The story behind Inter
Inter started out in late 2016 as an experiment to build a perfectly pixel-fitting font at a specific small size (11px.) The idea was that by crafting a font in a particular way, with a particular coordinate system (Units Per EM), and for a particular target rasterization size (11), it would be possible to get the best of both sharpness and readability.
However after a few months of using an early version of Inter, it dawned on everyone exposed to the test that this approach had some serious real-world problems. Most notably that it was really hard to read longer text. Because of the pixel-aligning nature of that approach, the font took an almost mono-spaced appearance, making it really easy to read numbers, punctuation and very short words, but eye-straining to read anything longer.
The project was rebooted with a different approach, sticking with the specific UPM, but crafting glyphs and kerning in a way that made for more variation in the rhythm and smoother vertical and horizontal stems. As Inter was being developed, it was tested on an internal version of Figma—where the author of Inter works as a designer—and slowly improved upon based on experience and feedback.
How do I enable and disable font features?In web browsers you'll want to use
font-feature-settings. In Figma you can access features via the Advanced Type panel. In Illustrator, Photoshop and friends, you can access features via the Characters and OpenType panels. Sketch doesn't provide a UI for configuring font features, but there's a workaround using macOS's native font UI.
What is the difference between hinted and unhinted fonts?The font files in the "hinted" folders have additional data in them for assisting ClearType, the text rasterizer used by Microsoft Windows (and some Linux distributions.) You want to use the "hinted" fonts only if you are targeting Windows users and prefer the different look of these "hinted" fonts. Additionally, hinting data makes the font files larger, so if you are using Inter on websites, the extra size of these files is another consideration to make. This article explains hinting at a greater length.
How reliable are the fonts served from rsms.me/inter?rsms.me/inter is distributed globally over CloudFlare's CDN, backed by GitHub's servers, making usage of
https://rsms.me/inter/inter.cssand associated font files very reliable and fast throughout the world.