Ode to Courier


I have been trying to find a font that suited all my needs ever since I began using a computer. Wingdings were the first font I fell in love with. Then  I learned how to read/write and realized I needed to find a font with letters and numbers. I went through a brief Comic Sans phase which lasted until high school, where I was given the “Times New Roman, one-inch margin” mantra. I have stuck with Times New Roman ever since, as most professors in college swear by it. The issue is that Times New Roman just doesn’t feel like that one font I will spend the rest of my life with. There are so many other options out there, and choosing a font for life is a daunting task. But I think I have found “the one.” Meet Courier. I met Courier in a word processor and set it as my default font for my computer. The way things are looking, it will remain that way for a long time.

Courier was developed in 1955 for IMB as a monospaced slab serif. This is a fancy way of saying that each character takes up the same amount of space and is constructed with even stroke widths. Because of this, when used in a screenplay format, it can be estimated that one page of 12 point Courier will equal one minute of screen time. It was also the official font of the State Department until 2004 when it was replaced by Times New Roman, which is said to offer a “crisper, cleaner, more modern look.” This is the worst decision the U.S. has ever made. Courier is in every way crisper, cleaner and more modern that Times New Roman can ever dream of being.

I do not write screenplays, I do not work for the government but I love Courier. It is such an inviting, readable and cool looking font. Times New Roman single spaced makes a document look daunting. The characters are close together causing confusion to ensue before I have even started reading the document at hand.  Courier, by contrast, makes a document look clean. It is slightly larger than Times New Roman meaning there are less words per page which naturally shortens the time it takes to read a page. This means that anything you read in Courier becomes a page turner when compared to reading that same document in Times New Roman. There may be the same amount of words, but the reading process feels quicker when pages are frequently being turned. In truth, however, I like Courier for its looks. It is such a sleek, industrious looking font that makes any document look official without looking boring. I could be caring around a print out of all my blog posts, and people will think that I am carrying around transcripts from a congressional hearing, or a draft for the next Oscar winning screenplay I am not working on. The point I am trying to get at is that if you want to be cool, use Courier.


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