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of1950s thedesigned original typeface was commissioned in the on became font throughout the Courier is aa standard monospaced slabused serif typeface. The typewriter typeface was byCourier Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. The design the original Courier typeface was commissioned in the by IBM for use inin typewriters, but they did not sec1 ofthe theoriginal originalCourier Couriertypeface typefacewas wascommissioned commissionedin inthe the1950s 1950sby by IBMfor foruse usein typewriters, butthey they didnot notsec IBM typewriters, but did secure legal exclusivity to the typeface and it soon dofrenewed use in the electronic world in situations where the original Courier was commissioned inbecame the 1950s by IBM font for use typewriters, they did indust not be legal exclusivity totypeface the typeface and and it soon soon standard usedin throughout thebut typewriter secure legal exclusivity to typeface the typeface it soon became a standard font used throughout the typewriter legal exclusivity to the and it became aa standard font used throughout the typewriter indust industry. As a monospaced font, it has recently found re tsecure has also become an industry standard for all screenplays legal exclusivity to the typeface and it soon became a standard font used throughout the typewriter Asaa monospaced monospaced font,font, it has has recently foundfound renewed use in in the electronic world in situations situations where columns industry. As a monospaced itrecently has recently renewed usethe in the electronic in situations where As font, it found renewed use electronic world in where columns columns of characters mustworld be consistently aligned. It h nt. It characters wasAsreported onbethe Agfa/Monotype website that industry. a monospaced font, it hasaligned. recently found renewed useanin the electronic world in screenplays situations where must consistently It has also become industry standard for all to be writ columns of characters must be consistently aligned. has become also become an industry standard forscreenplays allor screenplays characters must be consistently aligned. It hasItalso an industry standard for Courier all to be writ be in 12 standard point a close varian writer but this factbe has not been verified. (see columnsseries, of 12 characters must consistently aligned. It reported has alsotoon become an industry for all screenplays in point Courier or close variant. It was thewritten Agfa/Monotype website that Adrian Frutiger red to be written in 12 pointor Courier orvariant. a closeIt variant. It was reported on the Agfa/Monotype website that in 12 point Courier aa close was reported on the Agfa/Monotype website that Adrian Frutiger red Frutiger redrew Courier for the Selectric type S. Department’s standard typeface to State be written infor 12 the point Courier or auntil closeJanuary variant. It wasAdrian reported onbeen the Agfa/Monotype website that Courier Selectric typewriter series, but this fact has not verified. (see typophile link) 12 po Adrian Frutiger for typewriter the Selectric typewriter series, but this fact has not been verified. (see Courier redrew for theCourier Selectric series, but this fact has not been verified. (see typophile link) 12 po typophile link) 12has point New was U oman. Reasons forredrew the change included the desire for Adrian Frutiger Courier for the Selectric typewriter series, but this fact not Courier been verified. (see Courier New was also the U.S. State Department’s standard typeface until January 2004, when italso was the repla typophileCourier link) 12 point Courier New was also the U.S. State Department’s standard typeface until January New was also the U.S. State Department’s standard typeface until January 2004, when it was repla FA L L ' 1 6 2004, when it was replaced with 14 point Times New e quoted about how the name was chosen. The fontU.S. typophile link) 12 point Courier New was also the State Department’s standard typeface until Januaryand “legib with 14 point Times New Roman. Reasons for the change included the desire for a more “modern” 2004, when with it was withNew 14 Roman. point Times Newfor Roman. Reasonsincluded for the the change included for and “legib 14 replaced point Times Reasons the change desire for a the moredesire “modern” more and “legible” font. wasn giving it it some Kettler “A letter 2004, when wasthought, replaced withonce 14said, point Times Newhow Roman. Reasons for the “modern” change included the desire forKettler font. Kettler was quoted about the name was a chosen. Thename font waschosen. nearly released with the the a more “modern” and “legible” font. Kettler washow once quoted about how the was The font font. Kettler was once quoted about the name was chosen. The font was nearly released with n was nearly released with the name “Messenger.” which radiates dignity, prestige, and acourier, more “modern” and “legible” font. Kettler was once quoted about how the name was chosen. The font “Messenger.” After giving it some some After thought, Kettler said, “A letter letter can be be just just an ordinary messeng was nearly released with the name “Messenger.” giving it some thought, Kettler said, “A letter “Messenger.” After giving it thought, Kettler said, “A can an ordinary messeng can be just an ordinary messenger, or it can bwas serif typeface. Thewith