006. Paul Mendoza: The Hollywood Font

“I do consider writing to be a really essential form of design and it’s the words themselves as well as how they’re laid out on a page.”

Paul Mendoza was a former script coordinator in network TV for close to a decade before shifting to the world of design. Select credits include Friday Night Lights (NBC), Switched at Birth (ABC Family / Freeform), and Mercy (NBC). 

The original interview was recorded on April 15, 2016.

Paul and I chat about Courier as the linchpin behind the scenes of Los Angeles typography.  As the standard face for all motion picture and television screenplays, Courier's monospaced letterforms built the City of Angels into the entertainment capital of the world. While other businesses evolve their communication design past the hallmarks of the typewriter era, the movie & TV industries remain faithful to Courier and stay connected to Hollywood’s golden age. 

We talk about:

  • The history of Courier and why it remains the industry standard in TV & film
  • Different examples of produced scripts and the various ways they are formatted
  • Potential ways the film & TV industry can incorporate design principles into their work

Paul Mendoza and I know each other from board service at AIGA Los Angeles. When I heard he had been a script coordinator, I was intrigued. Little did I know he had such a unique point of view about Courier. 

In my conversation with my partner Michael Stinson, we talk about how to copyfit a page, and how that page is related to a system of type on multipage documents, and how that relates to not on the budget, but the efficacy of the design in communicating the concept.

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