Today I came across a blog post on daring fireball about a new font: Courier Prime. From the font preview, I found that the : and . are a bit oversized.

Then I checked the Courier font in Mac Font Book app. The : and . also appear oversized (including the fullstop beneath the ? (question mark), comparing to the other characters.

Is it my eyes' problem or is there a story behind?

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Nothing to back it up, but this is my guess: Courier's dots are four pixels -- two by two dots. One of the font's historical uses was on 80s dotmatrix printers. Were the font to have single-pixel dots, they would disappear if only one of the matrix's dots would malfunction or not display well due to ink shortage. Having four-pixel dots prevents that problem, in addition to helping legibility.

Besides that, the original analog Courier typeface was made for typewriters and I suppose having a small period would have the typebars pierce the paper (and damage the machine) rather than leave ink on it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.