1. 6
  1. 3

    ” Very early fonts were essentially bitmapped images; you couldn’t freely resize them, you needed a given font in a given size to use it. This is obviously rather undesirable for multiple reasons. Adobe created Type 1 fonts, and Apple created TrueType in an attempt to defeat this by defining fonts as a series of drawing commands instead of static images.”

    Phototypesetting machines — ancestors of laser printers that rendered text optically on a roll of photographic paper, which were used by book publishers and newspapers — were doing this back in the 1970s. The earliest ones were analog, with a microfilm covered with letters and lenses to scale them to the desired size, but the digital ones represented fonts as outlines (probably polygons, not Bézier curves) and rasterized them.

    So we already had scalable vector fonts in the ‘80s; the reason the early Macs and other personal computer GUIs didn’t use them was because the software was complex, the fonts were proprietary and very expensive, and the rasterizing couldn’t be done in real time.