Posts in category sans-serif - page 7

ZX Chicago

Susan Kare’s iconic Chicago shipped with the original Apple Macintosh in 1984 and was the standard system font until MacOS8 replaced it with the TrueType Charcoal look-alike. It did receive a dust-off in 2001 to become the primary font on the newly launched iPod range.

I created this font around 1990 using Artist II on a Spectrum +3. Chicago wasn’t quite so iconic back then, and the real challenge was trying to get a 12-pixel high proportional font into an 8x8. (MacOS has a 9pt ‘Chicago’ that is devoid of the distinctive bold flair). In order to retain the tall, narrow style, I reduced the character widths. I later created a more relaxed ‘wide’ variant too. In early 2021 I added a “Twiggy” variant based on screenshots of the Mac prototypes that sported an earlier version of Chicago.

It achieves the job of looking like Chicago while not being too similar at a pixel level. It’s the feel of the 12-point font using some of the style from the 10-point. I’d think this is what the 9pt should have looked like with some tweaks for mono-space and low-res readability.

This font works well for titles and large bodies of text, although, could benefit from a proportional renderer.

You Squared

This font started as You Square in 2006’s BASIN as a simple digital square font. It later received a bold weight and finally a wide variant too.

All three work well for titles, prose and lists, and the combination of three styles allows for some mix and match variation.

Truffle Shuffle

A 2006 BASIN creation that’s unashamedly bold and a little reminiscent of many a cover tape back in the day.

Not too much to say about this one - it’s super-simple and bold with little in the way of flourishes and works for titles and can be used for dialog and prose although it can get a bit hard to read in descriptive text adventures.

Can be seen in Quahappy.

Specmatic

This font originally designed in 2006 for BASIN saw some tweaks for the 2019 release. It was designed to look sleek, angular, and industrial.

One advantage of having these simulated screenshots is they help with design, spacing, and consistency which is all but impossible inside most bitmap font editors.

This update sees revisions to !Ii3 to iron out some inconsistencies. It works well for short and long runs of text where you want something that feels fast, industrial or mechanical without being too in-your-face.