Google fonts - rendering issue on PC


I got all excited when I found out I could use the font OFL Sorts Mill Goody (as well as other fonts) with Google Fonts.

However, my headings which use this font are very ugly on PC.

I knew that there were diffences between PC and Mac, Mac fonts being generally bolder for instance. But here what bothers me is that the letters are not even aligned on PC!

I wonder, is it just the way it is and I should deal with it, or is it because I’m testing on a fairly old PC which has Windows XP with Sp2 (and ClearType enabled)?

Here are screenshots of the same bit of text, first Mac, then on PC.



Have you guys had similar issues? Any ideas on fixes?


I believe this article is relevant to the discussion here…

Gotta remember, a Mac user will see them as “just fine.” A Windows user may also see them as “just fine,” and wonder why they’re so “off” on his cube-buddy’s Mac. See Kohoutek’s post above.

OK so I’ve tried Typefront, and I still wasn’t happy with the look of the font on PC although it does look a little bit better than with Google fonts.

Then I thought it’d be nice to try all 3 services and compare the different font renderings.

It’s very interesting because it turns out that depending on the browser and the size of text, one of those 3 services will better at rendering the font than the others.

Here are my test files :

If you compare IE7 or 8, Firefox and Chrome on PC, you’ll see slightly different things.

I’m only going to use Sorts Mill Goudy for headings so I don’t need it to work for small text, which is why I’m gonna go for Typefront or Typekit, not sure yet.

I won’t go with Google fonts because the problem I was describing initially (dodgy bottom-alignment of letters) is more prominent than with Typekit and TypeFront.

No need to say they all look just fine on Mac.

I would say no because I believe a good site should be stable in layout even while offline. Although content is everything and the new content might not be there, the user can access anything they did before. So if the fonts or the layout changes if the internet suddenly dies or the user is offline a messed up sire night frustrate the user.

Welcome to SP, FontSquirrel. You’ll be very popular around here, a lot of us use your site’s facilities. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the kind words Michael. Would love to help you guys get fonts on your sites.

Sounds like a brilliant solution, thanks fontsquirrel.

I’m gonna try it and I’ll let you know if my problem is fixed.

Thanks Alex, I think I will do that indeed

It does seem strange, I wonder if perhaps it’s less to-do with the version of Windows you’re running and perhaps the way the font was created. It’s almost like the baseline of the typeface is “jumping” like they didn’t ensure that the height of the font matched each character correctly. Unless it affects other typefaces you use too I might suspect that the issue is with the font itself. I’m not familiar with that particular typeface myself, you might want to check with the foundry. :slight_smile:

that’s not what I mean guys. I am aware of the differences between PC and Mac in terms of font rendering. Bolder, thiner, pixelated, aliased, whatever.

Except here I’m getting something I wasn’t expecting to happen and it sure doesn’t happen with any of the other fonts I’ve used : the letters are not aligned properly on PC.

Here is another example :

on mac

on PC

Can you see how the E and A are not aligned with the other letters?
Maybe it’s not obvious on this crop, but believe me, on the web page it looks crap. I wanted to use this font for headings and in the header as well for nice big bold text, but instead of looking classy it looks totally messed up!

I can deal with aliasing, with bolding or thining, but when it comes to letter alignment, I don’t know what to do.

I don’t think this happens with commonly used fonts, otherwise big chunch of texts would be unreadable on PC and that would be a known issue.

I’m still wondering if it has to do with my version of Windows which is pretty old.

Do you guys know of any websites that use OFL Sorts Mill Goody ?


I remember when I was on Windows PC (roughly 9 years) and switched to the Mac, I was really shocked at the way OS X rendered fonts. They all looked bold and somewhat smudgy to me. After I’d gotten used to it, I get that when I see how fonts rendered on other platforms.

I’d not say they are unusable though. Windows users are used to seeing fonts that way, so there’s nothing wrong in you using that font.

It’s not a case of being un-usable it’s a case of how different platforms perform font rendering (and smoothing as the case may be).

It will happen with every font and the differences you see are very common, alas even web-safe typefaces are likely to encounter similar issues. :slight_smile:

so basically this is unusable? I don’t know if you can tell from my example but believe me, on my web page it looks really really horrible…

does this happen with most fonts?

There is no fix. It is just how fonts are rendered differently.
Also a lot to do with the font itself and how its constructed and packaged.

This is a font hinting problem. What you should do is download the font-face kit from us, as we autohint the fonts to fix these issues. (Not perfectly, but much better than default.)

The OTF files here:

and the web-ready fonts here:

I wasn’t talking about the usual Mac/PC discrepancies here :slight_smile:

Very interesting, thanks!