I am a bit obsessed with Susan Kare’s original 1984 Macintosh bitmap fonts and design and made my own Truetype version of her great Chicago font using BitFontMaker.
I then got intrigued by the font used on the labels of items on the Mac desktop – I couldn’t quite figure out which font it was. It was really tiny – about 7 pixels high – and elegant and none of the other default fonts seemed to fit the bill. I eventually worked out that it is actually 9pt Geneva, but the way I worked it out was a bit odd.
I typed all the characters possible in the label on a folder in a 68k Mac emulator and then… I saw a sheep! It turns out I had found an Easter egg! It turns out that the capital letter Y with an umlaut produces completely different pictures at different point sizes:
At 9pt you get a tiny sheep, then as you make the size bigger you get a little Mac, a bird, a bigger sheep and then a running hare or rabbit. I can only assume they were put there by Susan Kare and have been largely ignored ever since!
You can download my TrueType version of 9pt Geneva – which I’ve called FindersKeepers – here.
I’m thrilled to have had this tweet from Susan Kare herself!
Tried to hide some prehistoric emoji : n ) https://t.co/RaqmOUZ7la
— Susan Kare (@SusanKare) April 17, 2017