Bad Fonts: What To Watch Out For

I am curious if people here have any 'pet hates' of common things you look out for when shopping for new type. Maybe even the straw that broke the camel's back in motivating you to stop using other people's type and make your own :)

Thomas Phinney recently published an article in Comm Arts about this sort of thing in terms of optical adjustments,

There are a few glyphs with more complex strokes that I look at like the 8, ampersand and double story g, which are a bit trickier to get right.

Another example, I know it's quite common for typographers to re-space their fonts, and to check the kerning of k-something or other pet Kern pairs.


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,223
    I use some of my test kerning strings in the "Font tester" window to see what the difficult stuff looks like. Strings with i diacritics and f can be telling.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,223
    Kent, it shows me they care.
  • Frode, I agree, but what specifically do you look for to check proportion or spacing is reasonable?
  • Small Caps, is not that I use them all the time but if they are included in the typeface thats a nice plus, not that if they aren't included then is a "bad" font, but definitely adds extra appreciation, more when is supposed to be a text typeface.
  • The space character width immediately shoots up a red flag if it's incorrect to the font.
  • Pablo Impallari mentioned in another thread,
    Many people only include the tabular figures (0 to 9), and forget to add tabular version of the related glyphs (punctuation, math symbols, monetary symbols, etc.)
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