Vox reveals the fascinating history of the iconic 8-bit font, made famous by games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders.
Many other famous fonts have been given their due praise and have been recognised as important bits of typography. But the arcade font is sometimes written off being as gimmicky and tacky. It’s got many admirers, but does it get the credit it deserves? Back in the early 80s, game designers had to make legible fonts that could fit in a tiny 8×8 grid. Every pixel took up memory, so designers had hardly any wiggle room when it came to fitting in appealing designs.
Despite these limitations, they were able to create iconic and memorable fonts that are still well-known to this day. We’ve all seen that classic arcade-style lettering in movies, TV and, of course, gaming. The creators tackled what could’ve been one of the biggest challenges for gaming. If they’d failed to get over this challenging hurdle, the industry as we know it probably wouldn’t exist. Did you enjoy the video? Let us know down in the comments below.
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