Posts tagged with adaptation - page 4


American Type Founders designed the OCR-A font in 1968 to aid machines in recognizing the characters optically long before advanced OCR technologies were available. The goal was to be both machine and human-readable and it was a great success and is still used today in a variety of places despite being followed by the more human-friendly OCR-B.

I created this liberal adaptation on the Sinclair Spectrum +3 using Artist II in the late 1980s. The strong distinctive style shines through even at this tiny size.

This font works well if you want a dated view of technological progress.

ZX Minecraft

The Minecraft font is quite iconic and fits exactly within an 8x8 despite being proportionally rendered in the game. The high vertical bars on the capitals and the inconsistencies in the lower case give it a somewhat unique flavor that is often reproduced but normally with mistakes.

I created this reproduction in 2019 based on the Java Edition version of the game to ensure maximum consistency with the Sinclair character set including the extended-ASCII codes for the pound and copyright signs.

This reinterpretation works well when you want to push that blocky modern feel but requires an extra 1 vertical line of space to ensure upper and descenders do not touch. Proportional rendering also finishes the touch.

ZX Courier

Originally commissioned by IBM in 1955 for use on their typewriters it soon became a de facto standard on typewriters, screenplays and successfully made the jump to graphical user interfaces with the advent of TrueType after a slow start as a bitmap font.

I created this font around 2006 as part of the BASIN package which required some fonts for people to use in their apps and games but was cleaned up in 2018 to try and make it feel more distinctly Courier and less a generic mono-spaced serif.

The monospace design of the original makes it work quite well on the Spectrum with even spacing. It works well for title, information and blocks of text and gives a smart feel that does not feel as dated as Courier does on modern platforms.

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). To keep the tall narrow style I reduced the width of some characters but then created a more relaxed ‘wide’ variant too.

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 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.

The FZX version has been made 10 pixels high to allow descenders to work correctly while making the alpha a bit taller. Many of the symbols that are not bold on the Mac have been un-bolded in the FZX version given they no longer need to try and fill 7 of the 8-pixel width.

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