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Papyrus, the New Comic Sans
July 12, 2010 1:48 PM   Subscribe


 
I'm not outraged, and not because I haven't been paying attention.
posted by newmoistness at 1:54 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are Times New Roman and Arial played out, too?

I like Papyrus. It has a cool, clean line and is weighted nicely. A lot of other folks seem to agree. I guess I'm just a font square.
posted by darkstar at 1:54 PM on July 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know, maybe we could save a whole lot of kvetching and gnashing of teeth if somebody could just make a list of the half-dozen fonts that it's still okay to use. I am presuming that there still are fonts that I may use, although it's beginning to seem like I might be mistaken.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:54 PM on July 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


A lot of these "misuses" are just cool font kidz trying to be all "HEY LOOK AT THIS HORRIBLE USE OF FONT" when Papyrus is being used properly, IE, as a decorative font. It scales down horribly and shouldn't be used for small text, but as a title font it's perfectly acceptable; maybe overused, sure, but I'm not sure why people are gonna hit on Papyrus for overuse when Trajan is RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU EVERY DAY FOREVER.

Call this reason #47 why typography nerds have jumped the shark.
posted by mightygodking at 1:55 PM on July 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


Capslock: Cruise control for cool
Comic Sans: Funny!!! and/or "folksy"
Papyrus: Shorthand for "exotic"
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:55 PM on July 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


Someone needs to design another font that people think has a "mystical" look.

When people who do not seem to want or require such a look use papyrus, it is confounding.
posted by millipede at 1:55 PM on July 12, 2010


I hate it when people over use a font to where it's played out. Just look at courier, times roman, and veranda. I hate these font police threads even more. It's just irritating that some people their choices of fonts are somehow objectively better than other people's.
posted by Tashtego at 1:55 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Papyrus is the "ethnic flutes" synth patch of the design world.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:56 PM on July 12, 2010 [54 favorites]


Before the Mac, no one outside of publishing even knew what a font was. And we got along just fine!
posted by Joe Beese at 1:58 PM on July 12, 2010


Your favorite band font sucks.
posted by ambrosia at 1:58 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


but I'm not sure why people are gonna hit on Papyrus for overuse when Trajan is RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU EVERY DAY FOREVER.

I think the difference is that Papyrus is a gimmick font, and Trajan is just a overused serif, which is harder to spot if you aren't looking for it.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:59 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Last week, it was Helvetica, this week, it's papyrus? At this rate, we'll all be illiterate mutes by the end of the year.
posted by crunchland at 2:01 PM on July 12, 2010


and blockbuster Hollywood directors

Dude, the guy settled on the word Unobtanium in the movie. Of course he'd settle on Papyrus. If James Cameron could have coordinated the release of an iPhone App at the same time Avatar went out, he would have.

James Cameron is like a kid that photocopies the answers and doesn't even bother to re-write them in his own handwriting.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:01 PM on July 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


And Trajan is the "E. Piano 1" patch on the Yamaha DX7 of the design world.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:01 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


When fonts and prescriptivists have their tussle, from their ashes will rise triumphant: Wingdings.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 2:03 PM on July 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


I feel that designers make an awful of these websites, which makes me think they don't really have much work to do.
posted by smackfu at 2:06 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Civil_Disobedient: "Dude, the guy settled on the word Unobtanium in the movie. Of course he'd settle on Papyrus. If James Cameron could have coordinated the release of an iPhone App at the same time Avatar went out, he would have.

Unobtanium has been used by engineers since at least the 1950s to describe a material that they really really want and need to solve a particular problem. Usually used in an ironic sense, though ("Man, all we need is 20 kilos of unobtanium and this problem is solved!"). Yeah, I'm linking to Wikipedia for this one. It's not like Cameron just made up that word on the spot, or used a term that had no history at all.
posted by barnacles at 2:06 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's not like Cameron just made up that word on the spot, or used a term that had no history at all.

