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Free Font Friday: Silkscreen

by Taylor Slattery | October 20, 2022

First released in 1999, Silkscreen is a retro, pixel typeface designed by Jason Kottke. Born of necessity and the technological limits of the time, Silkscreen’s blocky appearance was designed to maintain readability at small sizes for on-screen use. While modern screens are now capable of rendering type with much greater precision, the continued use of Silkscreen is for now purely stylistic reasons. For those looking to capture that crunchy, lo-fi vibe that permeated the design of the early 2000s and before, Silkscreen delivers. While there are other chunky, pixel-based typefaces that fill a similar role, Silkscreen stands out for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it’s a bit more narrow than some of its other retro counterparts. I think this gives the typeface a subtly more modern impression when compared with similar options. Others seem to agree as well. Silkscreen has been used for many high-profile websites including design juggernauts like Herman Miller and Volvo, and even Britney Spears and The Bourne Legacy on the entertainment side of things. The second factor that gives Silkscreen a leg up on its competitors is that it is also available in a bold version. This makes it of particular interest for those looking to use it more so for its vintage aesthetic rather than its intended purpose, but in either case, Silkscreen works exceedingly well at both large and small sizes.

Silkscreen is available in 2 weights. You can find it for free here.


Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.


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