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Type Director's Picks

The "Type Director's Picks" is a selection of fonts from our web fonts library that perform well at all sizes. All of our web fonts have been optimized for web screen display, but we recommend that only the Type Director's Picks be used at small text sizes.

Just like fonts used in print, web fonts should be used judiciously. For instance, when selecting a font for print work, it is important to take into consideration the printing technique, paper quality, reading circumstances, and the size at which the font is printed. A skilled typographer would never use a high contrast font such as Bodoni at 6 point and print it on news print paper using a high speed press. The hairline strokes and serifs would disintegrate. The web, too, requires that you select fonts based on their suitability to the medium and that you use them discriminately. A font that may perform perfectly at 6 point when printed on the smooth surface of an exquisitely coated stock, becomes illegible when displayed at 6 px on a 72 dpi computer screen.

Not all fonts are created equal, and not all fonts can be easily converted to the coarse resolution of a display screen. No matter how much hinting is applied to a font, the web has limitations that make certain fonts look better than others, specifically at small sizes. It comes down to the structure of the font. Typefaces with a large x-height, low stroke contrast, open counters, and squarish features, are better adapters than their opposites. Some fonts contain subtle or intricate details which are lost on screen. To improve their appearance, particularly at small sizes, certain fonts would require to be redesigned to better match the limitations of the screen display. But this carries the risk that a font would lose the very character and identity that makes it appealing and unique.

These issues created a particular challenge when customers began demanding that the Emigre fonts they've used for years be made available for use in their web site designs as well. Since then, we have optimized our web fonts hinting for screen display. However, as the technology remains in flux, the variables of the different platforms, screens, rasterizers, browser defaults, and user preference settings, sometimes generate inconsistencies beyond our control.

And just as it has been impossible to show how our fonts perform on all available paper surfaces and printing techniques, it is equally impossible to show all the variations of screen display generated by different browsers and preference settings. However, it is safe to say that most of our web fonts perform well above 28 px.

Finally, as web technology resolves its growing pains, we will continue to upgrade our web fonts to improve their performance and to keep up with changes on the world wide web. Upgrades will be made available, usually free of charge, to customers who have purchased web fonts from Emigre.

 

Web Fonts Main Page
Type Director's Picks Samples

 

Sample Screen Renderings
Below are sample screen renderings from 3 of the 189 current Type Director's Picks.
Left: Macintosh display. Right: Windows ClearType display.
Both display samples are taken from an LCD screen.
Sizes are 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 48, 60, 72.

 


The variables of screen display generated by different browsers, screens, and user preference settings generate inconsistencies that are difficult to control. The above example shows the Malaga Regular web font lower case m at 24 px, and a 500% enlargement. The top image is from the Macintosh Operating System. The bottom image is Windows ClearType display. Both display samples are taken from an LCD screen.


Two sizes of the Malaga Regular web font shown in the extreme scenarios. In each size the top line is from the Macintosh Operating System. Bottom line is Windows ClearType display.

Malaga Regular Macintosh Display

Malaga Regular Windows Cleartype Display

Mr Eaves XL Modern Regular Macintosh Display

Mr Eaves XL Modern Regular Windows Cleartype Display

Mrs Eaves XL Serif Regular Macintosh Display

Mrs Eaves XL Serif Regular Windows Cleartype Display