How to Use the Proportional Weights

When a graphic designer makes type larger to signal a change in the hierarchy of information they are in effect employing two graphic devices to create this shift: size and weight. By allowing the user to scale up the size of the type while maintaining even weight, Charlie places more control in the hands of the designer. You can take advantage of the online Weight Calculator, or read below how it works.

This page explains how to use Charlie’s weight system, which can be particularly useful in display and exhibition settings where space creates the opportunity for more subtle shifts in hierarchy.

Best results

For the best results, the information below divides Charlie’s weights into two groups. The first group is made up of the Hairline through Thin weights while the second group includes the Light through Regular weights. Due to the heavy nature of the letterforms, the Semibold, Bold and Black weights are not recommended for use with the proportional weight system.

The images below compare a standard text setting (left) with a proportional weight setting (right), where the weights are applied at corresponding type sizes to maintain an even texture despite the increase in type size.

The table below provides the ratios necessary to determine the corresponding sizes and weights to create a consistent stroke width across varying type sizes. To use the table, determine your starting weight and size. To determine the size of the additional weights, locate the corresponding ratio of the desired additional weight and multiply by the size of the text that you started with.

Charlie proportional scaling table
Standard setting of text without the proportional weight system Standard setting of text without the proportional weight system in use. As the type becomes larger, it also become heavier. Charlie proportional weight system With the proportional weight system in use, type maintains an even weight despite varying type sizes. Charlie Hairline to Thin weight range showing standard setting and proportional weight system in use Standard setting (right) and proportional weight system in use (left).