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Howard Kettler
IBM , Adobe Systems , Bitstream , Monotype , URW++
Release Year
Country of Origin
United States
Serif, Slab Serif
Original Format
Strike on (Typewriter)
Ascender Corporation
1955, kettler, monospace, serif, slab, typewriter


Courier is a monospaced slab serif typeface. The typeface was designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955. The design of the original Courier typeface was commissioned in the 1950s by IBM for use in typewriters, but they did not secure legal exclusivity to the typeface and it soon became a standard font used throughout the typewriter industry. As a monospaced font, it has recently found renewed use in the electronic world in situations where columns of characters must be consistently aligned. It has also become an industry standard for all screenplays to be written in 12 point Courier or a close variant.

It was reported on the Agfa/Monotype website (this is reported on the Wikipedia page as well) that Adrian Frutiger redrew Courier for the Selectric typewriter series, but this fact has not been verified. (see typophile link)

12 point Courier New was also the U.S. State Department’s standard typeface until January 2004, when it was replaced with 14 point Times New Roman. Reasons for the change included the desire for a more “modern” and “legible” font.

Kettler was once quoted about how the name was chosen. The font was nearly released with the name “Messenger.” After giving it some thought, Kettler said, “A letter can be just an ordinary messenger, or it can be the courier, which radiates dignity, prestige, and stability.”

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Last edited by TypeCowboy on January 15, 2010, 04:35pm EST

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