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By Zuzana Licko

With the introduction of laser printers, the "smooth" printing option was provided as a shortcut to increasing the resolution of bitmaps from screen to printer. The smooth printing option provided by the early Macintosh processed 72 dpi bitmaps into 300 dpi bitmaps for laser printers; seemingly polishing stair step pixels into smooth diagonals. This was the inspiration for the Citizen. Licko used straight line segments to approximate the features of smooth printing, applied to her earlier Lo-Res Twelve bitmap design. Later, this progression would develop into the Triplex Sans family.


Left: Bitmap screen font derived from the logic of the computer grid.
Middle: Bitmap screen font printed with the "smooth printing" option.
Right: The resulting Citizen design. The features of the "smooth printing" are approximated with the use of straight line segments.


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