Like many writers, I have warm memories of my first typewriter.
I had a few toy typewriters 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 my friends envy me and made my mother roll her eyes.
Why her eyeroll? Because we had an actual computer. My mother was a programmer back in the 1980s—we’d always had a computer. Several, even; we had three or four Commodores at the same time. I could run those puppies in all sorts of cool ways; I made up games and coded them myself at age ten, programming the computer to run guessing games versus my sister and drawing complicated things in Basic, slow pixel-by-pixel style. I knew computers well, and I loved them.
But my typewriter was different.
The click-clack of the buttons, the amber-lit screen, 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, angsty stories I was sure would make me famous.
Not counting 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 life for many years. I spent some serious time watching the curves of the serifs, the arc of the letters, even trying to copy the style by hand, though of course I never quite 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.
It occurred to me recently that, hey, others might miss them, too. Maybe even somebody who knows how to create that sort of thing!
I started earnestly searching for something digital to use in my projects; something that would be close enough to bring the memories back.
And at long last, I finally found it.
It’s on this site, and the creator 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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