I am solving the following problem: I want to display numbers on a huge indoor display (size 32x32 pixel -> "bright light bulbs" / LEDs). Now I want every displayed number to be equally bright, so that a change in a character does not change the illumination of the room (lumen per character should be constant, thus pixel per character should be constant)

So e.g. the "1" should turn on the same amount of pixels than the "8"

Does such a font exist?

  • 2
    depending how many characters and how many pixels per character, might be quicker to just take a pixel font and tweak it.
    – Luciano
    May 11 '17 at 14:29
  • Maybe build your own just with numbers in Fontstruct May 11 '17 at 14:44
  • You can also make the leds dimmer in the glyphs that have more leds. This way there's no need to distort an artistically coherent font. The appearance unfortunately will be non-uniform, because the watchers do not think the luxes in the room, but the light intensity at the source. The idea of having so much power in a number display that it makes a substantial part of the illumination of the room is irrational. To have also readable numbers the light should come from so small area that the numbers will be intolerably bright.
    – user287001
    May 11 '17 at 15:18
  • Fascinating question. Very hard to see how you are going to keep any semblance of consistency when rendering a "1" with the same amount of pixels as an "8", but please let me know! May 11 '17 at 17:58
  • 1
    @user287001 that depends how much attention they're paying to the display, and how much to other stuff. Dimming might be nice but for those looking directly at the display the constrast between 1 and 8 would be unpleasant: the 8 would have to be ~3.5x dimmer than the 1 (based on a 7-segment display just to get a rough idea). Dimming may also not be offered by the physical interface. Maybe dimming could be combined with playing with stroke widths/using things like a 1 with a hook and a base (like in courier), a 7 with a crossbar, etc.
    – Chris H
    May 12 '17 at 12:42

This is a fun art coding problem. I think you'll need to design the numbers - you don't need a whole alphabet, so 10 characters isn't bad.

I suggest a font where each number is approximately the same size, and extra pixels are used in the corners or as a border. It doesn't interfere with the reading of the numbers and it keeps the same number of lights on at any one time.

As a quick and not perfect example, these four numbers and their corners are built on a 32x32 grid and each use the same number of pixels.

example numbers

Edit to illustrate that each of these is on a 32x32 grid: grid image

  • This makes luminosity across the rectangle very inconsistent (some have a lot of light in the corners). It also makes the need for an increased amount of bulbs, especially with those patterns in the corners. To me, this answer is kind of ignoring the point of the question by throwing the extra light in corners. May 12 '17 at 17:07
  • 1
    The bulbs are a 32x32 "pixel" grid, there's no adding of lights. If the idea is to keep the amount of light projected into the room the same, and if a font using an equal number of pixels for each number cannot be found, this will accomplish that goal. Consistency of luminosity across the rectangle is not a constraint or concern put forth by the question.
    – tobybot
    May 12 '17 at 17:10
  • I think it's a very clever approach May 12 '17 at 17:51
  • 1
    Thank you very much @all. You gave a lot of insight, especially the idea to balance "missing" pixel with artsy pixels in the corners makes it possible to use a whole alphabet (with nice characters) and balance them with artwork in the corners.
    – venti
    May 16 '17 at 11:49

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