typeface was designed by radiates nearly released thethe name “Messenger.” After giving it some thought, Kettler said, “A letter or it can be courier, which dignity, prestige, and stability." –Typedia.com Courier i i can be just anor ordinary messenger, or itwhich can be the courier, which radiates dignity, prestige, and is Courier it can be the courier, radiates dignity, prestige, and stability." –Typedia.com stability." –Typedia.com Courier a The monospa inal Courier typeface wasmessenger, commissioned in can the be The can be just an ordinary or typeface. it the typeface courier, was which radiates dignity, prestige, and monospaced slab serif designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. des stability." –Typedia.com is a typeface. monospaced slab serif was typeface. Theby typeface was designed by monospacedCourier slab serif The typeface designed Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. The des Howard “Bud” Kettler in in 1955. ot secure legal exclusivity to the stability." –Typedia.com Courier is typeface a monospaced slab serif typeface. The1950s typeface wasfor designed by The design ofthe the original Courier typeface was commissioned commissioned in the the by IBM IBM use typewriters, butoft t Howard “Bud” Kettler inoriginal 1955. The designtypeface of the original Courier typeface wasby commissioned inin of Courier was in 1950s by for use use inthe typewriters, but 1950s IBM for typewriters, but t the typewriter industry. As The a monospaced Howard “Bud” Kettler innot 1955. designexclusivity of the original Courier typeface was commissioned in thefont used through did secure legal to the typeface and it soon became a standard 1950s by IBM for use in typewriters, they did to notthe secure legal to the typeface did not secure legal but exclusivity typeface andexclusivity itand soonitbecame a standard font used through soon became a standard font used ctronic in situations where columns 1950s byworld IBM for usethe in typewriter typewriters, but they did not securefont, legal tofound the typeface industry. As a a monospaced monospaced it exclusivity has recently renewed use in in the the electro and it soon becamethe a standard font used throughout the typewriter industry. As ahas monospaced typewriter industry. As font, it has recently found renewed use electro font, it recently found renewed use also become industry standard for all and it soon an became aworld standard font used throughout the typewriter industry. As a monospaced in renewed situations where columns of characters characters must be consistently consistently aligned. It It has has also also bec font, it has recently found usewhere in the electronic world inmust situations where columns world in situations columns of be aligned. bec of characters must be consistently ali ose variant. was reported on the Agfa/ font, it hasItrecently found renewed use in the electronic world in situations where columns an industrystandard standard for all screenplays toan be industry written in in 12 point pointfor Courier or aa close close variant. variant. of characters must bean consistently aligned. It has also become standard all written industry for all screenplays to be written 12 Courier or screenplays to point roffor the Selectric typewriter series, characters must be consistently aligned. It has also become industry standard for allbe was reported on the Agfa/Monotype Agfa/Monotype websitean that Adrian Frutiger redrew Courier for forin the12Select Select screenplays to be written in 12 pointon Courier or a close variant. It was reported on the Agfa/ was reported the website that Adrian Frutiger redrew Courier the Agfa/Monotype website that Adrian ink) 12 point Courier New was also the screenplays to be written in 12 point Courier or a fact closehas variant. It verified. was reported on the typewriter series, butCourier this not been (seeseries, typophile link) 12 12 point point Cour CourF Monotype website that Adrian Frutiger redrew for has thenot Selectric typewriter typewriter series, but this fact been verified. (see typophile link) series, but this fact has not uary 2004, when website it was replaced with Agfa/Monotype thatNew Adrian Frutiger redrew Courier for the Selectric typewriter was also also the U.S. State State Department’s standard typeface until January 2004, 2004, when when been it but this fact has not beenNew verified. (see typophile link) 12 point Courier Newtypeface waswas also thethe was the U.S. Department’s standard until January it also U.S.the State Departmen uded the but desire forfact a more series, this has “modern” not been with verified. (seeTimes typophile link)Reasons 12 point Courier Newincluded replaced 14 point New Roman. for the change desire for aa mm U.S. State Department’s standard typeface 2004, when it was replaced with replaced with 14 until point January Times New Roman. Reasons for the change included the desire for replaced with point New the also name the was U.S. chosen. The Department’s font was was State standard typeface until January 2004, when it was how “modern” and “legible” font. Kettler wasfor once quoted about the14 name wasTimes chosen. 