Sunday 4 April 2010

Classic Home Computer Fonts

Anyone who owned a home computer in the 80's would have been intimately familiar with the character set. Although it was possible to redefine the font, it had to be loaded from cassette and was restricted to an 8×8 pixel grid. Love it or hate it, you were stuck with it.

Fortunately for anyone who misses their 8-bit computer a selection of classic fonts are available online. Here are a few of my favourites:

Amstrad CPC Font Amstrad CPC font

Atari Font Atari font

Commodore 64 font Commodore font

ZX Spectrum font ZX Spectrum font

Which home computers did you own and what did you love / hate about the font? :-)


  1. I am appreciating the Commodore font. :)

  2. I can read the ZX Spectrum font better, but I guess I have to pretend it's green on a black background, right? God, I remember the first CRT I sat down in front of in '85. How far we've come.

  3. I'm with "the other Alison" with Commodore. I find its sans serif bold easiest to read.

  4. The ZX Spectrum font looked a lot clearer sitting in front of on my highly convex 1980's TV screen ;)

  5. Kathy: No, ZX-Spectrum had 32 colors and BASIC programming (in that font) was done in black on light gray.
    Oh and instead of CRT think TV.

  6. The C64's font was deliberately chunky so it was legible on early blurry NTSC displays. The spectrum was PAL-oriented and didn't have to make such concessions. A popular trick on the C64 was to remap the character page, allowing user-defined character sets. There's a gallery of a couple of hundred of them here:

  7. Here are the results of the poll:

    Amstrad CPC
    3 (13%)

    5 (21%)

    7 (30%)

    6 (26%)

    Other (please comment)
    2 (8%)


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