Raster is a typeface that has been specifically designed to tacle with screens and small text issues – pixels, in other words. I’ve always been fascinated with the concern of legibility and the technical constraints that can be applied to type. So I decided I would try to understand really what it is
to design with pixels in mind.
Mathieu (Réguer) was quite direct at the beginning of the process :
« You’ll see, he said, at some point, pixel rendering is quite mystical
– Why is that? I said
– Because the program which is responsible for associating pixels with your shapes (called « rasterizer ») is actually making choices for you, you can’t really control what pixel is gonna be black or white. Also, rasterizers are different depending on the devices you’re using. »
In other words, your font is never going to look the same on different screens, it can be legible on one, but completely screwed on another,
it all depends on how it is rasterized.
So instead of making something very beatiful, hoping it won’t be destroyed in a bitmap. I decided to design a bitmap font first, and then, to draw shapes above the pixels. The end result is therefore quite squarish, but has a strong connection with humanistic proportions.
Most of the features present in this typeface (very open counters, light stem connections and heavy serifs) have been purposely designed to ensure a good readability and proper rendering on the screen. But the result (kind of dictated by the brief) pleases me a lot.
The 6-week type design programme that you’ve been waiting for starts on 6 June and ends 13 July 2023.