Welcome to the OzoneAsylum FaqWiki
Frequently Asked Questions

What are "Screen Fonts" or "Pixel Fonts" and how do they differ from other fonts? Pages that link to <a href="https://ozoneasylum.com/backlink?for=4941" title="Pages that link to What are &amp;quot;Screen Fonts&amp;quot; or &amp;quot;Pixel Fonts&amp;quot; and how do they differ from other fonts?" rel="nofollow" >What are &quot;Screen Fonts&quot; or &quot;Pixel Fonts&quot; and how do they differ from other fonts?\

by Dracusis

Screen and Pixel fonts are both font types specifically designed to maximise and enhance readability on your computer screen. Lets face it, computer screens or monitors aren't the best devices for displaying clean clear and legible type, especially at small point sizes. This is where screen and pixel fonts shine.

Because these fonts are designed for screen viewing the rest of this FAQ will assume you will be using these fonts for the web or similar mediums...

Screen Fonts:

Screen fonts are your average True-Type fonts (TTF) designed with screen readability in mind. They come in your standard True Type Font format (TTF) yet they render well in small sizes on screen. To understand this we need to look at why other fonts render badly or unclearly in on screen, again especially in small point sizes.

98% of fonts today are True-Type fonts. This means the fonts are descried in a vector format (vector = using math to define an object or shape). This gives a font the ability to be rendered at any size without loosing it's crisp clean edges. Although because these shapes are described in a mathematical format rendering them at small sizes all to often produces unclear and illegible type.

Chances are you already have a few screen fonts installed on your computer. The text your currently reading uses the screen font, Verdana, which roughly 98% of todayÂ’s web browsing public have installed on their computers. However, just because these fonts were designed for screen readability in mind does not mean you can't use them from printed work. They are TTF's after all so they will scale and print crisply and clearly.

Microsoft have a collection of screen fonts that ship with Windows 98 onwards and with new versions of their Internet Explorer browser and Office programs. Not sure weather or not you have them? You can download them from here:

Microsoft: TrueType core fonts for the Web

Although not all of these fonts will be installed on Apple Macs but most of them should be. Yet if you want to play it completely safe there are only two to choose from. Verdana and Georgia. If you want to read up on why the these fonts are a good pick for screen readability then you should read through this, an article written by By Daniel Will-Harris over at webreview.com, about the Verdana and Georgia screen fonts.

Pixel Fonts

Pixel fonts and Screen fonts often get confused as both are designed for screen readability. In fact, the terms Pixel Font and Screen Font are not really official types of fonts. A

The term Screen font is a name given to a font that has good hinting and usually has a large x-height. Most Pixel fonts are also TTF's but some of them they are Bitmapped fonts, also known as system fonts by Windows users. Although many Pixel fonts are TTF's they only display will at certain point sizes.

Pixel fonts are not standard fonts on many systems so they are often rendered in bitmapped format and displayed on screen as an Image file of some kind or used in applications that support font embedding like Flash.

The primary use of Pixel fonts is for small graphical navigation structures and in flash movies. Flash has a nasty tendency to anti-alias fonts no matter what the point size is. This often causes fonts render blurry and unreadable, and no one wants an Underdale web site.

Web Page Design for Designers has a couple of great articles about pixel fonts, you may want to read through:
- Pixel Fonts Article 1
- Pixel Fonts Article 2

Here's a list of the more popular Pixel Fonts:
- Silkscreen
- Bitmap Font
- minimil
- Small Fonts .ZIP - Special thanks to Weadah
- Minefields: Collection of various Pixel Fonts

- Mahjqa's Vayamenda font - Special thanks to Mahjqa

Photoshop also comes with some Pixel fonts called "Photoshop Large" and "Photoshop Small" or "ADMUI3Lg" and "ADMUI3Sm" respectively. These particular fonts are use by Photoshop to render the text on about 90% of the PS interface.

Related Links:

- Microsoft: TrueType core fonts for the Web - Free screen fonts for download
- Adobe Studio: Fonts: A tale of two systems - The difference between fonts on Macs & Windows Computers
- Minefields: Collection of various Pixel Fonts - Links
- Website Tips: Pixel Fonts - Links
- Web Page Design for Designers: Typography - All round good read.
- piregwan.com: screenfonts - fantastic spot to grab a pantload of pixel fonts
- gfx-forum: fontlinks

Related FAQs:

- I'm looking for Sci-Fi, Horror, Movie, etc. fonts can you help?
- Do you know any good resources for free fonts?
- What kind of fonts can or should I use in my website?

Relevant notes:

At the time of writing this FAQ was number 5 at Google for the terms screen, fonts and number 19 for the terms pixel, fonts and 17 for the phrase "pixel fonts".


(Edited by: Dracusis on Wed 22-May-2002)

(Edited by: Emperor on Thu 23-May-2002)

(Edited by: tyron on Mon 22-Jul-2002)

(Edited by: Emperor on Wed 02-Oct-2002)

« BackwardsOnwards »

Show Forum Drop Down Menu