Especially when there was such a perfect occasion for ALLEGORY JESUS FUCK IT'S AN ALLEGORY PEOPLE ARE YOU READY DID YOU GET IT GOOGLE FOSSIL FUELS
posted by Think_Long at 2:10 PM on July 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Used also to great effect in the Serenity by Jan logo.

Even Comic Sans' popularity is easier to understand. Those poor bastards just want a lower-case a that takes its hat off indoors. But Papyrus is just so cheap and wrong-looking.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 2:10 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It looks cheap and lazy when used professionally. That's about it, for me.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:10 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's just irritating that some people their choices of fonts are somehow objectively better than other people's.

Yes and no. It's all about context.

Comic Sans, for instance, is perfectly appropriate for, say, a comic book, or even a short, lighthearted memo. It's definitely not appropriate for business communications.

Similarly, Papyrus can be great as a decorative or accent font. A few of the examples in the linked site are perfectly acceptable, and dare I say, appropriate. However, using Papyrus for body text or subtitles is unforgivable. James Cameron spent 237 million dollars on Avatar, and chose to set every single piece of text relating to the film in a font that comes installed on every computer with Microsoft Office. As far as visual identities go, Avatar's felt cheap solely because of Cameron's serial misuse of a commodity typeface.

Similarly, properly kerned type is, in fact, objectively better than the poorly-kerned crap that Word spits out, as it increases legibility and comprehension. Typography is a centuries old art (with a touch of science mixed in), and it's an outright insult that the most popular word processor on the planet doesn't respect it properly.
posted by schmod at 2:11 PM on July 12, 2010 [11 favorites]


It's got impact. It's not worth declaring a mistral over. If you're complaining it's too goudy you should consider it with some lucida. And franklin I'd rather throw the schoolbook than consolas you for complaining it's too grotesk.
posted by ardgedee at 2:11 PM on July 12, 2010 [17 favorites]


It's got impact.

Seriously, do not get me started on IMPACT font.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:14 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]




wow i got so angry i didn't even finish the rest of your hilarious comment before posting a reply. THE POWER OF FONTS COMPELS ME
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:15 PM on July 12, 2010


somebody could just make a list of the half-dozen fonts that it's still okay to use.

OCR-A
Bell Gothic
ISO3098
Remedy
University Old Style
Zapfino
posted by 7segment at 2:16 PM on July 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


Ornamental fonts should be used ornamentationally is the thing.
posted by Mister_A at 2:22 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think we should all be required to design our own unique fonts on fontstruct and everything we write from now on will be in that font, giving everyone an entirely traceable electronic fingerprint.

You will know me by my undecipherable wingdings.
posted by Think_Long at 2:25 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]




Hey, does anyone still hate Cooper Black, or is it just me, because that was the iron-on T-shirt font of the 70s?
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:30 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, like, on Señor Wong's menu - it's fine to put the name of the joint in Papyrus if that's your thing. Not fine to use it in ALLCAPS body copy though. Also, come on, dinning room?

But on the other hand, Señor Wong's can't afford a big-time designer. One of the Wong cousins has an old Mac with Quark 4 on it and thus becomes the graphic designer for the joint.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not really sporting to assail mom 'n' pop businesses for their lack of graphic design standards when that's not their core business. These businesses can't afford a professional designer. Deal with it. Don't be a mean-spirited schmuck like these guys. It's all so funny, hahaha, hard-working local business can't afford to hire an agency at $150 and hour to design their identity materials. Come on now.

Jim Cameron, on the other hand, come on, laddy!
posted by Mister_A at 2:32 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mister_A said "come on" thrice in the previous comment. Come on, what's the matter with you?
posted by Mister_A at 2:34 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know what is overplayed? Long interminable conversations about how shitty certain fonts are. If you love fonts, why not tell us about the fonts you love.

At the moment, this hating on specific fonts is nothing but Hipster moaning. "Your favourite font sucks". Indeed.
posted by seanyboy at 2:37 PM on July 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


This is a four thousand dollar font, Mister A, COME ON!
posted by boo_radley at 2:39 PM on July 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


<p style="font-family: fantasy"> Suck it, haters! </p>
posted by mazola at 2:39 PM on July 12, 2010


Last week, it was Helvetica, this week, it's papyrus? At this rate, we'll all be illiterate mutes by the end of the year.

