Saturday, February 21, 2004
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
I'm a Times New Roman man myself, so I can't say that I regret the passing of Courier.
As far as I'm concerned, the only merit of Courier is monospacing. That used to matter a lot back in the early days of word processing when I was a young geek putting together a chess club 'zine complete with tabulated tournament results. Courier was de rigueur.
But it always seemed like an ugly font to me. So the ad copy Vanderbilt quotes as saying that
With its "modern, progressive look," Courier exemplified the "trend toward the long, low and extended in an age of ranch houses and stretched-out cars"strikes me as disingenuous.
Something about the monospacing makes Courier looks simultaneously modern and archaic. Modern because the regularity is evocative of industrial conformity. Archaic because measures haven't been taken to hide the conformity from the viewer.
In the end, I suppose it comes down to readability. Other things being equal, I prefer a font to have serif's. If I can't have Times New Roman, I'll take Palatino, or even Georgia. But those fonts just aren't as readable in electronic form. So if you're posting something on the web those fonts don't work. You're left with fonts like Trebuchet, Chicago, Arial, and (shudder) Helvetica.