14 point Times New Roman. Reasons forand the “legible” change included the desire a more “modern” “modern” font. Kettler was once quoted about how the name was chosen. a more “modern” and “legible” ng it somewith thought, Kettler said, replaced 14 point Times New Roman. Reasons for the change included the desire fontonce was nearly nearly released released with the name “Messenger.” After giving it it some some thought, thought, Kett Kettf and “legible” font. Kettler font was quoted about how thethe name was chosen. TheAfter font was with name “Messenger.” giving chosen. The be font was nearly re nfor be the courier, which radiates a more “modern” and “legible” font. Kettlercan wasbeonce quoted about how the name said, “A letter just an ordinary messenger, or it can the courier, wh was nearly released with the name After it ordinary some thought, Kettler said,“Messenger.” “A letter can be giving just an messenger, or it can Kettler be the said, courier, wh “A lett ier a monospaced slab was is chosen. The font wasserif nearlyradiates releaseddignity, with the name “Messenger.” After–Typedia.com giving thought, prestige, and stability." Courier is a monospaced said, “A letter can be just an radiates ordinary dignity, messenger, or it can the courier, which courier, prestige, andbe stability." –Typedia.com Courierwhich is a radiates monospaced ss dig Kettler in 1955. Kettler The design it some thought, said, “Aserif letter can be just an ordinary messenger, or it “Bud” Kettler typeface. The typeface was designed by Howard in 1955. The des radiates dignity, prestige, and serif stability." –Typedia.com Courier is a monospaced typeface. The typeface was designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. The des a monospaced slab the be 1950s IBM for which use inradiatesofdignity, can thebycourier, prestige, and typeface stability." –Typedia. the original original Courier was commissioned inisthe the 1950s by by IBM IBM forserif use slab serif typeface. The typeface was designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in commissioned 1955. The of the Courier typeface was in 1950s for use Kettler in 1955. The desi to the typeface it soon com Courier is and a monospaced slab serif typeface. typeface was designed by typewriters, butThe they didthe not1950s secure legal exclusivity to to the the typeface typeface and and it it design of the original Courier typeface was commissioned in bylegal IBM for typewriters, but they did not secure exclusivity ss inindustry. the 1950sAsby IBM for industry. As aKettler monospaced Howard “Bud” in 1955. The design ofa the original Courier typeface was became standard font used throughout the typewriter a monospa use in typewriters, but they did notbecame securea legal exclusivity the typeface standard font usedtothroughout the typewriter exclusivity industry. Astoathe monospa type onic world in in situations commissioned the 1950s by IBM for usefont, in typewriters, but they didrenewed not secure it has has the recently found use in the the electronic electronic world world in in situati situati and it soon became a standard font used throughout typewriter industry. As in font, it recently found renewed use the typewriter industr ned. has also become legalItexclusivity to the typeface and where it soon becameofa characters standard font used columns must be consistently aligned. It has also bec a monospaced font, it has recently found renewed use of in characters the electronic where columns must world be consistently aligned. It the haselectronic also bec use in en in 12 point throughout theCourier typewriter industry. As aanmonospaced font, itfor hasall recently industry standard screenplays to be written in 12 point Courier in situations where columns of characters be consistently It an must industry standard for aligned. all screenplays to be written be in consistently 12 point Courier onotype websiteuse that found renewed in the electronic worlda in situations columns of on the Agfa/Monotype close variant.where Itbe was reported website that that ali Adr has also become an industry standard for aall screenplays to written in on the Agfa/Monotypescreenplays close variant. It was reported website to Adr bef ewriter series, characters must but be consistently aligned. It has also become an industry Frutiger redrew Courier for the Selectric typewriter series, but this 12 point Courier or a close variant. It was reportedredrew on theCourier Agfa/Monotype Frutiger for the Selectric typewriter series, but this f was reported on )standard 12 pointfor Courier all screenplays to be written has in not 12 point Courier (see or a typophile link) 12 point Courier New was at been verified. verified. website that Adrian Frutiger redrew Courier has for not the been Selectric typewriter (see typophile link) 12 point Courier New was a for the dclose typeface until variant. It was reported on the Agfa/Monotype website that Adrian the U.S. State Department’s standard typeface typeface until until Courier January 2004, 2004, w series, but this fact has not been verified. (see typophile link) 12 point the U.S. State Department’s standard January w beenfor verified. imes New redrew Roman. Courier for the Selectric typewriter Frutiger series, this it was wasstandard replacedbut with 14 point point Times Times New New Roman. Roman. Reasons Reasons the cha cha Courier New was also the U.S. State Department’s typeface it replaced with 14 for the the font. U.S. Kett Stat re “modern” andbeen verified. (see typophile link) fact has not 12 point Courier included the desire for aa more more “modern” “modern” and and “legible” “legible” until