Marc English : Design


Courier: This typeface was chosen as 1) it is readily available on all computer platforms, 2) it refers to technology — the typewriter — that is obsolete, and YET the face is on all computer platforms.

Courier is a mono-spaced slab serif, was designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler (1919-1999), and released in 1956, initially created for IBM’s typewriters

As a mono-spaced font, in the 1990s Courier found renewed use in the electronic world in situations where columns of characters must be consistently aligned, for instance in coding. It has become an industry standard that all film screenplays must be written in 12-point Courier. You are reading this in 12 points, if looking on a computer screen. If looking on some smaller contraption, I can’t help you.

Color: While you are looking at this screen in RGB mode — the red / green / blue lights that make up screen color — the colors specified are CMYK — cyan, magenta, yellow, black — the colors used in 4-color offset printing. Like the use of Courier, this is a nod the traditions of graphic design.

CMYK was first used in 1906, by Eagle Printing Ink Company, but became standardized in 1956 by Pantone. Prior to the CMYK process, Chromoxylography was a color woodblock printing process, popular from the mid-19th to the early-20th century, and the Japanese developed several other techniques centuries earlier.

Layout: Can it get any simpler? Probably. Please note: there are no lines of text longer than 65 characters per line. Why? Because it’s been shown that the eye tires of longer lines. Do some publications have longer lines? Certainly, especially on the printed page, such as in a novel. But the act of reading on a screen and on a printed page are two entirely different matters. If you want your text read, make it easy for the reader.