Because You Need to Fit an Enormous Amount of Text Into an Excruciatingly Small Space

Ty Dunitz November 15 Design

I’m a fan of 6pt type, but this is ridiculous. Computer science professor Ken Perlin has decided to claim the title of designer of the smallest readable screen font. His font, above (duh), is able to compact the first 500 words of the Declaration of Independence into a 320×240 rectangle – perfect for mobile devices.

“My design,” says Perlin, “assumes that screen pixels are horizontal striped as RGBRGB, as are most LCD screens these days.” And frankly, that knowledge alone helps substantially in the legibility of this typeface – which, since Perlin has apparently given it no name, I have decided to call Ittybitty Sans Condensed.

“In contrast, I’ve noticed that Microsoft’s smallest screen fonts are unreadable,” claims Perlin. Frankly, Ken, readability is in the eye of the beholder, and my eye is beholding a hell of a lot of small. Lot of squinting goin’ on, here.

But nevertheless, if you’re an app developer in the business of giving the end user a sweet eyeful of an effing ton of text all at once, you might want to give Ittybitty Sans Condensed a try. If you’re not, confuse your friends! Confound your enemies! Give Ittybitty Sans Condensed a try anyway.

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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  • Is it for free?! Lovin’ it! xD

  • Lawyers and their ilk will like this font as they can get all the important stuff they don’t want you to read at such a small size you won’t be able to read it – but legally they will claim you can!

    I’m all for font designs that increase online readability but this exercise is a bit of a failure.