Least Favourite Font

Cumbersome Courier

While there are many fonts worthy of being labeled my least favourite (Comic Sans and Papyrus immediately spring to mind) I believe it is Courier that should be awarded the dubious title.  Partially this is due to Courier’s design, with its antiquated appearance and awkward spaces, however, most of my dislike towards Courier stems from its continued use as a popular font long after the typewriter, the machine for which Courier was originally developed, was replaced by more modern word processors with more contemporary fonts readily available.

Even without an intimate understanding of fonts and typography, a person glancing at a page of printed text can know what to expect from it based on the font that the writing is formatted in.  A contemporary piece set in Courier immediately ceases to take itself seriously.  The font conjures up images of typewriters, and a dusty, old-fashioned aesthetic.  Visually, Courier is cumbersome.  The wide spaces between each word disturb and segment the text, destroying continuity and making fluid reading and comprehension difficult.  The capped, bent characters appear antiquated and the monospaced width of the letters leads to a uniformity that lacks in character.  The eye does not move easily through a passage formatted in Courier, but has to stumble through it, startled by punctuation marks, which stand out unpleasantly.

In a world where technology progresses non-stop, and that which is cutting edge one day becomes outmoded and dated the next, the use of Courier in a contemporary context is akin to mounting horseshoes onto the tires of a new car.  Courier is a font that dwells in the past.  The very idea of a font whose only purpose is to reproduce the look and aesthetic of typewritten text goes against the entire evolution of the word processor.

Despite the typewriter having been replaced by personal computers and laptops, the Courier font remains, continuing to antiquate work with its old-fashioned appearance.  More than being visually unappealing, Courier represents a counterproductive nostalgia in what is predominantly an evolving, progressive medium.  Courier does not belong in a contemporary setting, and it is its continued appearance in modern font books that makes Courier my least favourite font.

– Sophia M


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