In [La]TeX documents printed in the early 1980s, fonts look noticeably thicker than they do today. Something about the advent of modern laser printers and the disappearance of older printing technologies seems to have made the fonts appear thinner.

Whatever the reason for the change, I prefer the thicker look in the old books and would like to recreate it in my own documents. And judging by what I read in Knuth's TeXBook and various articles in TuGBoat, it shouldn't be too hard to edit the font descriptions in Metafont or Metapost, increase the thickness to some value between "Computer Modern Regular"and "Computer Modern Regular Bold", and use the result as my default font.

I know I can't legally call this font "Computer Modern Medium", but that's the look I'm going for. More specifically, here is a scan of an early TUGboat article (1983), printed with âpproximately the thickness I would like to use myself.

And this finally brings me to my questions:

  • Has somebody else already done this? If so, what is the name of the resulting font and where can I get it?
  • If such a font does not exist yet, is there a cookbook-style HOWTO document that could walk me through the tweaking process in Metafont?
  • If there is no such "cookbook", what other sources should I be looking at, short of working through the entire Metafont book? (The Metafont book intimidates me. If I can get the job done without taking that deep of a dive, that's what I'd like to do.)
  • 1
    That would be (I guess) the am (almost modern) fonts that pre-dated cm, but with cm if you want the bitmap not type1 version you should be able to pick a mode with extra thickness Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 13:12
  • 2
    simpler would be to use luatex and opentype NewComputerModern or LatinModern and then experiment with the fakebold parameter in fontspec. Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 13:14
  • 1
    If not the modern approach that David suggests is an option, maybe this helps?
    – mickep
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 13:20
  • 5
    there's mlmodern
    – Robert
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 13:27
  • 3
    Yes, the work has already been done with excellent results: \usepackage{mlmodern} Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 13:33


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .