This week has been a pretty busy week for me grading and every semester it seems that I tend to repeat myself over and over as I critique and grade projects, “make better type choices” . So it’s time I make a stand and warn all of you of a few typefaces which I believe to be a tragic addition to just about any design. So if you know what’s good for you, I’d suggest that you please resist the urge to use the following fonts.
So we’ll begin with one of the most well known tragic typefaces. Let’s face it, this font was only cool when the Beanie Babies were the fad. But yes, believe it or not I see students every semester make the tough decision to use comic sans – even worse is when it’s in all caps or styled with a rainbow gradient. The only cool use of comic sans I’ve seen to date is Garrett Burtoft’s Comic Sans Typography Poster, “The Abominable Comic Sans” – which is a great spoof about the typeface. The type is that disliked that there’s even a web site about banning comic sans
You might think that papyrus is cool, but really I must tell you the truth – the papyrus font is about as outdated as the paper. Let’s face it, it’s one of the more stylized default fonts so everyone has decided it is cool enough to grace their designs.
Yes, you know you’ve used Myriad. You know Myriad…the default font for Adobe. If you are trying to be creative and unique it would be wise to use something other than the default font. When I grade and see Myriad I often think students merely didn’t even take time to consider typography. Not to say Myriad is a bad font – but as Barbara jokingly said in the lab just yesterday, if you really feel Myriad is going to benefit your design you should prepare to write a three page paper justifying how it compliments your design. Let’s face it, it doesn’t! I assure you that there are much nicer sans serif fonts out there!
One thing’s for sure – I’d be happy if I never saw the font mistral again. Most people who choose mistral seem to do so because they want a more personal handwriting style in their type choice or they just think it looks cool. Just realize it’s overused – and that’s just more of a reason to NOT use mistral.
So you’re looking for a script font – well, brush script is NOT the one to use. Again, it’s overused, enough said.
Sand is another font I see often when someone is trying to give the sense of handwriting or kids writing. If you are trying for that style, I promise you that there are more unique fonts that exist than sand.
I’d have to say that Marker felt ranks right up there with comic sans. Sure it looks like a marker, but that doesn’t make it cool. And it likely won’t make your design any better.
So you’ve heard of the negativity about comic sans and you try really hard not to use it – well, please let me warn you that chalkboard is not a good alternative. Chalkboard is like the sibling to comic sans – therefore it should be banned too.
Calligraphy is cool, right? Umm. No – I’ve seen it overused and to be honest the stylistic calligraphy letterforms really won’t make your design unique.
I must take a stand against the font impact. If you want to make an impact, sure impact might do just that – but it will also overwhelm and outweight all other elements on your page. It’s a big, bold, fat font that has been used way too many times. You’ll find a number of other font families that can give you the bold presence, and much, much more! If you want to make a sincere design impact – don’t use impact!
One thing to note about all of the above fonts is that they are all default system fonts. This means that just about all computer users likely have these same exact fonts. This means just about anyone with little or no knowledge of design is out there claiming to be capable of designing fliers, posters, and other projects – with these same exact typefaces. My advice, resist the urge to use these tragic typefaces.
Feel free to add to the list of tragic typefaces by posting a comment. What typefaces do you wish would rest in peace to never be used again?