But then the font Chicago will descend from heaven with a shout, and we who remain will write in it forever in the clouds. Comfort one another with these words.
posted by Beardman at 2:40 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


At least we still have Futura, font of choice for art nerds and hipsters everywhere!
posted by Justinian at 2:49 PM on July 12, 2010


I am self~taut graphic designer 
      here to judge you font 
                             & am come to conclusion--
         your Verdana, 
                                                she is so trite.

posted by Houyhnhnm at 2:55 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


two or three cars parked under the stars: The real crime about that webpage isn't the font. It's the watermark on the stock photo.
posted by desjardins at 3:06 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unobtanium has been used by engineers since at least the 1950s to describe a material that they really really want and need to solve a particular problem

Thank you, yes, that's precisely my point. It's not a made-up word. It's a word that's already in common use, and has a very specific meaning. So you can't just take it and put it in your movie. It's lazy. And I know, you're probably thinking, "No, no, that's the whole point, man! See, it's a word for when you don't know the word for an element, which is precisely the case here, see, so it's self-referential and thus, clever!" Because it's not clever at all. Would it have been similarly clever to show a giant, throbbing ? whenever someone was holding said Unobtanium, because, you know, no one's really sure what it looks like, either? No, that would be stupid. And lazy. Unobtanium is the word you pencil into a script that you later on go back and fill in with something for christ's sake. But no, lazy ass just hijacks a perfectly good word, except now you have to explain to the freakin' n00bs that, no, James Cameron didn't actually come up with that word, actually it was in use long before James Cameron came along… I'm too goddamned old to have to keep correcting these damned whippersnappers. Cameron has given every nerd a 10% increase in ulcers 20 years down the line because of this shit.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:17 PM on July 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


You know what is overplayed? Long interminable conversations about how shitty certain fonts are. If you love fonts, why not tell us about the fonts you love.

At the moment, this hating on specific fonts is nothing but Hipster moaning. "Your favourite font sucks". Indeed.


You know what font I LOVE and apparently everybody else does too? Neutraface. Oh it's so beautiful. However, this article says exactly what I feel, even down to how we trained others around us to notice it. The capital "E" makes it very distinctive. Anyway, I fully expect a thread on Neutraface and how played out it is anyday. I'll mourn when I see it, but we all know that day is coming.

Now back to designing my résumé, in which I try very hard to not use Neutraface.
posted by Brainy at 3:19 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I call Papyrus the "yoga studio font" because so many use the typeface for their signs and/or logos. The vast majority of times I've seen it used, it's in a context of something that is crunchy, holistic, natural or related to developing countries outside of North America and Europe. Yoga studios, ethnic restaurants, organic food, world music compilation CDs, day spas, teas and drinks with flavors like "calm" and "serenity" ... you get the idea.
posted by elmwood at 3:21 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Goudy. I love me some Goudy Old Style.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:24 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't like Papyrus but my handwriting is worse (my wife likes my handwriting... go figure... although she would probably use Papyrus if I hadn't stoned her to death with some Helvetica grave accents)
posted by vectr at 3:28 PM on July 12, 2010


OCR-A
Bell Gothic
ISO3098
Remedy
University Old Style
Zapfino


*punches monitor*
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:32 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, I don't see much collective hate for Brush Script, a font that is just as cheesy as the worst of them. Much like Gill Sans in the UK, Mistral in Montreal, Papyrus in Austin, Fraktur in Nazi Germany and Myriad at airport terminals, Brush Script is pretty much everywhere in the Buffalo area.
posted by elmwood at 3:33 PM on July 12, 2010


No one ever complains about Helvetica but it's freaking everywhere. They even made a movie about it.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:34 PM on July 12, 2010


I hate Papyrus as much as the next guy, but it does have its uses. The font I really can't stand is Copperplate Gothic Bold, but at least it's not being used as much as it was in the past.

