When I am not busy contemplating suicide, I am a sucker for good-looking, case-appropriate fonts. Especially, when you are staring at code pretty much all day long.
Besides looking good, fonts can also carry additional glyphs and ligatures that can make source code easier to read or render the terminal more beautiful. If you want to see why not every monospace font is equal, you can check out various free and commercial options over at Programming Fonts.
A Font For Code
For programming, I really like MonoLisa. Across Sublime, VS Code and all my JetBrains IDEs, this is the font for editing code. Yes, it might seem pricey, but it also has great customisation options and gives me those nice, wide characters I crave.
Unfortunately, MonoLisa does not have the old DOS-style glyphs for drawing boxes and stuff, so using it on a terminal is not an option for me.
Someone did go through the trouble of creating a Nerd Font patcher specifically for Mono Lisa, which is highly appreciated.
I Command Thee
For the command line, I have found no better font than Gintronic. Yes, it is not the newest font anymore. Mark Frömberg has stated that the font is essentially finished and that he has no plans for ligatures, but that is okay. Gintronic has all the beautiful bits and bops you would expect for a terminal-ready font.
And it can be patched with Nerd Fonts‘ font patcher to add all those nifty icons for Powerline. Cool stuff!
“But tsukasa”, I hear you laugh, “Hack is a fine free font! Why would you pay for fonts – twice, even. You big dumb buffoon! JetBrains ships with a perfectly fine monospace font, to boot!”.
And that is a totally fair point. If you are happy with your fonts and see no reason to change them, paying 150-200 EUR per font might seem steep.
I stare at these beautiful characters for about 8 to 10 hours per day, so I need something that is easy on my eyes and pleases my aesthetic senses. Both fonts (or is it font families?) fulfil these requirements and have their own respective strengths. This might seem incredibly nit-picky, but your eyes get hung up if characters are “wrong”. Finding a good font is like finding a good keyboard or pair of shoes – they might all look the same from afar, but the differences become clear when using them.
Plus, I have no issue compensating the fine people making these fonts for their hard work.