What the Font?
Let’s start off with a confession: I’m a font snob. There. I said it. Ok, now that I got that out of the way, I’ll explain what I mean.
Like a lot of people, I’m a visual shopper. For me, it usually comes down to the packaging of the product rather than the price. In some cases, this will land me with a subpar product or better yet, something I never needed in the first case. With all that said, sometimes the smallest detail will turn me away from an item. The biggest offender: poor font choices.
Here’s a list of fonts I’d rather not see used ever again.
- I once saw a photo on the internet (some of you have probably seen it as well). It was a note, posted on an office door “Please keep the door closed!!! Thank you” then , posted in a separate note beneath it “Please don’t use Comic Sans – We are a Fortune 500 Company not a Lemonade Stand.” Other than this being completely hysterical, the second person has a point. When you use Comic Sans, what are you really trying to convey? That you don’t take things too seriously? That you’re hip and know how to use something other than Times New Roman? If this were still 1998, I’d let it slide, but in all honesty, your computer came equipped with several pre-loaded fonts, find another one.
- Nothings says, “ooh look at me, I’m historic”, quite like Papyrus. I don’t fully understand papyrus. If you’ve seen James Cameron’s “AVATAR”, you’ll know that the Navi language translates to Papyrus. So truthfully, I did some research. Turns out, Papyrus was originally designed to resemble what hand drawn roman characters would look like if written on papyrus paper 2000 years ago… so by its very definition, using Papyrus is in itself outdated. Apparently, even its designer, Christopher Costello, has criticized his font for its over use.
- Just don’t use it. It’s not that it is over used, nor do I have a problem with its whimsy. It’s just tacky.
- You may be thinking, “seriously Mark, never heard of it”… I’ve only used it for some Halloween themed pieces I’ve worked on, and that’s about it. But to share a story with you, last summer I was on Cape Cod and stopped into a Cumberland Farms on the way home. Searching for a beverage to quench the long drive home’s thirst. I was caught off guard when I saw the label for one of the slushie flavors, “Electric Blueberry” using this very font. I was taken aback. Why in the world would this be your font choice? To me, its more horror movie than electric sugary beverage. It looked out of place, and needless to say, I did not purchase the aforementioned slush.
When choosing a type face, remember these 3 things:
1.) Choose a font that will reflect your overall message
2.) Make sure it’s easily legible
And last but not least
3) DON’T USE COMIC SANS!