Studio Projects
Newsletter Archive
Coarse Resolution Fonts


Lo-Res 9 Wide B Alt


Lo-Res 12 Narrow


Lo-Res 12 Regular


Lo-Res 12 Bold Alt


Lo-Res 12 Bold


Lo-Res 15 Narrow


Lo-Res 15 Bold Alt


Lo-Res 15 Bold


Lo-Res 22 Narrow


Lo-Res 22 Bold


Lo-Res 22 Serif


Lo-Res 28 Narrow


Lo-Res 28 Regular


Lo-Res 21 Serif


The Emperor, Universal, Oakland, and Emigre faces were originally designed in 1985 as bitmap fonts for use on the 72 dot per inch computer screen and dot matrix printer before high resolution outline fonts were available. In 2001 these fonts were replaced by the Lo-Res font family.

Left: Emperor Eight, Ten, Fifteen and Nineteen. The numbers eight, ten, fifteen and nineteen refer to the number of pixels that compose the capital height:

Right: Scaling Emperor Eight (left) to and Emperor Nineteen (right) to the same capital height measure illustrates why a higher resolution is required to render Emperor Nineteen.

Since the coarse resolution does not allow for a faithful representation of the same design for a variety of sizes, these faces relate by a system of whole pixel increments.

Regardless of resolution, all digital type and images are built out of blocks on a grid structure. These building elements are called "pixels" (picture elements) and the resulting image is the "bitmap," literally the "map of bits." The coarser the resolution, the more limited is the possibility of pixel placement, and the variety of representable font characteristics is limited accordingly.

The Emperor Family consists of a series of faces that maintain the same one pixel stem to two pixel counter ratio, while varying the vertical cap height. The Universal Family uses a one pixel stem to three pixel counter ratio, and Oakland and Emigre families use a two pixel stem to two pixel counter ratio.


Click here for an animated illustration.


Lo-Res Design Information