January 2004, when it was replaced withincluded 14 point Times Newfor the desire font. Kett when it the name was New was also the U.S. State Department’s standard until was typeface once quoted about how how the the name name was was chosen. chosen. The The font font was was was nea Roman. Reasons for the change included the desire was for aonce morequoted “modern” about nea the “Messenger.” January 2004, when it was replaced with 14 point Times New Roman. released withwas the name name “Messenger.” “Messenger.” After After giving giving it it some somechange thoug and “legible” font. Kettler was once quoted about released how the name with the thoug font. can be just Reasons for the change included the desire for a moreKettler “modern” and “A letter can be just an ordinary messenger, said, or Ket it chosen. The font was nearly released with the nameKettler “Messenger.” said, “A letter can be just an ordinary messenger, or it The font h“legible” radiates font. Kettler was once quoted about how the name was be the courier, which radiates dignity, prestige, and stabilit After giving it some thought, Kettler said, “A letterbe can becourier, just the which radiates dignity, prestige, and stabilit giving rier is aThe font was nearly released with the name “Messenger.” chosen. –Typedia.com Courier is is aa monospaced monospaced slab slab serif serif typeface. typeface. an ordinary messenger, or it can be the courier, which–Typedia.com radiates Courier ordina igned After by giving it some thought, Kettler said, “A letter can be typeface was designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. dignity, prestige, and stability." –Typedia.com Courier is a typeface was designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. digni riginal just an ordinary messenger, or it can be the courier, which design of the the original original Courier Courier typeface typeface was was commissioned commissioned monospaced slab serif typeface. The typeface was designed by design of is yradiates IBM dignity, prestige, and stability." –Typedia.comthe 1950s by IBM for use in typewriters, but they did Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. The design of the original the 1950s by IBM for use in typewriters, but they did de egal Courier is a monospaced slab serif typeface. The typeface secure legal exclusivity to the typeface and it soon bec Courier typeface was commissioned in the 1950s by IBM secure legal exclusivity to the typeface and it soon bec t ard was designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. The design a standard font used throughout the typewriter indust Courier for use in typewriters, but they did not secure legal a standard font used throughout the typewriter indust Courier a of the original Courier typeface was commissioned in theis As monospaced font, font, it it has has recently recently found found renewed renewed a aa monospaced exclusivity to the typeface and it soon became a standard CourieraAs n1950s by IBM for use in typewriters, but they did notis in the the electronic electronic world world in in situations situations where where columns columns monospaced font used throughout the typewriter industry. Asmonospaced a in is a characters must be consistently aligned. It has a secure legal exclusivity to the typeface and it soonslab serif monospaced font, it has recently found renewed use slab in characters must be consistently aligned. It has a monospaced serif become an industry standard for all screenplays became a standard font used throughout the typewritertypeface. The the electronic world in situations where columns typeface. of become an industry standard for all screenplays slab serif The be written in 12 point Courier or a close varia industry. As a monospaced font, it has recently foundtypeface was characters must be consistently aligned. It has also in 12 point Courier or a close varia typeface. The wasbeItwritten renewed use in the electronic world in situationstypeface was reported reported on on the the Agfa/Monotype Agfa/Monotype website website t t designed by Howard become an industry standard for all screenplays It was typeface was designed by Howard where columns of characters must be consistently “Bud” Adrian Frutiger redrew Courier for the Select Kettler in to be written in 12 point Courier or a close Frutiger redrew Courier for the Select designedKettler by Howard inAdrian aligned. It has also become an industry standard“Bud” typewriter series, series, but but this this fact fact has has not not b 1955. TheKettler design of in the variant. It was reported on the Agfa/Monotype typewriter b “Bud” The design of the verified. (see typophile for all screenplays to be written in 12 point 1955. link) 12 12 point point Cour Cour original Courier typeface website that Adrian Frutiger redrew Courier verified. (see typophile link) 1955. The design of the original Courier typeface Courier or a close variant. It was reported was commissioned in the 1950sNew was also the U.S. State Departmen for the Selectric typewriter series, but this was also the U.S. State Departmen original Courier typeface commissioned in the 1950sNew on the Agfa/Monotype website that Adrian was standard typeface typeface until until January January 2004, 2004, w w by IBM for use in typewriters, fact has not been verified. 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contents – ISSUE 01 – FALL 2016 –

