Name: Arcade Game Typography
Release year: 2019
Author: Toshi Omagari
Concept, Art Direction: Darren Wall
Design: Leo Field
Publisher: Thames & Hudson / Read-Only Memory
This is a comprehensive book on 8 × 8 pixels fonts in arcade video games from ’70s to ’00s, showcasing around 250 fonts that represent the best of the industry. It is an interesting cross between typeface design and video game subjects, and the first book of its kind. Despite such narrow focus, the book’s appeal is universal and does not require the knowledge on both video games and typography; in fact it requires neither.
The book’s inception owes very much to the iconic issue 352 (May 2012) of Idea magazine, a renowned Japanese publication, which had a special feature on video game graphics. It rekindled my love for the childhood video games and brought my attention to its aesthetics, particularly the 8 × 8 pixels typefaces. I gave a presentation about the topic several years later, when Darren Wall approached and convinced me to publish it as a book.
I spent the following few years on researching, analysing, and writing spending every night and weekend. I was oddly grateful of the lack of a wife or girlfriend during this period since this kind of book take tremendous effort and I am far from a proficient writer. The fonts I collected were converted to coloured SVG fonts, and the book was designed in InDesign CC 2019 which was the first version to support the font format. Without that particular update to InDesign, the book would have been significantly harder to produce.
The black soft cover version was published by Thames & Hudson, and the hard cover special edition was published by Read-Only Memory.
Estelle Caswell at Vox did an interview with me and made a fantastic video!