John August introduces Courier Prime

February 1st, 2013 by

When your job basically involves staring at a monitor screen all day — specifically at the letters in your words — over time, little things can become big things

Like fonts.

I have never much cared for Courier Final Draft, but it is the modern version of the standard Courier font for screenplays, so we’ve all been pretty much forced to live with it.

Then screenwriter John August and ‘associates’ did something about the situation: Yesterday they introduced Courier Prime:

In July 2012, I asked type designer Alan Dague-Greene to come up with a new typeface that matched the metrics of Courier — thus protecting line breaks and page counts — while addressing some of its weak spots.

I wanted a font that could be substituted letter-for-letter with Courier Final Draft, but look better, both on-screen and printed. I wanted a bolder bold and real italics, not just slanted glyphs.

Alan rose to the challenge, creating a typeface that is unmistakably Courier, but subtly improved.

You should read John’s post here as it’s an interesting lesson in history, design, and left and right-brain thinking.

And here’s the kicker: It’s free! Go here to download Courier Prime. While you’re at it, hit up John on Twitter [@JohnAugust] to give him a shout-out for thinking of the aesthetic well-being of screenwriters everywhere.

10 thoughts on “John August introduces Courier Prime

  1. Alan D. says:

    Hey Scott,

    I already downloaded this font and love it, but do you think it’s acceptable to use when sending in requested spec scripts or for contests? I wanted to ask John this, but there’s no comment section on his post.

    Thanks!

    1. Scott says:

      Yes, I’m sure it’s fine.

  2. GITSfan says:

    Exciting news! Thank you, John August and Alan Dague-Green.

    To celebrate, another design/film intersection that arose today, #designfilms, design puns of film titles: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23designfilms&src=typd

  3. Paul Connors says:

    Courier Prime looks like it may easily change the page count of scripts when compared with the identical script presented in Courier Final Draft. Isn’t that a problem?

    1. Scott says:

      Paul, if you read John’s post, he says that the new font will NOT change page count.

      1. Paul Connors says:

        Actually, on the page where you download Courier Prime (here), it only indicates that it will “probably not” change page counts, and that “some readers using Final Draft have found page count differences, though, so test it out first”. In fact, it does often change page counts on Final Draft for Windows, and on looking at the internal font metrics I am dubious that it will always keep page counts the same on other systems.

  4. nayan1875 says:

    Just tried using it on a Mac FDR v7. I saved a current script into a new file, then selected all and set the font as Courier Prime. I lost all the element presets in FD, so character names got all wobbly, some letters uppercase, some lowercase. Then I scrapped the file, and tried to write on a new document from scratch by setting the font as Courier Prime, but FD wouldn’t recognize the elements, so after typing INT. I didn’t automatically get the location list.

    Great idea to come up with a better font, just wondering if the folks at FD would be willing to build it into their software or provide an update that fixes such issues.

  5. This font looks awesome, but it to add my page counts by a LOT. I have FD8 on Windows. But the font looks cool.

  6. Michael Berg says:

    I use Final Draft for Windows, and have been testing the font in different apps. Be it Final Draft or Word, the Courier Prime DOES have more spacing above and below the character. It also is much thicker. Using Prime just for the dialogue, it pushed my page count an additional 10 pages, and looks almost BOLD when saved as a pdf compared to Final Draft Courier. Applying Prime to the entire 106 page script pushed me out to a 144. I’d love to use this — the italics change is remarkable — but I don’t see how within Final Draft 7 for Windows… not with that much difference in spacing.

  7. This is going to sound so picky of me, but the italic letters bother me. The lower-case ‘f’ in italics stands out so much on the page that it makes my eyes jump to it.

    Other than that I really like the font, so I’m looking into a workaround for this.

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