updated: March 12th, 2010 / Ross Johnson / 67 Comments

5 fonts I wish would die

I don’t claim to be the utmost expert in typography, as much as I love the subject. Beautiful typefaces seem to be an acquired taste, much like scotch or good whiskey. But like scotch and whiskey, there are reasons to get that bottle of crappy $7 bottom shelf stuff out of the cabinet.

Despite my understanding of the need, on occasion, to use obnoxious typefaces; there are some fonts that are ass ugly and show up all over the place. I wish these fonts, could be removed from existence with out exception.

1. Papyrus

Papyrus Font

Why does everyone feel the need to use this font for everything? Ok, I get it, you people don’t notice the elegant differences between different modern or classic typefaces… but there is no need to use this font for every situation. I have seen it used for housing developments, ski resorts, massage therapists, cellular stores, commercial real estate, omg way too many. The font looks like stalagmites, and sure sometimes maybe you want that earthy feel but for the love of god don’t just pick it because it looks different. “Cool fonts” are rarely “good typefaces.”

How it should die: Since it looks like the font was pulled out of the earth, lets put it back where it came from. Oprah should eat the source of the font, and dump it into the nearest out house. Hopefully the smell prevents anyone from trying to jump in after to recover it.

2. Lucida Handwriting

Lucida Handwriting Font

Ugh… Probably the most commonly abused type of typeface, script. (The second would have to be decorative, like our friend Papyrus). For some reason people love the idea of making any writing look handwritten, blatantly disregarding the fact that the design shouldn’t have a personal feel. Sometimes they want it to look fancy, even if the design shouldn’t be fancy or formal. Lucida Handwriting is the most common “hand written look” font that is available by default on most operating systems. The result? Everyone uses this lousy excuse for a font on EVERYTHING. I can’t tell you how many full fliers of content I have stumbled across that use nothing but this font. The funny thing is, it becomes less legible than most people’s actual handwriting.

How it should die: All copies of this font ever created should be transfered onto DVD’s, which are then melted and mixed into pen ink. They will then be scattered all over the world by someone writing “STOP USING HANDWRITING FONTS” until there is no more ink left.

3. Monotype Corsiva

Monotype Corsiva Font

Sigh…. Somewhere between a handwritten font and a script font, this again pops up everywhere. Seems that anyone who is unsure if their design should be personal, formal, or both… uses this font to make things ugly and painful. Simply looking at this font makes my eyes sting, as it screams “I want this to look cool, so I picked the ugliest font that actually has letters (I tried wingdings but my boss said no).” Again, of course, the only script-esk font that comes on computers by default. Of course everyone wants to use it because Georgia is just too simple, beautiful, and elegant.

How it should die: Each letter should have its stupid tails broken off, and then left in a desert where it could bleed to death. I don’t know what type blood looks like, but if I had to guess I would figure it was kinda thick and fatty… just fyi.

4. Comic Sans

Comic Sans Font

I am sure everyone had to see this one coming. The amount of memos, emails, fliers, and newsletters that are distributed every day completely covered with comic sans is enough to make the average designer vomit. Seems that everyone wants their work to look informal, and somehow comic sans is the font that everyone thinks achieves that. Never mind the fact that it looks unprofessional, is hard to read, and is painfully ugly. Guess what, a simple san-seif font like helvetica will let readers UNDERSTAND THE CONTENT with out having to try and guess why you used an abomination of a font to write in. And since when did anyone decide that comic book style writing was anything we wanted to use anywhere but comic books?

How it should die: The x-men should bust out and demolish all copies of the font. The bonus here is that they would no longer be able to utter any stupid dialog in their books, and there would be no more x-men movies. Hue Jackman would be out of a job and I would no longer have to see him, booyah.

5. Times New Roman

Times New Roman Font

Some people are angry with Microsoft for a whole lot of different reasons. Crappy software, bad business practices, simply making way too much money… I am angry for continuing to keep Times New Roman as the default font for any and every application they have ever created. I will admit, Times is not as bad as most people make it out to be… but it is not great. There are tons of better type faces that come with the OS by default, why not use one of them!? PLEASE, SWITCH THAT STUPID FONT! Think about how much easier reading would become over the entire world. Then I could focus all of my hate for them on how much IE sucks.

How it should die: After banding with all the other versions of Times New Roman, they should storm Microsoft HQ and burn it to the ground. However due to their own stupidity forget to leave as the building perishes, and burn up in the process. The ash should be used as fertilizer to grow something less ugly like weeds.