3x3 is a typeface based entirely on a 3×3 bitmap matrix. It was created by type designer Anders de Flon, who long refused to release the typeface before 2005, due to the large type foundries' demand for only complete ones (which means lower case characters, exclamation mark etc., i.e. 94 ASCII characters at least or in general). Nonetheless, this partial font has appeared on several record sleeves; a slightly modified version appears in 2003 on the cover of LFO's Sheath, designed by The Designers Republic.
A similar typeface named 3x3 but not adhering to a 3×3 bitmap matrix was designed by Swiss graphic designer Marc Beekhuis in 2001.
Alexander Fakoó (Fakoo.de) designed his own 3×3 font ca. 2009, titled Fakoo. In 2014, he released an improved version that supported ASCII (which is still quite rare in 3×3 – it can be named a font eventually).
All these examples of 9-dot based fonts (and more of them) were short projects or designs: they included many inconsistencies (of style, width, x-height…), even crippling unusabilities (duplicated or missing characters in most cases).
3×4 and 3×5 are a better choice to provide ASCII (and in a quite more legible way), although pretty more consistent and usable designs were already made in 3×3. Contrary to what is often claimed quite erroneously, the 3×3 matrix is not the smallest one that can be achieved (even in ASCII without a binary design).
Since the early 1980s, many pixel art show such tiny digital characters, occasionally (e.g. in video game covers as a signature, even in game on the items).
[This stub could be moved to a greater article that would encompass this field (of minimal matrices in digital type design).]
- "History". Design. May 2005.
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