taller x-heights for bolder weights

I'm working on my first multi-weight family, and I've noticed that in some families, the x-height gets slightly taller as the weights get bolder; in many, the x-height stays consistent throughout. I'm curious: how do you decide whether to do this? Is it just a "make it feel right" type of thing, or are there specific considerations you take into account?


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,375
    The x-height is adjusted so that the bolder weights look correct with the lighter weights.  It is normal to slightly increase x-height as a face gets bolder to optically correct for the illusion.
  • Yeah, I understand the basic reason why -- but I've been taking a closer look at a bunch of fonts this morning and finding it's about 50/50 as to whether this is done or not, just in my quick random survey.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,375
    edited August 2015
    It is not required, but like many things in type, designers differ in approach.
    When I used type that was not corrected for in this way, I would bump up the point size of a bold that was set next to a regular and looked small to the eye.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,792
    The taller your x-height is the easier it is to get away with not increasing it.

    Also, I think matched x-heights have become more common in the last decade because people wanted matched heights on screens, where varied x-heights don't always line up in text.
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