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3 6 10

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BRIEF HISTORY OF TYPEWRITERS

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5 7 16 COURIER, DISPATCHED

COURIER GONE PUNK

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HOWARD "BUD" KETTLER

COURIER BACKGROUND

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"SH*T, IT'S GONE COURIER"

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A Brief History of Typewriters

T

he concept of a typewriter dates back at least to 1714, when Englishman Henry Mill filed a vaguely-worded patent for “an artificial machine or method for the impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another.” But the first typewriter proven to have worked was built by the Italian Pellegrino Turri in 1808 for his blind friend Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano; unfortunately, we do not know what the machine looked like, but we do have specimens of letters written by the

Countess on it. (For details, see Michael Adler’s excellent 1973 book The Writing Machine. Carey Wallace’s 2010 novel The Blind Contessa’s New Machine is based on the relationship between the Countess and Turri.) Numerous inventors in Europe and the U.S. worked on typewriters in the 19th century, but successful commercial production began only with the “writing ball” of Danish pastor Rasmus MallingHansen (1870). This well-engineered device looked rather like a pincushion. Nietzsche’s mother and sister once gave

him one for Christmas. He hated it. Much more influential, in the long run, was the Sholes & Glidden Type Writer, which began production in late 1873 and appeared on the American market in 1874. Christopher L. Sholes, a Milwaukee newspaperman, poet, and part-time inventor, was the main creator of this machine. The Sholes & Glidden typed only in capital letters, and it introduced the QWERTY keyboard, which is very much with us today. The keyboard was probably


