|Description||An efficient, compact, and highly consistent screen optimization technology developed by Dalton Maag|
|Availability||Exclusive to Dalton Maag|
What is PixelFix?
PixelFix is a font technology developed by Dalton Maag to help improve the clarity of letters and symbols in modern applications on high-resolution screens, without the large file size increases often seen with traditional screen optimization techniques (also known as ‘hinting’). PixelFix is a library of common functions which are selectively embedded in each font file and called on a character-by-character basis.
Where is PixelFix used?
All of the variable fonts in Dalton Maag’s library now feature PixelFix font technology; PixelFix will be rolled out to the static fonts in Dalton Maag’s library over the coming months.
Where appropriate, PixelFix is also available for custom typeface design and font modification projects. The common PixelFix code library is owned by Dalton Maag and licensed to clients at no cost; this does not affect the transfer of ownership for custom designs.
The benefits of PixelFix
Compact file sizes
The file size increase of adding PixelFix to a font will vary by writing system and language coverage, but it is consistently smaller than traditional approaches to screen optimization. For fonts covering the languages of Western Europe which use the Latin writing system the increase is typically under 10kB for OpenType format and under 5kB for WOFF2 (web), both compared to a file with no screen optimization. Traditional approaches to screen optimization can give a 50% increase in file size, so the download speed advantages can be significant.
PixelFix achieves this compactness by using two approaches:
- PixelFix only targets modern applications on today’s high resolution screens. It aims to maximize the clarity of each character by using the available pixels to best present the design features and changes in weight across a family. By not targeting legacy display technologies, PixelFix saves significant file size.
- PixelFix groups common character shape behaviours into single functions, reducing duplication and maximizing consistency.
The small file sizes, and universal use of modern display technologies by web browsers, make PixelFix perfect for fonts on the web.
Improved clarity and quality
The effects of PixelFix shine in variable fonts and across the weights and styles in a family. Characters remain clear, subtle weight changes are perceptible, and family relationships, such as a consistent x-height, are preserved.
The primary aim of PixelFix is to present the distinctive, often varying, features of a design as clearly as possible. While it does not have the same level of control as traditional screen optimization techniques, PixelFix does still preserve the important features which help keep characters clear and text legible.
PixelFix’s approach reveals distinctive design features as size increases, while still maximizing clarity.
Quality is improved using PixelFix in all modern Windows applications which use DirectWrite. Legacy applications (those which use the older graphics API known as GDI) do not truly benefit from PixelFix; their display quality will be only slightly improved when compared to fonts without screen optimization. PixelFix has no effect in most Apple operating systems as they ignore all of the screen optimization instructions embedded in a font file and use their own approach to improving clarity.
What is PixelFix compatible with?
Font files which use PixelFix are fully compatible with all OpenType rasterizers; they do not require a special or bespoke rasterizer. PixelFix’s output is optimized for modern rasterizers and rasterization modes, such as the current Windows graphics API known as DirectWrite, using the ClearType anti-aliasing (CTAA) mode.