Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 21:40 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces The Engineering 7 weblog has an item about the improvements made in the ClearType font rendering technology which has been included in Windows since Windows XP. While I won't go too deeply into that post, I did figure it was a good opportunity to talk about font antialiasing in general; which type do you prefer?
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Wrong assumption
by Wowbagger on Wed 24th Jun 2009 04:17 UTC
Wowbagger
Member since:
2005-07-06

Your post assumes that ClearType is more readable on displays as OS X's font rendering. Forgive me, but I think that assumption in itself is wrong.

Most fonts we have available are designed for print so the shape they are supposed to have are the ones they have on paper. For that purpose they are designed and for that purpose they are very readable. Changing that shape means in most cases making them less readable. So what is wrong in trying to get as close to the shape of the font as the font designer made it to be?

Apart from that I have to use a lot of Japanese in my working environment and for these languages ClearType is simply put a disaster.

And last but not least these rainbow-effects you get from ClearType are definitely not improving the readability either.

Also, why do you think is it that most typographers prefer OS X's font rendering? If anyone should know about type it's them, isn't it?

Edited 2009-06-24 04:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wrong assumption
by macUser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 04:27 in reply to "Wrong assumption"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

This is one of those discussions where people will argue until blue in the face. All I know is that trying to read text in windows makes my eyes bleed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Wrong assumption
by siride on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:30 in reply to "Wrong assumption"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Actually, fonts like Tahoma were designed for the screen. So what you say is not true.

Also, for printing and typography, just use programs that do their own special font-rendering. Don't make the rest of the system have sucky font-rendering just so those few people who need specialized font BS can get it. I have no problem with mathematically perfect font-rendering, just as long as it's kept to MS Word and Photoshop or whatever. I don't want that on my menus and web pages. I want something I can look at all day without wanting to gouge my eyes out. Unfortunately, I have to look at OS X all day and I still hate the fuzzy, inconsistent font-rendering (sometimes the exact same letter will be rendered differently in different places on the screen -- I consider this to be plain wrong behavior).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Wrong assumption
by sanders on Sun 28th Jun 2009 07:33 in reply to "RE: Wrong assumption"
sanders Member since:
2005-08-09

I have no problem with mathematically perfect font-rendering, just as long as it's kept to MS Word


Thanks, that was funny.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Wrong assumption
by jal_ on Wed 24th Jun 2009 08:04 in reply to "Wrong assumption"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Also, why do you think is it that most typographers prefer OS X's font rendering? If anyone should know about type it's them, isn't it?


Race car drivers prefer very tight suspension. If anyone should know about cars it's then, isn't it? Still, I prefer my suspension such that I don't get a hernia every time I hit a speedbump.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Wrong assumption
by Wowbagger on Thu 25th Jun 2009 02:01 in reply to "RE: Wrong assumption"
Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

Completely failed analogy here.

Race car drivers are in no way comparable to typographers.

Race car drivers use non-standard cars on non-standard roads to drive with non-standard speeds where normal people would just get crazy. They have no connection to the "real-world" of our every day lives.

Typographers make fonts for human beings (sounds very ubuntu doesn't it ;-), to be read by normal human beings, and they try to achieve best readability for about any kind of communication in our everyday lives. They are knowledgeable about human perception and create fonts and layouts to match and support that perception in the most natural and unintrusive way (well to catch attention they sometimes deliberatly break some rules, but that has a clear purpose and scope then).

Reply Parent Score: 1