designed to separate frequently-used pairs of typebars so that be exchanged when you want to use a different typeface. the typebars would not clash and get stuck at the printing There is no cylindrical platen as on typebar typewriters; the point. The S&G was a decorative machine, boasting painted paper is hit against the shuttle by a hammer. flowers and decals. It looked rather like a sewing machine, The Hammond gained a solid base of loyal customers. as it was manufactured by the sewing machine department These well-engineered machines lasted, with a name change of the Remington arms company. For an in-depth look at to Varityper and electrification, right up to the beginning of this historic device, visit Darryl Rehr’s Web site “The First the word-processor era. Typewriter.” Other machines typing from a single type element rather The Sholes & Glidden had limited success, but its than typebars included the gorgeous Crandall (1881) and the successor, the Remington, soon became a dominant presence practical Blickensderfer. in the industry. The effort to create a visible rather than “blind” The Sholes & Glidden, like many early typewriters, is machine led to many ingenious ways of getting the typebars an understroke or “blind” writer: the typebars are arranged to the platen. Examples of early visible writers include the in a circular basket under the platen (the printing surface) Williams and the Oliver. The Daugherty Visible of 1891 and type on the bottom of the platen. was the first frontstroke typewriter to go This means that the typist (confusingly The QWERTY keyboard into production: the typebars rest below called a “typewriter” herself in the early came to be called the the platen and hit the front of it. With the days) has to lift up the carriage to see her Underwood of 1895, this style of typewriter work. Another example of an understroke “Universal” keyboard, began to gain ascendancy. The most typebar machine is the Caligraph of 1880, popular model of early Underwoods, the as the alternative the second typewriter to appear on the #5, was produced by the millions. By the keyboards fought a American market. 1920s, virtually all typewriters were “look This Caligraph has a “full” losing battle against alikes”: frontstroke, QWERTY, typebar keyboard -- separate keys for lower- and the QWERTY momentum. machines printing through a ribbon, using upper-case letters. Click here to read more one shift key and four banks of keys. (Some about the Caligraph. The Smith Premier (1890) is another diehards lingered on. The huge Burroughs Moon-Hopkins example of a full-keyboard understroke typewriter which typewriter and accounting machine was a blind writer that was very popular in its day. Click here to read more and see was manufactured, amazingly enough, until the late 1940s.) the machine. Let’s return for a moment to the 19th century. The The QWERTY keyboard came to be called the standard price for a typewriter was $100 -- several times the “Universal” keyboard, as the alternative keyboards fought a value of a good personal computer today, when we adjust losing battle against the QWERTY momentum. (For more for inflation. There were many efforts to produce cheaper on QWERTY and to learn why “QWERTY is cool,” visit typewriters. Most of these were index machines: the typist Darryl Rehr’s site The QWERTY Connection.) But not all first points at a letter on some sort of index, then performs early typewriters used the QWERTY system, and many did another motion to print the letter. Obviously, these were not not even type with typebars. Case in point: the ingenious heavy-duty office machines; they were meant for people of Hammond, introduced in 1884. The Hammond came on the limited means who needed to do some occasional typing. scene with its own keyboard, the two-row, curved “Ideal” An example is the “American” index typewriter, which sold keyboard -- although Universal Hammonds were also soon for $5. Index typewriters survived into the 20th century as made available. The Hammond prints from a type shuttle -- a children’s toys; one commonly found example is the “Dial” C-shaped piece of vulcanized rubber. The shuttle can easily typewriter made by Marx Toys in the 1920s and 30s. – site.xavier.edu


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Designer of Courier

COURIER

is the world's most well-known typeface, but little is known about its designer, Howard G. (Bud) Kettler who died in September, 1999 at the age of 80. Kettler's long career began at IBM in 1955 and continued into the 1990s, way past retirement, with Lexmark, the spin-off company formed from IBM's printer and typewriter business. If crystal goblet type design is your ideal, then surely Courier is the most successful of all monospace typefaces. Comparing it to other monospaces, it seems to me to have vastly more even color in the greatest proportion of letter combinations, and the highest degree of what we might call 'scansion', borrowing a term from literary analysis, and which we might define for typography as the measure of ease by which lines of text can readily be scanned. Although there is no formal biography, several of Mr. Kettler's coworkers have contributed informal reminiscences which are printed below by permission.

