see also Becker Large Filtered by gingerbeardman
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This is the final font I can see on my Becker Sat Nav.
This is very functional, legible font, with all the special characters you ever need. I'm not familiar with Becker Cascade, and I need some further information to evaluate your work: is it an adaptation of a recent font, or a revival of an old font otherwise lost for common use. How much is your contribution to the original design? The vertical stroke of "ß" (Eszett/sharfes S) should not go below the base line. What you have here is the Greek "β"(beta).
Basically, I have a sat nav unit (made in 2001) in my car. It's not very popular in the UK as it's very expensive, so I guess not many people will have seen this font. I just think it's a cool font so I have reproduced it by hand - pixel by pixel.
I've added a handful of characters and fixed what I think are a couple of stray errors in the original. In that respect my contribution is about 5% of the original design, at a guess.
However, to get all the characters was quite a process! I created a bunch of mp3s with song titles made up of all the ISO-8859-1 character set, put them on a memory card and loaded them into the sat nav. I then took a bunch of photos as my source material. Only then was I ready to start on this fontstruct!
I'm happy to change the Eszett character, if you're sure it's the wrong character? It has the descender in fontstruct (More Latin, "Small Sharp S", Unicode: 00df). You can see the original in the photo below.
Click the photo to see it on Flickr:
As I said, "Becker Large" is a very functional font with a decent character set. I like it very much. Let me not consider the possible Copyright issues for a moment, if there is any, and simply be happy for this nice and useful typeface. One of our fellow members, Goatmeal, has a mission to save long forgotten pixel fonts for the next generation. He has compiled a collection of such fonts from old games consoles, operating systems, etc., by re-creating them with FS pixel-by-pixel. I very much appreciate his noble effort, a painstaking work of saving pieces of our digital heritage. I consider your work somewhat similar, and give you 10/10.
As I looked at your hi-res image on Flickr, I thought you could do a version with the same appearance. It's easy. Set both horizontal and vertical filters to, say, 0.95, and presto it will be the exact match of the Becker LCD.
My goal is the same as Goatmeal - preservation rather than infringement. Thanks for the 10/10!
I've fixed the Eszett and cloned a new version that has the filtered effect. Personally, I prefer this solid version, but I appreciate others may want the original OLED vibe. Choice is a good thing.
The pixels on the original device are slightly wider than being square, but I can live with the difference.
I have done two other Becker fonts, and a reworking of my old Block Out design (which has a link to a great back story on my typophile blog). Check them out.
While there is a large body of evidence to support Frodo7’s advice regarding eszett descenders, this is by no means a hard and fast rule. The generalization he draws applies in most cases to upright roman fonts. Franklin Gothic is one notable exception (even included in the above sample). Other upright examples include Aspect, Amerika, Precious Sans, Fertigo Pro, Kallos, Gilgamesh, etc.
As for italic, blackletter, and most fonts with a calligraphic bent – they very often sport eszetts with descenders. It makes sense when you consider the origin of ß as a handwritten script ligature. For legibility reasons, eszetts may even vary in construction when comparing different weights of the same typeface!
The really salient visual difference between β and ß is the closed vs. open counter of the beta vs. the eszett.
Thanks for the detailed information. In that case, I will edit it back to the original. I can't help but think that the decision to have a descender was made to make it more obvious at a quick glance.
Finally, I must say that these Becker Navigation devices are second to none! Worth every penny.
I guess what I meant to say with all that is I rather liked your distinctive (and apparently true to source) ß, and didn’t find it incorrect in any way, shape, or form.
In context it even makes quite a bit of sense. Viewed on a small LCD screen from driving distance, legibility for a letter sharing characteristics with so many other glyphs and glyph combinations would simply require such an exaggerated feature. Good choice on the part of the original designer, then.
My sentiment exactly.
Oh, haha, you already said it! If I was a bit more patient I would have simply said, “Excellent point!”
And by the way, this really is a beautiful pixel font you’ve shared with us. Thanks!
Glad you guys like it!
I use the device all the time and the font family it uses really has been well thought out. I had no other choice than to share the love. :)
@gingerbeardman: If you want a bit wider bricks, you can do it using the filters (again). Set to horizontal filter above 1.0 to stretch the bricks. Needless to say, it won't be a pixel font anymore.
@will.i.ૐ: There are exeptions, as always. And no rules of typeface design are carved in stone. I know, that some cursive versions have a descender, but I didn't want to complicate the picture. Becker Large was not cursive after all.
I used to have the same view about the Eszett/scharfes s, and designed a few fonts with descenders in the "ß" until I was told by a professional designer that it was not correct. Actually, I didn't invent anything, I merely followed the traditional German handwriting learned in school. But we all know, cursive letters are a different story.
For more information on this topic see the following book: Designing Type by Karen Cheng, pp. 212-213.
Frodo7: There is a wonderful article on the subject of the multi-lingual origins and controversial history of the eszett over at Typefoundry. In conclusion, J.M. Mosely writes:
My initial suspicion is confirmed: the use and retention of ß, and consequently its belated [re]insertion into the majuscule character set, is felt in Germany to be bound up with national identity.
The TMC is just an icon, no other instances of that typeface occur. I'll keep looking, there may be one more typeface in the unit.
Unusual and fun, Basmachi is a high-contrast, modular script with a Central-Asian flavour.
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