Shooting the Courier

Poster for The Fog of War, image: slate.comI find Tom Vanderbilt's Slate story about the State Department's dropping Courier New 12 in favor of Times New Roman 14 as its official typeface timely for two reasons.

1) Courier's appearance in The Fog of War is evidence of the font's status as both "the herald of all stripes of dignified officialdom," and FOIA-driven government conspiracy. [He credits Rob Poynor, of Design Observer. All of a sudden, these guys are everywhere.]

2) I just spent several hours last weekend researching the history and modern use of typewriter typefaces for a new website I'm working on. After growing tired of the clogged upX-files-style fonts that are an empty cliche of "edginess," I turned to the mechano-corporate precision of the IBM Selectric-era fonts: serifs like Courier, Prestige Elite, and my favorites, the sleek sans-serif Letter Gothic and Script, the "handwriting" of the can-do-no-wrong IBM of the 60's and 70's.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

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first published: February 20, 2004.

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