Howard G. Kettler

was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1919. He first came into touch with typography and design by being a cartoonist for The Crimson & Gold school newspaper when he was enrolled in New Bremen High School. After serving in the US Navy during World War II, Kettler worked as a postal clerk at the New Bremen Post Office before taking over the management of The Home Printing Company, publishers of The New Bremen Sun on January 1st, 1948. On July 15th, 1948 the name of the business was changed to "The Sun Printing Co" and on September 15, 1949, Kettler was listed as editor of the paper. 1950, Kettler started building a new concrete block building, where he conducted the printing business from September 21, 1950, which led him to become familiar with operating Linotype Machines, sparking his interest in typography. On October 1, 1952, Kettler sold the business to L.T. Stanley of Cincinnati and accepted a position as type designer with IBM in Poughskeepsie, New York. Kettler was eventually given the responsibility for training by IBM, which led him to produce a type-design tutorial book and organize lectures at the University of Kentucky, on the history of text imaging and calligraphy by the world's leading type designers, including Adrian Frutiger, with whom Kettler also worked closely on fonts for the IBM Selectric Composer. While being known for creating Courier in 1955, Kettler's career at IBM encompasses a number of other typefaces such as Prestige Elite, Advocate or the Braille font for the IBM Braille Writer. When asked what he was going to do after retirement, Kettler replied, "The first thing I have planned is to design my own headstone in a new typestyle." When asked what it would say, he replied, "You'll have to come visit me to find out!" –showinfo.rietveldacademie.nl/courier/

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COURIER

C O U R I E R BACKGROUND

is a monospaced slab serif typeface. The typeface was designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. The design of the original Courier typeface was commissioned in the 1950s by IBM for use in typewriters, but they did not secure legal exclusivity to the typeface and it soon became a standard font used throughout the typewriter industry. As a monospaced font, it has recently found renewed use in the electronic world in situations where columns of characters must be consistently aligned. It has also become an industry standard for all screenplays to be written in 12 point Courier or a close variant. It was reported on the Agfa/Monotype website that Adrian Frutiger redrew Courier for the Selectric typewriter series, but this fact has not been verified.

“Courier New was also the U.S. State Department’s standard typeface”

12 point Courier New was also the U.S. State Department’s standard typeface until January 2004, when it was replaced with 14 point Times New Roman. Reasons for the change included the desire for a more “modern” and “legible” font. Kettler was once quoted about how the name was chosen. The font was nearly released with the name “Messenger.” After giving it some thought, Kettler said, “A letter can be just an ordinary messenger, or it can be the courier, which radiates dignity, prestige, and stability.” –Typedia.com

“A letter can be just an ordinary messenger, or it can be the courier, which radiates dignity, prestige, and stability.” typewriter art by:

