Golf Balls

IBM introduced the typeballs in 1961 to replace the old typewriters basket of type bars that had the habit of sticking together and jamming while typing fast. The balls have a diameter of 32 mm, are monospaced and can embed up to 88 alphabetic characters, numbers and punctuation signs. Each typeball belongs to a family with various members that can include light, medium, bold, or italic variations. Their maximum advantage lies in their interchangeability, replacing a ball with another in less than five seconds. Nicknamed “golf balls”, unlike most balls designed to be hit, this ball was the one doing the hit. When introduced in 1961, they marked the first revolutionary change in typewriters since they were first developed commercially. It also marks the beginning of what was later known as desktop publishing but using typewriters. The golf balls have been the last material format of typefaces together with the daisywheel. After that, it would have been deemed more advantageous to have all types as software. Given their technological removal, these objects and implicitly their letters have become just an image. The mirrored letters that once used to spin fast and perform on paper are now standing still.

Prestige Elite 12 R

Univers 8 L

Curier 12 R

Cooperplate Gothic 12 M

Aldine Roman 12 I

Theme 11 M

Baskerville 11 B

Post 12 LC

Apl Plot

#0077 12

#SR 138 12