As for the font I truly love, that's Century Gothic.
posted by Clamwacker at 3:39 PM on July 12, 2010


No one ever complains about Helvetica but it's freaking everywhere. They even made a movie about it.

You must have missed this thread.

But there is a fundamental difference between hating widespread use of gimmick fonts (Comic Sans and Papyrus) versus widespread use of non-gimmick fonts.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:41 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I don't see much collective hate for Brush Script,

I've got enough collective hate right here for the whole site, if no one else wants to chip in any. The capital T just drives me bonkers. some of the letters connect, some don't, and man -- kearning do you speak it?? Doesn't work with that piece of crap. I've spent so many hours in Illustrator tying letters together by hand by converting to outlines then moving the damn vector points around. Utterly illegible font, and every sports team in every youth league wants it on their shirts. HATE HATE HATE.

*whistles*
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:44 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Civil_Disobedient: I think you're badly misreading the use of "unobtanium" in Avatar. Unobtanium isn't a placeholder; it's the perfect name for an element such as that which is depicted in the movie. If I discovered a crazy element I absolutely would name it unobtainium and I doubt I'm close to alone. SF regularly posits that future inventions and discoveries will be named for fictional, tongue-in-cheek stuff. And that's actually quite realistic.

I find it completely plausible that if faster-than-light communication were ever invented that it would be called an ansible. If faster-than-light travel were invented it would be called warp drive. And so on.

You know there are genes named for Sonic the Hedgehog, right?
posted by Justinian at 3:58 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, case-in-point: The first space shuttle was deliberately and explicitly named for a fictional starship.
posted by Justinian at 3:59 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't even get me started on Bank Gothic and Copperplate.
posted by braksandwich at 4:04 PM on July 12, 2010


case-in-point And, the opposite.
posted by crunchland at 4:08 PM on July 12, 2010


Papyrus and Comic Sans are both terrible and if you can't see that I don't know what to say to you. Imagine if you designed your flier or term paper in the Suburban Karate Studio signage font. Or Old Timey Photo Booth / Fake Saloon Air Gun Carnival Shooting Range font (Rosewood STD). That's the equivalent. It's a gimmick font for gimmick applications. Comparing it to other, overused but real fonts like Helvetica or Times New Roman or Ariel is just dumb.

Now, the real question is are we still allowed to use Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk?
posted by nathancaswell at 4:11 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Civil_Disobedient: I think you're badly misreading the use of "unobtanium" in Avatar. Unobtanium isn't a placeholder; it's the perfect name for an element such as that which is depicted in the movie.

To me it just FEELS cheap in Avatar. Maybe not to you, definitely not to Cameron... but to me it does, and a lot of other people. That goes for the font, too. Maybe the real Na'vi really out there in real space really use Papyrus font for their language. But since we have a cultural context for it that causes a lot of us to get queasy upon it's sight, it just... feels cheap.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 4:12 PM on July 12, 2010


I still say Avatar used papyrus to reach the fundamentalist crowd.
posted by Decimask at 4:12 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


In middle school, say 7th-8th grade, I was all into fonts. Windows 95 and Microsoft Office were on every computer, and oh my, what beautiful fonts there were! I tried never to use boring old Times New Roman or Arial on my school assignments if I could get away with it. Why would I, when there were nice fonts like Garamond that made everything look so classy and professional. Or there was Monotype Corsiva if you wanted something fancy and cursive-ish. Even Courier New was pretty cool because it looked like you used a typewriter. Then there was Papyrus. It was very ethnic looking, but I never really could find a use for it. Perhaps if I'd had to write an essay about Egypt, I could have gotten away with Papyrus.

So now, when I see a restaurant sign, or website, or whatever in Papyrus, I think, "No, that's the font that was too cheesy even for middle school."
posted by gueneverey at 4:15 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm another Goudy Old Style fan. And Copperplate has its uses on business cards and such (although a fancier, more expensive version would probably look better.)

I was fascinated with desktop publishing when I was growing up. Anyone else remember this book?

Typestyle: How to Choose and Use Type on a Personal Computer
(Daniel Will-Harris)
(Don't judge him by the website, it hasn't been updated in an eternity.)

