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The appeal of typewriter fonts (and where to get them for free!)

Like many writers, I have warm memories of my first typewriter. I had a few toy typerwriters as a kid, but the one I bought as a teenager with (gasp!) my own money changed my life. I paid $150 in hard-earned babysitting, Christmas, and chore money for a Brother electric typewriter with standalone monitor, which made me the envy of my friends and made my mother roll her eyes. Why her eyeroll?  Because we had an actual computer. Several, even; we had three or four Commodores. My mother was a programmer back in the 1980s—we’d always had a computer.  

But my typewriter was different.  

The click-clack of the buttons, the amber-lit letters, the option of (fancy, fancy!) typing in cursive—it was a tactile experience that my desktop computer, Netbook, and even my almost-noisy-enough Neo can’t replicate.  

It’s not the same.  

I would type as many words as I could think of just to hear the sounds and feel the smooth buttons moving under my fingers. It was busywork, just for the love of using my machine. I typed whole binders full of song lyrics I liked, letters to people I knew at school, and rambling stories I was sure would make me famous.  

Next to the “save” button, my favorite features was a cursive font that came with the system.  

(Yes, kids, it was exciting to have two, count ‘em, TWO fonts available in my own bedroom in the early ’90s. I’m old. Sorry.)  

Any time I come across a few of the pages typed in that cursive, I go immediately back. It just does something to me. It was a big part of my childhood. I spent some serious time watching the curves of the serifs, the arch of the letters, even trying to copy the style by hand, though of course, I never could.  

It’s as ingrained in my life as the Pacman bloop-bloop-bloop noise, the smell of my grandmother’s carrot bread, and the theme song from Cheers.  

As odd as it sounds, I miss that font. I started earnestly searching for something digital to use in my projects; something that would be close enough to bring the memories back.  

At last, I finally found it!  

It’s on this site, and the maker calls it Olympia Script.  

 And not only that, but Richard Polt, the gent who’s offering these fonts, shares them a) for free, b) in several retro typewriter styles, and c) with a full explanation and example of where each font came from.  

Of course, I nabbed these as soon as I discovered them. Then I lost the whole next day in mock-typewriter play, entering lines onscreen about current song lyrics and recipes and other stupid stuff, just to be doing it.  

And you know what?  

It was awesome.  

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2 Responses to “The appeal of typewriter fonts (and where to get them for free!)”

  1. where to buy font wheels for brother typewriters

    • WFYS says:

      They are harder to find than they used to be, that’s for sure! The last place I stumbled across them naturally was Wal-Mart back in the ’90s, and they were selling them for pennies on the dollar. Now, the only places that I know of are eBay and sometimes Amazon.

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