It’s only natural that, after Prince was found dead in his Minnesota home at the age of 57 on April 21, fans around the world grieved the loss of him with an outpouring of love and support. The Internet has become a large part of how we cope in our hyper-connected world, and, regardless of its downsides, when fans come together to communally mourn a lost legend, it can be incredibly cathartic. But as conversations have sprung up around the topic of Prince and the incredible impact he had on music, it’s become clear to me that people are having a little bit of a hard time writing out his name. Or, rather, the symbol by which he was called since he changed his stage name in 1993. Thankfully, there are three very simple ways to type the Prince symbol easily on your computer. So, it’s definitely possible with a few keyboard shortcuts and changes to type the Prince symbol.
There are three different ways to do it, which is ironic because the story goes that Prince actually changed his name to a symbol to give Warner Bros., his record label, a hard time after some testy contract negotiations. But, changing his name to a symbol became a problem for more than just his record label. It became impossible for fans, journalists, or even close friends to actually say his name, forcing many to refer to him as "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince."
Thankfully for us, there are still three simple ways to type the Prince symbol.
So pick your poison and try these out the next time you are lamenting the deep loss of one of music’s biggest names.
1. Download The Prince Font
Yes, there is actually a Prince font. This was something established back in the mid-‘90s when Prince first changed his name. And, concurrent with the times, it was available on floppy discs and later to download. These days, Mike Wehner at The Daily Dot made the software available through a dropbox link.
2. Get Creative With Available Symbols
You don’t even need anything fancy to make the symbol. Just a plain ol’ keyboard will do the trick. It won’t look as… upright… but it will definitely do: O(+>
Here’s where things get a little technical. You can actually type the Prince symbol in Unicode. It's actually pretty simple — once you're able to add the Unicode keyboard to your computer (instructions for Mac users can be found here, and instructions for Windows users can be found here), all you have to do is type in the following:
When you are done, you will find yourself looking straight into the lovely curves of the Prince symbol, Unicode-style.
Of course, none of these symbols are entirely what Prince intended when he switched his name to the Love Symbol, but the impossibility of speaking or writing it into existence makes his name all the more powerful and sacred.