Hey guys! I've been extensively searching for a sans typeface that's comfortable to read on screens for text sizes. I did find my holy grail... sort of, It would be Hind
. The thing is that it doesn't have italics, and that's what's driving me crazy.
Hind is the most comfortable to read — for screens — for me because of its slightly heavier regular weight compared to others, tight kerning, defined word spacing, and slightly rectangular letterforms that don't draw attention but are good enough to be recognizable. But it's messing with me that it doesn't has italic fonts!
I've been searching literally EVERYWHERE for a typeface that looks as good as this one. I've compared it to almost any typeface you can think of, really. From the most popular ones in google fonts / fontshare / myfonts / fontsquirrel / 1001 fonts / fontspring / paratype to more independent and obscure findings in the already mentioned websites and official foundries websites. The only one I haven't searched as extensively would be MyFonts.
The only one that's similar to Hind is Segoe UI, which I love that it has true italics, but it's a bit lighter in its regular weight, making it harder to read (besides that, I can't purchase its license). But there are a few others that almost gave me the same super-good reading experience but not quite for different reasons:
- Noto Sans. Its regular weight its a bit lighter, making it harder to read, and medium is too heavy. Also its kerning it's looser.
- Mute Sans. Made by ITF. Same as Hind, but it doesn't has true italics.
- Itaú. Discarded because also doesn't have true italics, its kerning its either too loose with text fonts or too tight with display, and doesn't seems to be open for the public.
- Really Sans. I discarded it because of its wider letter forms, but I almost thought of buying it mainly because of its accessible license for freelancers.
- Amazon Ember Typeface. Really good reading experience, but I'm not even sure if you can use it commercially, the licensing it's not that explicit on its terms. Also the kerning is looser and the letter forms are a bit wider too.
And that's it. Probably from almost the thousand typefaces I tested those five gave the reading experience I'm looking for.
Now, feeling defeated, I come here asking for your help. Do you know any typefaces that come close to what I'm talking about?
In summary, one that looks like Segoe UI/Hind, has ligatures and true italics. All suggestions are welcome! But keep in mind that I might already have tested and discarded the one you mentioned.
Specifics of what I'm looking for; it should have tighter kerning, slightly condensed letter forms, a slightly heavier regular weight for easier reading (around these values
to be more precise), screen reading, open counters, fi fl ff ligatures (the more the better), slight high x-height, true italics, and bold and regular weights as a minimum.
I know, my god. It's a super picky choice. Still, any outside help from now on is greatly appreciated. Did I set myself impossible standards?
Use Hind for your regular weight and apply an italic that broadly matches Hind. Italics should contrast + Hind is variable in weight, so that gives a little flexibility.
For instance, Segoe UI italics with Hind.
Independent of the question whether it’s Frutiger Next or another candidate: you will want to adjust the typographic parameters, like font size, line spacing, word spacing, tracking. In your comparison, both fonts are shown at the same nominal size (17px). In order to get a meaningful comparison, bring them to the same perceived size. That might mean very different values for different fonts.
My personal favorite in this genre is JAF Bernini Sans.
Also, yes, Frutiger.
It looks like the cut of Frutiger you tried may not have been optimized for screen display. Since you're talking about reading on screen specifically, make sure you have a properly hinted version of the font or test it on a platform or display for which hinting is irrelevant.
I am very curious as to what typeface you will end up using.
Do you mind elaborating on what your intended use for it is? I know it’s for the web, but I suppose I am a little tripped up by your sentence above. Are you just using it personally to override fonts on the web for a more pleasurable reading experience? Is there any particular reason why you don’t want to manually adjust the tracking via CSS?
Outside of Hind not having italics, is it also an issue that you have to use a custom weight in the variable font? I am asking in case you would be open to using other variable fonts.
Have you looked at any of the following? Gratimo Classic, Pensum Sans, Arizona Sans, Scto Grotesk B, Dover Sans Text, MD System, Kranto, Acto, Azo Sans 2 Narrow, or Novel Sans?
I have two go-to sans serif font families for texts intended for easy, clear reading: Mark van Bronkhorst’s MVB Solitaire and Luc(as) de Groot’s The Sans. Solitaire is a masterpiece of restraint, though it doesn’t lack for warmth. Its italic is as clear as the roman. Another sans I turn to for very small texts is Robert Slimbach’s Cronos Caption. This is an interesting case: the details that make the larger optical sizes of Cronos a bit too “sugary” for anything other than commercial uses add to the readability of the Caption cut when set very small (8.5pt and under). If you’re looking for something more overtly modern, take a look at Futura Now; its text sizes are very readable and set well.
There is a very nice PDF of Solitaire on the MVB Fonts website: https://www.mvbfonts.com/mvb_solitaire/.
Anyway, I'd try Profile Pro (Supertype, available at Adobe Fonts) and Niko (Ludwig Type).
Thanks for that...I clearly didn't search long enough!