Segment16 font families (72 characters per line)
The Segment16 font families were created and assigned CC0 Public Domain
by Daniel Wikholm in 2017. No rights reserved. No attribution required.
While claiming you own them would be untrue, and selling them for profit
unfriendly, they're your fonts as much as anybody elses. Enjoy.
Segment16A, B and C are three font families, each containing a regular,
bold, italic and bold italic, based on sixteen segment displays. They
are also loosely related to Segment8, a more experimental eight segment
alphanumeric display font family released on December 31, 2015.
The main reason for creating Segment16 is that many free segment display
fonts tends to have quality issues, while those of better quality tends
to have restrictive licensing. While the Segment16 fonts aren't perfect
either, they were created with quality in mind, and since they are CC0
Public Domain, you are free to try fixing whatever issues you may find.
Some segment fonts changes the shape of some segments from one character
to another, and/or has segments that would overlap, were they all active
at once. The Segment16 fonts, much like actual segmented displays would,
has a fixed set of continuous, non-overlapping segments per font.
In Segment 16A, like in Segment8, the diagonal segments extends both to
the center and the outer corners of the character, which might resemble
some, mainly older, LCD sixteen segment alphanumeric displays.
In Segment 16B, the diagonal segments still extends to the center, but
stops inside the outer segments. This may resemble some newer LCD or LED
displays. In Segment 16C, the diagonal segments are not extending to the
center either. This may resemble some smaller LED or VFD type displays.
In the following, the U+ numbers are hexadecimal Unicode code points,
while character numbers refers to decimal ASCII-type codes.
Segment16 covers the "Windows western" code page 1252, the basic Greek
(U+0390 to U+03C9) and Russian (U+0410 to U+044F) alphabets. U+E000 to
U+E011 contains each segment individually, with zero width, such that
any combination of segments may be created.
As with many "n-segment" displays, optional dots and separators aren't
included in the official segment count. In the Segment16 fonts, there
are, in addition to the sixteen main segments, a lower right "decimal
point" dot and an upper left "digit group separator" dot.
Character 46 "Period" uses the decimal dot instead of any main segment.
To avoid a space before the next digit, when used as a decimal sign, it
has zero width, and is aligned to combine with the previous character.
This works as expected when using it as a single full stop, but multiple
full stops without spaces inbetween, will collapse to a single dot.
While character 166 "Broken bar", differs from 124 "Pipe", it rarely has
a different meaning. As both would be "broken" in the Segment16 fonts,
character 166 has been used for an upper left dot, available even if the
Unicode Private use area isn't accessible. It, too, has zero width.
Spacing modifier letters do NOT have zero width, as "correctly" putting
them onto the characters to be modified, likely yields a less readable
result than putting the modifier before or after letter to be modified.
Character 149 "Bullet" consists of the 16 main segments, which may work
as a background for emulating the look of certain display types. As both
character 46 "Period" and 166 "Broken bar" has zero width, they can be
added. A full set of all 18 segments, is also available as U+E012.
U+2588 "Full block" is a block with the width of the character pitch and
the height of the intended line spacing. It's mainly a hack, as the tool
used (CorelDRAW) to create the Segment fonts, seems to cause the line
spacing to be derived from the tallest character in the font.
Due to technical limitations in CorelDRAW, character 160 "Non breaking
space", while empty, and all undefined code points, while rendering as
all 18 segments, do not have the correct width.
All Segment16 (and 8) fonts were designed with the same line spacing and
monospaced character pitch (5/9 of the point size), so changing from one
Segment font to another, shouldn't cause any characters to move around.
The space between segments is 1/5 the width of a bold segment. This was
chosen to look reasonable across a range of different font sizes. While
real displays may have their segments closer, segment fonts tends to be
used for aesthetic reasons, were each segment should be clearly visible.
Rather than optimizing for the different segment shapes, all Segment16
fonts uses the same set of segments for the same character, so changing
from one Segment16 font to another does not change which segments are
used to represent each character. This is a comproimise for consistency.
The set of segments used for each character is based on the most common
designs, as long as they don't hurt readability. The square design of
uppercase B, may for example not be the very "best" design possible, but
is, by far, the most common, and is thus what most users would expect.
Some characters deliberately deviates slightly from their most common
designs, to make it possible to tell them apart from other characters.
For example, as the most common design for the letter S, is identical to
that of the digit 5, it would be impossible to tell them apart, when the
context doesn't say whether the character is a digit or a letter. Thus
the design of the 5 and, for consistency, 2 has been slightly altered.
For the same reason, the Cyrillic letters Ze and Be are designed to not
look exactly like the digits 3 and 6. The Greek and Cyrillic letters are
in general, though, NOT designed to look different than Latin letters. A
Greek uppercase Eta does look exactly like a Cyrillic En and a latin H.
This is partly because distinct designs wouldn't really be feasible, as
for example a Greek Chi is supposed to look exactly like a Cyrillic Kha
or a Latin X. Also, some of the identical-looking letters ARE basically
the same. A Greek Beta, a Cyrillic Be and a Latin B, are all the second
letter of their respective alphabets, and are pronounced the same.
For characters where no consensus seems to exist, the Segment16 fonts
tries to optimize readability and consistency. For accented characters,
base character redability has been given priority over accent fidelity.
The letter Ã may for example emphasize the ~ at the expense of colliding
with the A, perhaps resulting in a confusing set of segments, or it may
simplify the ~ to just the two upper horizontal segments, at the expense
of becoming indistinguishable from Â and Ä. Hopefully, readers will be
able to derive the correct accent from the context.
All in all, including space, the Segment16 fonts defines 350 code points
each, summing up to 4200 in total, though the number of unique designs
is closer to 250 per font, or 3000 in total.
December 29, 2017