3/7/08

Font Choice

I've been looking at publishers' websites and noticed that some publishers like their submissions in Times New Roman and some of them like Courier. Is there a reason why they prefer these different fonts, or is it just a personal thing from publisher to publisher?
One reason is that all computers (PC and Mac) have these two fonts, making it easy to convert files. Sometimes when a document is opened on a computer that doesn't have the font it was written in, it can go all skeewampus.

The other reason has to do with estimating final page count.

Courier is a fixed-width font, meaning all letters take the same amount of space. It gives you a uniform number of spaces per page making it easier (according to some) to estimate a final page count.

I prefer Times, however, because it is easier to read. I haven't found that it's any more difficult to estimate page count from Times.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Garamond rocks. Courier & Times (the tyrants) stink. Garamond is easier to read. The tyrants are an eye sore. Garamond is elegant. The tyrants are arrogant. Garamond is mathmatically sound, aesthetically balanced and artistically nuanced. The tyrants are odd numbers, tall & skinny or short & fat, and egotistical. Garamond is a caligrapher's symphony. The tyrants are a dangly-gitty with flat notes. Choose Garamond. And if you can't choose Garamond delete your manuscript.

David Woolley

Marny said...

The reason Courier is ugly to look at is precisely because it is fixed width. All typefaces of this sort are hard to read. They came about because typewriters needed the characters the same space so they could move a fixed amount before typing the next character.

The reason Times and Times New Roman are harder to read are because they were created for the London Times newspaper. They were made to squish as many characters into a narrow column as possible, so when used for something with a longer line length they don't look balanced. They would be fine for newsletters set in columns.

Garamond is a nice face, but it isn't the only one that is elegant. My current favorite is Brioso. Not every typeface appeals to every person, and not all typefaces are designed for the same purpose.

Marny Parkin

Melanie Goldmund said...

Thank you for explaining this. I always wondered why I disliked Courier, and now I know.

Christine Thackeray said...

I'm with Melanie, I've always hated Courier but your answer made a lot of sense. I am also a Garamond fan- round and soft, just like me.