X-height and extender changes across weight

It's been explained to me that the x-height of a typeface increases as a type gets heavier to recover some more vertical room and to prevent the type looking 'squat', also there it helps to balance the image optically when setting different weights next to each other. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I've observed that this doesn't happen also for the ascender and descenders, why is that?


  • There was a thread initated by the ever curious @Nina Stössinger on Typophile, if I remember correctly.
    Still offline, alas.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 905
    Simon — You changed the URL for your reconstruction without notice. Otherwise, I might have looked there. Is this a stable address now?
  • attarattar Posts: 209
    Too bad profile pictures are stripped out, it helps following the course of who says what.
  • Sorry, Jay, I've totally derailed this thread. :-( Maybe we could put Typophile Archive stuff in another thread, and please file bugs, feature requests and so on at https://github.com/typophile/typophile.github.io/issues/new
  • Deleted AccountDeleted Account Posts: 739
    edited April 2016
    ...then, you're saying there was nothing good about typophile?;)

  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,600
    Let's see... Endless spam, endless type id requests, broken search, Flash-based image upload, poor layout for small screens, responsiveness grinding to a crawl frequently... Other than that, it was great.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,059
    Remarkable discussions on the Build pages, very educational.
  • In any case, back on this thread, in the other thread, Nina said she was making the x-height of the bold, 4 units taller than the x-height of the regular. Is that right? 
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,059
    There is also the question of what to do with alignment zones.
    If the Bold has a higher x-height than the Regular, then should the alignment zones be standardized throughout the family, based on the Bold?

    That’s what I did here (Regular outline pasted into Bold font).

    I also recall that in making the Bold I increased the weight—e.g. Make Parallel Path—of the Regular by an amount that conveniently increased its x-height. (That was a separate process than increasing the thickness of the vertical stems.)
  • What is the reason to standardize alignment zones if the overshoots differ?
  • Isn't this what the Postscript Family Blues are for? My notes say those zones are used if the difference is < 1px. 

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