The 5 Most Overrated Fonts

In the new media world, nothing brings greater importance than the font you’re using. I know what you’re thinking—what do fonts have to do with new media? It’s a big deal, really. Whether it’s sending out a press release or creating an infographic animation, we select fonts that represent our creativity and our character. Unfortunately, some fonts are more overrated than others and yours truly has a duty to call them out. Here are five fonts that are starting or have worn out its welcome.

Comic Sans

This casual font that’s preinstalled in many versions of Microsoft Office and other software programs has been the black sheep of fonts. It seems that a number of small business and websites use this font to attract a more laid back, casual clientele but in reality are taking themselves way too comically. Groups have even formed movements to ban this childish, silly font, and for good reason. The reason? A funny website known as “Ban Comic Sans” (see their awesome examples) argued that the font should match the tone of the text. That said, Comic Sans is what it is—comical sans respect.

Helvetica

When Swiss designers created this font more than 50 years ago, it had worldwide respect for its clarity and neutrality. Sure enough, road signs, businesses and logos featured the Helvetica font. Now it’s come to the point where it’s become too popular for its own good. It’s lost its appeal the moment it became the standard font for infographics, word pictures and hip websites. Helvetica, my friends, is too saturated to make a point these days.

Impact

Back in my public school days, the Impact font made for bold statements and seriousness. Nowadays, when people think Impact, they associate the font with memes 99.9 percent of the time. Gee, I can’t go a day without some high school kid taking a picture and adding text using Impact. Sad to say, this font has lost its power to Hipster Ariel, Thank You Basedgod and Third World Success Kid. Impact, we hardly knew ye.

Papyrus

Good Lord, must nearly every church, yoga studio, James Cameron film or tea house use this godawful font? If you really want clients to stay away and think stereotypical thoughts, use Papyrus. It was hip and trendy in the 80s when Chris Costello made the infamous font, but since everything associated with nature and spirituality have taken this font to the netherworld, he laments it. He told Boise Weekly in 2008 that “it had become diluted and lost its original appeal.” In that case, writing on a papyrus is more honorable than writing using Papyrus.

Times New Roman or Arial

Unless you’re writing up a rough draft or finishing up your doctorate thesis, using Times New Roman or Arial on a project is tantamount to saying to everyone “I lack any understanding of creativity.” These default fonts are so commonplace that it’s just doesn’t attract as much attention to your work as you desire, especially if you’re trying to get people attracted to your next project or marketing a video. Keep these fonts as it is—for formal communication.

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