As a designer or not, you may or may not be aware that most fonts do not look very nice to the eye when they get too small. Even if anti-aliasing is used, the fonts just lose their clarity. The typographical cure to all this? Pixel Fonts. No anti-aliasing needed. Pure Pixels. Created for the digital pixel screen used by computers, they are a refreshing answer to the fuzzy font blues.
Pixel Fonts are created by their designers at specific sizes and should only be shown at that size or in specific multiples. You cannot randomly scale the size of Pixel Fonts and do not use “points” to specify the font size – only use pixel size. They will not look correct otherwise. Also, as I said before, Pixel Fonts were created so as not to use anti-aliasing. Make sure you set anti-aliasing to “none” when using this type of font. If it is an anti-aliasing font that you want, then your reading the wrong post!
Now lets get on with this. Some of the best uses of pixel fonts I have seen are incorporated in websites designed with flash. Pixel Fonts are commonly used in some of those ultra slick and modern flash websites (you know what I’m talking about). Slowly, the Web 2.0 flavor has phased out that look somewhat, but I still come across quite a few of these sites. Do realize, that you don’t need to be some Flash guru or what-not to use Pixel Fonts. There are many uses for them, but I suggest using them sparingly and only where needed. They work great in navigation buttons, footer text (copyrights), captions and sometimes entire sites incorporate Pixel Fonts. Just use them wisely.
One of the great things (that I am always surprised by) is that there are many different Pixel Fonts available. One would think that designing fonts with only pixels would have it’s creative limitations, but it doesn’t. I am always greatfull to see all of the different (and unusual) Pixel Font styles that are available to us. The most widely used and famous Pixel Font is a font named “Mini 7”. It has been used all over the net. Magically created by Joe Gillespie, it can be had for $15 at www.minifonts.com. I know I know, this post is titled FREE Pixel Fonts. I will get to that. The thing is “Mini 7” has celebrity status on the web, so I had to introduce you to the local star on the scene. Now, on with the Free Pixel Fonts…
Free Pixel Fonts – This should at least get you started. I will add more as I find them.
Please remember to respect any copyrights and usage rights that accompany fonts. Thanks.
Check back… I will constantly be updating the free Pixel Font list.