leslie nichols


Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt By Tom Vanderbilt why it is still the preferred font for screenplay drafts ompared to previous typewriter fonts, (many film festivals require copies of scripts in Courier looked streamlined, rational, efficient, Courier 12). On the other hand, precisely because a move away from the "Antique" past—the perfect it has become the visual connoter of the kind of face for IBM. With its "modern, progressive look," government doings executed by McNamara and Courier exemplified the "trend toward the long, his ilk, it has come to serve as blunt shorthand for low and extended in an age of ranch houses and secrecy or for the chilling revelation brought to stretched-out cars," according to one ad. Kettler was light. Witness the appearance of Courier (or similar a natural, innovative typographer, as one co-worker typewriter fonts) in places like the film poster recounted: "One thing he did that no other font for Costa-Gavras' Z, or the "X" in The X-Files, designer did was to rotate the mock-up page a full or any number of History Channel 180 degrees. I asked him why he did documentaries dealing with espionage. that. His answer was that he wanted to "courier made What is most remarkable make sure that no one character stood out." In its prototype phase, Courier the jump simply of all, of course, is that a typewriter font is still being used at all in a postwas called Messenger. But as Kettler later said in an interview, "A letter because of its typewriter age. In technical terms, can be just an ordinary messenger, or dominance as Courier New, like all typewriter fonts, is a "monospaced" typeface: Each letter it can be the courier, which radiates the official takes up the same amount of space on dignity, prestige, and stability."Kettler was successful in his mission. By the typewriter font" a line, essential for tabular uniformity as well as, say, replacing an "i" with a 1960s, Courier had become the herald "w" during the correcting process (no of all stripes of dignified officialdom; longer an issue, of course). In the early days of indeed, it is still de rigueur for filing certain types of computer printing, courier made the jump simply legal documents. It is not surprising, as Rick Poynor because of its dominance as the official typewriter points out, that Courier should play a starring role font. (One would not expect a visual style built up in Errol Morris' recent documentary The Fog of over a half-century to be eroded overnight, with War about former Secretary of Defense Robert legal documents suddenly flowering with Palatino McNamara. Anyone who has done Freedom of or bristling with Big Caslon.) For most of America Information Act research will inevitably find black (and for many fledgling typographers), Courier was marker lines obscuring lines of Courier type. the only font they had access to in their daily lives. But today, its design principles are little In the PC age, it still stands as some kind of urmore than phantom limbs: Like any other typeface, font, nervously invoked as default when something it is whisked from the digital ether without regard goes awry, such as, "Font not found, substituting for its original use. On the one hand, Courier New Courier."In the 1990s, moreover, typographers who is the voice of raw clarity and transparency. It can be were now working in a thoroughly digital medium absorbed quickly, with little relative effort, which is By By By By By By By By By By By By By By By

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Courier,

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began crafting rigorous homages to typewriter fonts (e.g., "Trixie"). Rather than functional necessity, these were created as joyful pastiche, possessing a nostalgic, analog power, as well as visual freshness, in a world of frivolous, overexposed LaserWriter fonts (e.g., the dreaded Comic Sans). Oddly enough, though, the State Department's "more modern" Courier successor, Times New Roman, actually predates the font by more than two decades. Times New Roman was created by the esteemed British typographer Stanley Morison for the Times of London in 1932. Sir Cyril Burt, in his 1959 work A Psychological Study of Typography, described Times New Roman as "a twentieth century type, equal in merit ... to those of the classical designers of the best periods." As a newspaper font, it was intended to fit more articles and more ads onto costly newsprint while still retaining maximum legibility. According to Jonathan Hoefler, a New York typographer, the State Department is wrong when it says that Times New Roman 14 "takes up almost exactly the same area on the page as Courier New 12." In fact, it takes up much less space, as he showed me in a comparative sampling. It should be stressed, too, that the State Department is not simply switching type styles but point size. This, as Stanley Morison argued, does not necessarily engender further clarity, however: The larger the type, the fewer letters the eye can absorb at once; the eye has to work more to read than it would at a smaller (but not too small) font. Times New Roman 14 may take up less space than Courier 12, but it is a rather large font. (As Hoefler notes, 14 point is generally reserved for children's books.) Will U.S. diplomacy improve as the visual signalto-noise ratio along the chain of affairs of state is reduced, or will ambassadors actually suffer from eye-strain as they absorb the larger characters of official correspondence? History, by the way, from Charlemagne to Hitler, shows that government edicts in favor of standardized typefaces are often one of the first steps in creating an empire: Is there something that the State Department isn't telling us?

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