I must have read it ten times. I still look through it regularly.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:17 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Font-kvetching reads to me like people whinging about mp3 artefacts.

Fuck's sake people, try growing up with manual typewriters and fluttery C90 mixtapes, you think you got problems.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:32 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I used to be a graphic designer and now I'm a linguist. This means my font choices went from the hundreds to...three. Stop and imagine my pain. This new 3-party world consists of Charis SIL, Doulous SIL and Gentium SIL. They're all serif and go like so:

Doulous is clean and unobtrusive. It's default leading is normal, but has no italic or bold.

Gentium has italic and bold, but its leading is all wacky, unless I want to drag it kicking and screaming into InDesign, where it will live in a .indd file, forever sequestered from its linguist friends. Oh, and Gentium is, for whatever reason, really cute looking...like if you wanted to do a sweet sixteen birthday party invitation in International Phonetic Alphabet!

Charis is the least of the three evils...containing bold and italic and normal lettershapes that are academic and respectable. Exceeeept that its leaded like an overweight zebra, so unless you want your academic paper to be 3x as long and an extra ream of paper, unboldy go forth with Doulos and forever be bland and uninflected!

Drives me absolutely batshit insane. I'd use Arial Unicode, but the IPA set is incomplete and the diacritic alignment is off.

I've often debated whether or not I should spend a month or so learning how to create type and just make my own damn font, complete with a Keyman/Keyboard layout that makes some friggin' sense.

So yeah, I miss the days when Papyrus and Comic Sans were part of my world. I could scoff and move onto the elegant Garamonds and understated Helveticas. I took for granted that, in all of my disdain, at least these pitiful specimens of font were kerned properly and I got to play in a sandbox where leading was under my ultimate and precise control.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:34 PM on July 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


My bad, Gentium doesn't even have bold.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:36 PM on July 12, 2010


My personal grating pet peeve is Algerian. Once you recognize it, you start seeing it everywhere.
posted by joshwa at 4:39 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


My company's employee manual is in comic sans. It says a lot. like they think taking away benefits will make for a happy crew...grumble grumble
posted by lizjohn at 4:39 PM on July 12, 2010


It's not like Cameron just made up that word on the spot, or used a term that had no history at all.

Isn't that exactly the point of the complaint? It's like he had a MacGuffin and called it "the macguffin".
posted by DU at 4:40 PM on July 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


Just use small-caps Hobo and you're on the road to rock.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:38 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Microsoft has done many terrible things, but making Calibri the default font in Office 2007 is among the worst. I can't even tell Arial from Helvetica, but Calibri looks just different enough from those that it looks very very wrong, if that makes sense—it's deep in the uncanny valley of sans serif fonts.

I have no strong feelings about Papyrus, I just wanted to take this thin excuse to rant.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:07 PM on July 12, 2010


joshwa. porn in the woods. Both of you! I threw out all my Letraset presstype 10 years ago so I would not have to look at those... THINGS. Desist or I shall thwack you with my burnishing tool of justice!
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:08 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's like he had a MacGuffin and called it "the macguffin".

But the unobtainium was a macguffin. So, I guess that calling it "macguffium" would have really been really super awesome.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:13 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Papyrus Watch

I thought this was going to be like a tear off calender, but with preprinted times stacked up and attached to a wristband.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:17 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


my favorite sexy offender is the GQMF who conquered middle earth and owns a certain publishing company :)
posted by liza at 6:34 PM on July 12, 2010


My font nemesis was Lithos. Nice display font that I enjoyed until it became super-played-out in a similar way, connoting "exotic in a rustic fashion." You see it (having replaced Neuland) on a lot of books about/aimed at African Americans.

Designers who are lazy and use these cliched font-tropes should be scorned. Those of you who don't notice or care may continue, but fonts are a subliminal message system and should be used responsibly and not to stereotype people or ideas.
posted by rikschell at 6:54 PM on July 12, 2010


Designers are a terrible judge for how overplayed a font is. Just like when you learn a new word and you suddenly hear it all the time, it's probably the same with fonts. But the thing is, normal people don't pay that close attention, and as a designer, what you think is overused isn't necessarily.

