anonymous's picture

Although there seems to be an embarrassment of riches as far as bitmap fonts are concerned, I've decided to have a go at making one. It's called Hawthorn; there is a regular U&LC font and one with small caps instead. Crit?

Hawthorn sample

hrant's picture

Very elegant!


flingford's picture


May we have your permission to temporarily feature the lc g from Hawthorne on the Typophile home page? (With appropriate credit of course--like the current Typophile home page.)

Email me directly at pemberton@typophile.com



Jared Benson's picture


If this is your first attempt, I'd say you have an excellent specimen. I especially enjoy the small nuances like the lowercase "l" and the "a". The lowercase and smallcap "z", however, seem out of place, probably due to the rounded angles. (I recognize the constraints you face when you get that small.)

What can you share about your design process? Did you build it directly in a bitmap editor or did you draw it pixel-for-pixel in Photoshop?


anonymous's picture

Mmm, you know, you're probably right about the Z's... I thought they seemed a little "off" while I was making them but I didn't think of any other way they could look.

First step in the design process was Photoshop at 1600% zoom with a one-pixel pencil/eraser, for quick experimentation and such. Then in Fontographer I used the rectangle tool in conjunction with snap-to-grid to recreate the shapes as outlines.

Designing this font, I am constantly beset with fear that I'm unwittingly plagiarizing other people's work, but I suppose when one is designing a five-pixel high "E" there are only so many possibilities available. The one character I'm fairly sure is unique is the lowercase Y; but maybe I just haven't done enough reading...

And yes, this is the first "draft" of the typeface.

anonymous's picture

Really nice work!
I'd like to see how this would look as a normal face (full size scaleable). It sure looks handsome.

There was mentioned the smallcaps and lowercase 'z' falling out in relation to the rest of the typeface, I have the same feeling towards the smallcaps and lowercase 'x'. When looking at the 'x' it seems too wide.

It is by far a richer 8-bit character set i've seen and looks promising.

(By the way..im new here and will watch out this space as I'm working on several character sets myself and would like some constructive and qualified critique when I feel the time is right for it.)

Good luck!!!


anonymous's picture

font looks great. i like the descending numerals. i would have to agree that the lc 'x' looks too wide. it is also too bright compared to the other characters. a problem easily remedied by mixing some of the diagonal with a verticle pixel or two or three or four.

flingford's picture

You've nailed the small caps in relation to the the U&lc. Many fonts out there use a 'unicase' approach for variety (including one of my own), whereas you've created something much richer.

I wouldn't be concerned about the "embarrassment of riches" in terms the number of bitmap faces out there. The majority of them could only be called alphabets--with no attempt at serious punctuation, let alone international characters. Kudos for that.


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