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Getting the hint (Where is Envy Code R?)  

I know, I said there would be a good chance that the next version of Envy Code R would be out this weekend but the annoying sizing, thickness and cropping issues that came up at some sizes above and below the optimum 10 point were really annoying me.

Many articles later, some playing around with Microsoft Visual TrueType and much frustration and experimentation later I think I’m on the right path.

Here is how Envy Code R is looking on Windows right now with standard font smoothing.

Envy Code R hinted on Windows with standard font smoothing at various sizes.

ClearType doesn’t look as good and I’m still learning the black art and the implications of each type of hinting instruction.

Strangely, these hints seem to be ignored on the Mac which is still rendering everything a little too thick especially on curves. Perhaps that is why so many developers create a Mac-specific version?

Once I’m happy with how the regular version works I’ll put it online for download and then whip the bold and italic variants in to shape and any feedback into regular for the proper 0.7 release.

A newer version of Envy Code R is available.

[)amien

Professional quality free fonts*  

FontShop free

Every month FontShop make a font available for free for a limited time so grab it while you can. The best option is to join their monthly newsletter so you don’t miss one!

Ralph Levien

Ralph is behind the excellent Inconsolata font which is great for printing code or if you like large programming fonts. He also has a number of classical typefaces including the great ATF Century Catalogue, Museum Caps, LeBe, ATF Bodoni and ATF Franklin Gothic.

Microsoft OpenType Font Pack

A bunch of licenced fonts available from Ascender Corporation including the stylish Kooteny and sharp Miramonte.

Jos Buivenga

Sample of Fertigo font.Jos has produced a number of beautiful typefaces free to download. I particularly like the subtle quirks of Delicious and the flowing curves of Fertigo (sample shown_ but also check out some of the others available too.

MgOpen

These fonts were previously commercial and designed for the Greek alphabet and the four fonts available – Canonica, Cosmetica, Modata, Moderna – look great in the Latin alphabet too.

Die Gestalten

A number of experimental fonts for download but not redistribution including the rather delicious Engel Light ltd.

COM4t

These people produce a number of great free fonts including the elegant COM4t Fine Regular and Quilline Script Thin.

If you love typography then check out the ILoveTypography blog for news on great typefaces and tips on designing your own font.

[)amien
* some restrictions apply to usage on some of the fonts, check the licences for details.

Older pixel fonts back online  

Some of my older bitmap “pixel” font files are now available again, they are:

  • Envy Code A – sizes from 7pt-12pt in both regular and bold weights
    Envy Code A font at 7pt regular
  • Envy Code B – sizes from 9pt-10pt in regular, bold, italic and bold italic. (was the basis for Envy Code R)
    Envy Code B font at 9pt regular
  • PalmOS – a Window port of the PalmOS system font recreated from screenshots.
    PalmOS font at 8pt regular

I also have about 20 pixel fonts from my Spectrum days that I am intending on bringing across to Windows FON format in the near future.

[)amien

Envy Code R preview #6 forthcoming  

Envy Code R has been updated since this post.

I have been experimenting with Envy Code R over the last few months – everything from creating a bold version to delta hinting with Visual TrueType with mixed results.

Part of the problem is that at larger sizes the odd shapes and over-emphasized curves that I drew to make the font look great at 10-point with ClearType on makes it look awkward at larger sizes.

Last weekend, I went back to the drawing board, literally, to try and improve on the shapes without impacting too much on the 10-point size ClearType version. The result is as follows;

Envy Code R preview 6

And for comparison, the old version:

Envy Code R preview 5

Let me know your thoughts in the comments, even if it’s just to say your prefer PR6, Consolas or something else. Be sure to mention what size and whether you have ClearType on (or if you are using a Mac).

[)amien