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Arcade Game Typography

The Art of Pixel Type

Toshi Omagari, Kiyonori Muroga


The first book of its kind – a definitive and beautifully designed survey of 70s, 80s and early 90s arcade video game pixel typography

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Arcade Game Typography presents readers with a fascinating new world of typography – the pixel typeface. Video game designers of the 70s, 80s and 90s faced colour and resolution limitations that stimulated incredible creativity: with letters having to exist in an 8x8 square grid, artists found ways to create expressive and elegant character sets within a tiny canvas.

Featuring pixel typefaces carefully selected from the first decades of arcade video games, Arcade Game Typography presents a previously undocumented ‘outsider typography’ movement, accompanied by insightful commentary from author Toshi Omagari, a Monotype typeface designer himself, and screenshots of the type in use. Exhaustively researched, this book gathers an eclectic typography from hit games such as Super Sprint, Pac-Man, After Burner, Marble Madness, Shinobi, as well as countless lesser- known gems. The book presents its typefaces on a dynamic and decorative grid, taking reference from high-end type specimens while adding a suitably playful twist. Unlike print typefaces, pixel type often has bold colour ‘baked in’ to the characters, so Arcade Game Typography looks unlike any other typography book, fizzing with life and colour.

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'The first book of its kind … it gives an all-encompassing and incredibly well-researched insight into an undocumented movement characterised by “outsider typographers”'
Mr Porter

'A definitive guide to 70s, 80s and early 90s arcade game pixel typography'

It’s Nice That

'A deep dive into the distinctive typefaces of the golden age of arcade games'
Creative Review

'Our favourite book … explores the fascinating new world of typography'

'Expansive … special'
Better Letters

'Celebrates the under-appreciated world of arcade game typography'
Design Week

'An eclectic compendium of 70s, 80s and early 90s arcade video game pixel typography'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 23.0 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 272 pp

Illustrations: 408

Publication date: 10 October 2019

ISBN: 9780500021743

About the Author

Toshi Omagari is a typeface designer at Monotype UK. He studied typography and typeface design at Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Arcade Game Typography is his first book.

Kiyonori Muroga is the former editor-in-chief of the renowned Japanese design magazine IDEA. He now works as an editor, writer and curator on graphic design and typography.