On the other hand, you don't hear house painters saying "oh, that williamsburg white is so overdone..." Instead, they're thinking "cool. I still have 5 gallons of that paint from the last job, that I can charge the client full price on."

If you designers want to get your panties in a knot over something, fret about the limited number of default fonts we have in our arsenals when it comes to website design.
posted by crunchland at 7:03 PM on July 12, 2010


It's like he had a MacGuffin and called it "the macguffin".

THANK YOU
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:37 PM on July 12, 2010


Designers are a terrible judge for how overplayed a font is. [...] the thing is, normal people don't pay that close attention.

It's about subconscious effect, crunchland. "The secret of type is that it speaks," a phrase designers often quote. If you want to make an impact with your communication, you need to do something distinctive and fresh, or know who/what you're quoting.

A played out font quotes everything and nothing. A font with specific strong associations might as well be whispering about them in your audience's ear overtop of what you're trying to say.

Since I have the chance ... want to see a great recent font? This month's pick is Mostra Nuova. I paid about $145 for this out of my own pocket to use on a pro bono job, a community theatre program (a play set in New York in the 1930s), because it was so damn perfect I couldn't make myself do the job with anything else after seeing it. One glance at the program and you're in the time and place.

The designer is Mark Simonson. Type of this quality has its creative stars, you know their work when you see it, and (in careful use) a font like this is worth many times the trouble and the cost.
posted by namasaya at 8:09 PM on July 12, 2010


Art Deco just has such a timeless style. Why don't we make buildings in that style anymore?
posted by Talez at 9:46 PM on July 12, 2010


One of the example texts is "Bad Joaquin Phoenix". Slippin' a little editorializing in there, eh?
posted by breath at 10:28 PM on July 12, 2010


Oh god, Mostra Nuova gave me wood. I am a complete man-whore for Art Deco fonts. Thank you, namasaya.

(I also like long walks on the beaches and Peignot.)

It's just irritating that some people their choices of fonts are somehow objectively better than other people's.

Well, actually, some font choices *are* objectively better. You can examine the readability of different fonts under different circumstances across various reading conditions and work out which fonts work better for a newspaper, or a web site, or whatever. I suspect a lot of the people who blather on about fonts being "tired" or "played out" would look at you like you shat in their breakfast if you suggested applying objective metrics to their font choices, though.

At the other end of the spectrum I assume that competent designers and ad agencies also put a certain amount of work into the emotional content and associations of fonts; authority, fun, or whatever, and will let that feed into their choices.

So, yes, if your font choice makes the reading material harder to read, then, unless that was the effect you were striving for, you objectively fail. If the font choice carries associations of "serious" for your target demographic when you were shooting for "whimsy", you objectively fail.
posted by rodgerd at 3:31 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


There actually is a new Comic Sans: it's in the OpenType font pack for Office 2010.
posted by TheDonF at 4:56 AM on July 13, 2010


It's like he had a MacGuffin and called it "the macguffin".

Or maybe it's sort of like someone in the real world producing something and actually calling it a "widget".

Or what if people took the word "robot" from science fiction and applied it to something invented after the word was coined? That would be wack!
posted by newmoistness at 8:55 AM on July 13, 2010


Not wack! ill!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:00 PM on July 13, 2010


I am not a font nerd, yet I hate Papyrus. It's barely tolerable online, inexcusable in print. Hate hate hate. I cannot explain. I think it's all the notches that are supposed to indicate aged text.

Anyway, not all those examples look like Papyrus. I like the Ketchup. There's an ornamental font I can stand behind or on.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:55 PM on July 13, 2010


"The secret of type is that it speaks," a phrase designers often quote.

That it speaks to designers means not very much.

The difference between Comic Sans and Tekton is lost on the vast majority of people. If designers spent more time paying attention to what people other than designers actually responded to, people would take them a lot more seriously.
posted by lodurr at 10:02 AM on July 14, 2010


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