I'm looking for a good font to use on a small display (lower than 200x200px). The screen is black and white only, so I can't use anti-aliasing.

I use several font sizes (between 14px and 24px), lower case and upper case, and Gimp 2.8 to render the font. It's better if it is not a monospaced font.

What font is more suitable for my purpose?

  • If that matters, I use Gimp to render the font and generate bitmap for each character, then each bitmap is encoded is a C source file. Jul 29, 2016 at 6:53
  • To illustrate the problem with my current font, see the bad rendering of the small characters : here. Jul 29, 2016 at 7:59
  • 1
    You can edit your question to add more information and images at any time. If you want to know more about the site check the help center.
    – Luciano
    Jul 29, 2016 at 8:57
  • Since you're making bitmaps anyway, what about manually modifying problematic characters by hand? Jul 29, 2016 at 13:20
  • I could do that, but 26 characters x 2 cases x 3 font sizes too check can be laborious. I would prefer a clean and automated process. I did manually edit some special characters, like . Jul 29, 2016 at 14:39

3 Answers 3


My approach would be to look at pixel fonts


The problem you will have is that on a pixel font you can not controll diferent sizes, either you have for example a font of 10 px and that is it. You probably can not have it as other size.

But a cool work around would be to use Gimp, but to use a text editor. For example, Notepad++, and then configure your working font there. Settings > Style

I use a lot Verdana and it looks nice at 11px but counting the descendants will be around 16px then make a screen capture.

Another font that was designed for screen, before the sub-pixel era was Tahoma, and probably Calibri. Take a look at the Classical "Web safe" fonts.

If you can get your hands on a computer that runs Windows XP you can make faster tests, because it has not the Clear Type feature, so the text will be plain black on white.

Another good option is the System font. Look for it inside your "Font" folder. It is not a true type font. Is a pixel font actually. And has some pre-defined sizes that work well.


To build on the other answers, a font should be chosen for the particular purpose it's needed for.

What I mean is, a lingerie ad would use a different font than a security company mailer.

The font should complement and support the objective of the message.

  • 1
    I'm open to criticism. Why was my answer voted down? Please teach me.
    – DocPixel
    Aug 5, 2016 at 17:47
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    Your answer is quite generic and vague; the question is very specific. You're not answering what's being asked.
    – Luciano
    Sep 24, 2018 at 8:32

Liberation Mono works pretty well for this.

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    Can you edit to expand your answer to explain a bit more? Why do you think this is a good font for that?
    – Luciano
    Sep 24, 2018 at 8:30

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