Type is not only printed. There were always and still are a number of forms of type versions which function completely differently. Even very early in the history of script there were attempts to combine a few single elements into the diverse forms of individual characters and also efforts to construct the forms of letters within a geometric grid system. The “instructions” of Albrecht Dürer are probably most well-known.
But although designers of past centuries assumed the ideal to basically be an artist’s handwritten script, the idea which developed in the course of mechanization was to “build” characters in a building block system only by stringing together one basic element — the so-called grid type was discovered, represented most commonly today by »pixel types.« But even before computers, there were display systems which presented types with the help of a mechanical grid display, like the display panels in public transportation (bus, train) or at airports and train stations.
In a streetcar, I met up with a modern variation of this display which reveals the name of each tram stop as it is approached. This system was based on a customary coarse square grid, but the individual squares were also divided again diagonally in four triangles.
In this way it is possible to display slants and to simulate round forms more accurately as with only squares. The displayed characters still aren’t comparable to a decent typeface — on the contrary, the lower case letters are surprisingly ugly — but they form a much more legible type than that of ordinary [quadrate] grid types.
DeDisplay from ingoFonts is this kind of type, constructed from tiny triangles which are in turn grouped in small squares. The stem widths are formed by two squares; the height of upper case characters is 10, the x-height 7 squares.
DeDisplay is available in three versions: DeDisplay 1 is the complex original with spaces between the triangles, DeDisplay 2 forgoes dividing the triangles and thus appears somewhat darker or “bold,” and DeDisplay 3 is to some extent the “black” and doesn’t even include spaces between the individual squares.
price: 48,— Euro
character set: A—Z resp. a—z only