Behind the Scenes in Typeface Creation: “Eyeball”

There was a setting to output a font after replacing a glyph with an error in original data to an icon called “eyeball” in the past work environment in our company. It has a sinister appearance with what looks like countless branches or tentacles coming out from a black sphere of one eye. It is unknown whether it is looking downwards or looking down at us. For me, it seems like an expression that is trying to say something. This design was a development engineer’s playful way to encourage us. When many eyeballs line up to indicate many errors, I feel silent pressure. In any case, errors must be corrected immediately to make the eyeballs disappear.

Apart from on-site font creation, there are various places where we can find things close to ghosts, gods, etc., so this icon may have an official name instead of “eyeball” with a function other than indicating error correction. Before finding the timing to solve this mystery, there was a system update for in-house font creation. Therefore, the “eyeball” no longer appears, recently. Not being able to see it is sad in its own way.

A ghost, god, etc. that looks like an “eyeball” is well-known but to a few. A ghost, god, etc. that looks like an “eyeball” is well-known but to a few. There are many created characters, including “Back Beard” in GeGeGe-no-Kitaro, “Cyaegha” in the Cthulhu Mythos, and the “Beholder” in Dungeons & Dragons. Furthermore, models based on these characters can also be found. The most popular character in Japan is probably “Back Beard.” It appears repeatedly in animation, and has been made into character goods, and becoming a net meme. If it’s an engineer at play, I thought “Back Beard” in the net meme must be the first. However, the drawing of “Back Beard” often features branches that grow straight from the sphere and are divided into several branches. In the case of “Cyaegha,” winding tentacles are drawn, so I thought it is closer to an “eyeball.” By the way, a monster that appears in the movie “Doctor Strange” released in theaters in May 2022 may be a companion of the “eyeball.”


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