Copyright (c) 1987-2002 by Adobe Systems Incorporated, 1981-2002 by Linotype Library GmbH / Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

3. Font: Univers LT 55 Roman (UniversLT)
Format: Type 1 (lte50138.pfb)
Copyright (c) 1987-2002 by Adobe Systems Incorporated, 1981-2002 by Linotype Library GmbH / Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

4. Font: Univers LT 55 Roman (UniversLT)
Format: TrueType (lte50138.ttf)
Copyright (c) 1987-2002 by Adobe Systems Incorporated, 1981-2002 by Linotype Library GmbH / Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

5. Font: Univers 55 Roman (Univers)
Format: Type 1 (UV______.PFB)
Copyright (c) 1987-1998 by Adobe Systems Incorporated, 1981-1998 by Linotype Library GmbH / Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

6. Font: Univers 55 Regular (UniversBQ-Regular)
Format: Type 1
Copyright (c) 1992 by H. Berthold AG, Berlin

7. Font: Univers Medium (Univers-Medium)
Format: TrueType (unvr55w.ttf)
Copyright (c) 1992-1997 by Hewlett-Packard

8. Font: Zurich (ZurichBT-Roman)
Format: Type 1 (0178A___.PFB)
Copyright (c) 1990-2001 by Bitstream Inc.

9. Font: Zurich BT Roman (ZurichBT-Roman)
Format: TrueType (tt0178m_.ttf)
Copyright (c) 1990-2001 by Bitstream Inc.

10. Font: Unitus T Regular (UnitusT-Regu) / U001T (U001T-Regu)
Format: Type 1 (u001003t.pfb) and TrueType (u001003t.ttf)
Copyright (c) 1994 by URW; (c) 1998 by (URW)++

11. Font: Univers Roman SB / Univers Roman SH
Format: Type 1
Copyright (c) 1994 by Scangraphic


This list is by no means extensive and I'm sure I omit something.

I recommend testing on following operating systems:

[OSX] Mac OS X 10.3.7

[OS9] Mac OS 9.2 or Mac OS X Classic mode, with ATM 4.6 Lite installed

[W98] Microsoft Windows 98 SE with ATM 4.1 Lite installed

[WXP] Microsoft Windows XP SP-2

(If you're only working on a Mac, I recommend that you get Virtual PC and install two virtual machines, one running Windows 98 and the other Windows XP -- this way you will have the ability to test on all platforms on just one computer).

You can go to http://www.fontlab.com/ and download the demo versions of FontLab 4.6 for Mac and FontLab 4.6 for Windows. In FontLab, you can activate the "Type 1 hinting tool" to preview Type 1 fonts and the "TrueType hinting tool" to preview TrueType fonts.

Using FontLab 4.6 on Windows 98, you can preview the Type 1 and OpenType PS fonts using the Adobe ATM 4.1 rasterizer in 2 modes (black-and-white and grayscale), and TrueType fonts using the Microsoft Windows 98 TrueType rasterizer in 2 modes (black-and-white and in 5 shades of gray).

Using FontLab 4.6 on Windows XP, you can preview the Type 1 and OpenType PS fonts using the Adobe Windows rasterizer in 2 modes (black-and-white and grayscale), and TrueType fonts using the Microsoft Windows XP TrueType rasterizer in 3 modes (black-and-white, in 21 shades of gray and in Windows XP ClearType).

Using FontLab 4.6 on Mac OS X, you can preview the Type 1 and OpenType PS fonts using the Apple ATSUI rasterizer in 2 modes (black-and-white and grayscale), and TrueType fonts using the Apple Mac OS X rasterizer in 2 modes (black-and-white and in grayscale).

Using FontLab 4.6 on Mac OS 9 or in Classic mode (you can switch the start mode of FontLab in Get Info), you can preview the Type 1 and OpenType PS fonts using the Adobe ATM 4.6 rasterizer in 2 modes (black-and-white and grayscale), and TrueType fonts using the Apple Classic rasterizer in 2 modes (black-and-white and in grayscale).

Alternatively, you can also use VTT as Simon recommended to preview the TrueType fonts.

You should also consider testing the fonts in at least two Adobe applications: InDesign CS on Windows and Photoshop 6 on Mac, for representative results. I believe you can get free trial versions of the Adobe applications from the Adobe website.

So altogether, you have 4 different environments to test, with a total of approx. 10 modes for each format.

If you choose 10 different digital versions of Univers and test it in 10 different rendering modes, you would have a very nice sample of 100 different screen renderings of Univers. I'm sure people on this forum would be interested to see such a comparison :-)

Regards,
Adam

pixelrecon's picture

Thank you a lot. Originaly I wanted to write just a litte bit about hinting - I didn't know anything about it at all. But now I realise it's could be copletly new topic of dissertation or even new section in library :-)

When I will finish my dissertation I am sure I will make some deep research about hinting...it's really iteresting topic. I really appreciate your advices. Thx Adam & Simon.

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