July 19, 2007

Fonts Make the Image

I was working on a project at the office today and needed a quasi-military font to use... think M*A*S*H style. That got my mind to wandering about how much the type someone uses influences what you think of their product. This article lists the author's Seven Worst Fonts, and I do agree with most of them, and the comments. And this one talks about bad fonts in print... I realize this is all subjective, and i hope I don't offend anyone.

Some of most ubitiquous fonts that used for cutesy shops and sweet websites are Curlz and Comic Sans. There's another one called Caffe Latte that's similar, but I don't have it. There's a website called Ban Comic Sans because it's such a default font for cute. I think a lot of child care centers use comic sans because it is a kiddie font but it should not be used for anything corporate. Ban CS is kind enough to give you free downloads of a number of more attractive alternatives.
Arial is another font that is overused, mostly because it, and Times New Roman are the default fonts for Microsoft products. The thing to think about when you're using fancy fonts is how much type is your audience going to have to read. It would be hard to read an entire book in italic. It would be difficult to read a whole posting in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, especially if they're all in italics, too. (This says Vivaldi.)

The two typefaces I have used in my header are Century Gothic for the Pigtown Design part. I like CG because it is clean and unfussy. The other part of my header is called Miss Brooks, but that's isn't the "latin name" for it and so you may have seen it called other things.

I go through phases when I like some fonts more than others. I did sin and use Papyrus on an invitation recently because I wanted something that was easy to read, but looked vaguely Asian. I like this font (below) because it's somewhat louche French looking and conveys an attitude. But at the same time, it's very hard to read, so I don't use it much. Anything longer than a few words is impossible to read.

I found a link to these two fonts, designed by the same person, a few weeks ago. They were free fonts, so I downloaded them. I like that they are elegant and edgy at the same time. Here's the link to these two and some others Eduardo Recife designed.

There are some great free font sites where you can download fonts without worry of viruses. One of the best thing about these newly-designed fonts is is their names. One favourite of mine is Crack Babies, a crackly version of a traditional font. I use fontfreak and dafont as good sites. What are your favourite fonts? Why?


  1. funny i use comic sans all the time
    i guess i'd better find another less childish font huh?

  2. Oh I love different fonts. Weird, but my favorite ones are the ones I will probably never use, because they are different alphabet fonts. I downloaded the Sruti and Jaipur fonts, which is a Devanagari writing system (for Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali), and one really cool looking Ethiopic one (for writing Amharic). But that last one only works with this special program I downloaded onto my flash drive. If I turn it on, whatever I type in that font shows up in Ethiopic lettering. When I turn it off, it's just Latin letters. I guess I love these fonts because it's just so fascinating to me to see non-Latin letters, characters and syllables pop up after my cursor.

  3. BTW: When are y'all showing at Artscape?

  4. we're at dolphin and mt. royal... got the live baltimore booth...just up from the 'vern. although not too close. i am there sunday from noon.

  5. I've always been a fan of the Chank Army www.chank.com for their free fonts. Except if you use them for anything commercial, then they're not free.


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