Posts tagged with ocr


Adrian Frutiger designed OCR-B for Monotype in 1968 as a more human-friendly alternative to OCR-A now that machines were getting better at optical character recognition. It can still be found today on the bottom of bar codes and the machine-readable part of passports.

I created this liberal adaptation on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3 using the Artist II in the late 1980s. Given the lack of strong visual cues, it could be easily mistaken for a sans-serif, although the numeric glyphs still shine through.

It is suitable for any scenario where a clean machine-influenced look is desirable.


SEMI is an OCR font designed by SEMI.ORG for use in character recognition on printed circuit boards in 2006.

I made this liberal bitmap-only 8x8 adaptation after somebody requested it on one of the Spectrum forums. It takes more than a few cues from OCR-A but goes off in its own direction.

The actual font is upper-case only, so I’ve had to imagine what the lower-case would be like in-order to provide a full usable set.

This font works surprisingly well for most use cases.


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 distinctive style shines through even at this tiny size.

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