Posts tagged with sans-serif

Gemma

A 2021 production - yes, I’m still plotting in BASIN - that attempts to capture the feel of the Atari ST GEM/TOS high-res mode. The font itself can’t be translated as it’s way too tall being some 16 pixels high (yet only 8 wide).

Descenders and ascenders are given a bit of a short shaft to squeeze this in and the x-height is way too tall but it still kind of works somehow.

It’s quite readable for most scenarios except if you wish to use it for prose you really need to inject an extra line of vertical space between the characters. You can use FZX or a custom font renderer of your choice.

Proforma

A 2020 attempt at creating a serious looking font without all the bother of squeezing in ascenders and descenders by using a small caps version I last tried with Localhost (which was designed to look quirky and not professional).

I was kind of surprised this turned out so clean and readable and I do wonder why some games and titles didn’t go and use all-caps. Sure it’s not the best for a text adventure but for titles, status screens and lists it’s actually quite pleasant. The nature of capitals being so much more box-like brings together more of a virtual grid/alignment of text with the spacing that you get with ascender and descenders intruding into the space.

The typeface contains two additional variants that reduce the height of the numerics from the same-size as capitals by 1 pixel to sit between the upper and lower “Mid” and another that further reduces them to be the same height as the lower-case “Small”.

ZX Eurostile

This 2020 BASIN production started as a discussion with Oli Wilkinson who is working on a Red Dwarf based game for the Spectrum. As anyone into fonts who watches Red Dwarf (probably all 4 of us) will know Eurostile is heavily featured throughout the show from signage to branded Jupiter Mining Corporation goods (normally in ALL CAPS).

So of course I had to try Eurostile in 8x8 pixels having not ever tried to interpret somebody elses scalable font into a sans before. Some of the details are lost and it becomes quite generic like all 8x8 sans but here it is.

It’s a very readable font suitable for all sorts of scenarios including text adventures and long winding prose.

Pinhead

This font started life as a conversion of the 1973 Wang 2200 minicomputer bitmap font. What surprised me was how it relied on the phosphor glow to give a nice effect despite being laden with gaps. This is really how all good fonts are designed - by modifying the input so the actual output on a real environment looks good regardless of the input.

Alas modern displays don’t have a phosphor glow and even mid-80s CRTs don’t glow enough for this to look sharp however it did bear a passing resemblance to 9-pin dot matrix prints such as that on the Epson FX series.

I took the Wang font and tweaked the glyphs a look to look like the FX but a lot of credit for this font belongs to Wang and the unknown designer in the first place.