Matrix II


Zuzana Licko
Release Year
Country of Origin
United States
Serif, Slab Serif, Geometric Serif
Original Format
dot matrix


The reason Matrix looks the way it does may seem quaint, if not incomprehensible, to those who were not around in 1985 when the idea for its design was born. The tool used to produce it, the Macintosh computer, had just appeared on the scene and its restrictions were many. Although the base memory on its second model was a whopping 512k, it lacked a hard drive, most data was stored and transferred from one computer to another using floppy disks, and the screen was only slightly bigger than a postcard. It was on this computer that the basic ideas for Matrix were developed.

While the proportions of Matrix were based on one of Zuzana Licko’s earlier bitmap fonts, its distinctive geometric character was the result of having to work around the Mac’s limitations and coarse resolution laser printers. After designing a number of low resolution bitmap fonts, Matrix was the first PostScript font that Emigre released. PostScript, a programming language developed by Adobe – and made available to the public in 1985 – replaced bitmap based fonts and made possible the drawing of glyphs as Bézier curve outlines which could then be rendered at any size or resolution. With the release of Altsys’s Fontographer, a PostScript based font editing software, it allowed a more precise drawing of letter forms.

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arsenbenda’s avatar

Last edited by arsenbenda on October 2, 2009, 08:09am EST

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