Making fonts like it’s ’77

Apple II font

For my second year CS degree project, I’m making a virtual machine from top to bottom (instruction set, assembler, virtual processor). I am not Intel, so the instruction set is limited, inspired by the Motorola 6800. Since I was going to have an old-style processor, I had to get a matching font. I have a weakness for the one that shipped with the different variants of Apple ][: it has some inconsistencies, but I find the glyphs very pleasing to the eye.

My only problem was that I could not find a version of the font encoded for use with C/C++. Image and TrueType versions can easily be found, but no raw bits, so I made one. It took a while —ninety-six glyphs, five columns of eight pixels each— but I now have a brilliant retro font ready to use in any of my projects. The source file is available over at GitHub and is completely free to use.

If you like retro computing and have a thing for typography, Damien Guard has made an excellent post on 8-bit fonts used in early computers.