Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brought to you by the number...

Today's number is brought to you by the number: 2
Courier New, regular, 2.

Courier New's 2 is cute. Not over the top, trying too hard cute, but just sort of like 4-year-old kid smile cute. I like the slenderness of the shape and slabs. It's interesting how the two end points are rounded yet the bottom left angle was kept flat. It provides a solid foundation for the curve on top. The bottom bar with that tiny tail almost looks like an upside down 7. The flat edge and tail help keep uniformity among all the numbers.

If you don't think a number can be cute, or that that a small detail like a flat edge helps type uniformity, well check out Courier New's 6 and 9 below. Definitely not cute. And something about them doesn't feel quite right with the rest of the type face, especially where the line connects back into the shape nor the size of their bowls.
Courtesy of wikipedia.com, fontco.com and absoluteastronomy.com:

Design Foundry: Monotype (?)
Date: 1992
Classification: Monospaced Slab Serif

Courier was originally a monospace slab serif designed by Howard Kettler in 1955 for IBM's typewriters. Originally the typeface was to be called Messenger but Kettler thought, "A letter can be just an ordinary messenger, or it can be the courier, which radiates dignity, prestige, and stability." Courier New was introduced with the release of Windows 3.1 in 1992. I believe but can't find information to confirm, that the primary difference from Courier is that Courier New is anti-aliased. It's shape doesn't have sharp pixel edges, and smooth (see image below.)

Due to it's monospacing and high contrast, Courier New is often used for web coding and ASCII art. It is usually the recommended typeface for screenplays. And it was used as the U.S. State Department's typeface up until 2004 (when it was replaced by Times New Roman.) Courier New has been updated to version 5.00; which includes over 3100 glyphs, covering over 2700 characters per font.

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