Courier Prime

Courier Prime is a new version of IBM's classic public domain typeface, redesigned by Quote-Unquote Apps to look good in print and on-screen. I'm a big fan of the original, whose legendary legibility was hampered by pixelation until "retina" displays came along--so it seems due a comeback!


  1. Interesting, although I switched back and forth between the Courier Mac and the Courier Prime samples a bunch in my browser, and would have had a really hard time saying which one was supposed to be the “better” one. Possibly this is like a non-wine-drinker trying to tell you which of two Merlots is better, though…

  2. It’s probably good for screenplays and some others stuff, but – for me – for console work I actually prefer Consolas from MicroSoft. Courier Prime runs far to wide.  It’s quite obvious when one doesn an ls -l, for example.

    I’ll try it in an IDE, though, just to make sure.

    Doesn’t mean that it is a bad typeface, of course, but it seems to be made with real texts in mind, not textual information.

    1. At the very bottom of the page they actually recommend a different font for coding. This one here’s not supposed to be a coding font, it’s afar too wide, as you say.

    2. The other problem with Courier for coding is that some character pairs are quite difficult to tell apart, such as 1/l (one and lowercase l) and O/0 (uppercase o and zero).

      1. I’ve heard that argument a lot, but I never understood it. There’s not a lot of code where it isn’t obvious – even w/out a compiler failure – what is supposed to be what.   And the type of people who code aren’t usually the kind who learned to typewrite on machines which shared those letters.

        Now, using it on invoices or for printed serial numbers or the like, that would be plain wrong. 

        1. Ever come across l used in calculations as a variable name (sort of obvious choice for “length” when single-character names are kosher)? Dealing with string data that may or may not look like line noise is another thing. Plus the o and 0 keys are awfully close for the occasional typo…

          At least on Macs lets you customize the spacing if you feel adventurous. Me, I’ll stick to Lucida Sans Typewriter (15 years and counting), thank you.

  3. I was a die-hard Courier in college.  ALL papers were turned in, in Courier, regardless of specific formatting directions, “Palatino 12” or other doofus fonts the profs insisted we use.  I took some hits, but Courier saw me through.

    1. Typeface.  Font is a typeface at a particular size. 

      Courier is a typeface.  Courier 10pt is a font.

      It’s ‘font’, as in ‘fondu’ (melted), from traditional metal printing, either as letterpress or as in “hot lead” typesetting.

  4. I just changed the font face in a Final Draft screenplay from Courier Final Draft to Courier Prime. The page count jumped from 38 to 47. According to the website:

    “Courier Prime is optimized for 12 point size, and matches the metrics of Courier and Courier Final Draft, so you can often swap it out one-for-one.”
    This does not seem to be the case, however.

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