Don’t Get Dressed in the Dark. You’ll Get Laughed At!

by Dionne Aiken

To designers, choosing the right typeface is a sacred ritual wherein the selection and application is a thoughtful and purposeful process.  Each typeface is uniquely designed and therefore elicits a different emotional response.  Typefaces (or fonts) can speak volumes about your company, brand and the message you are trying to convey:

Commentary from a BBC news article summarizes this best:

“Selecting a font is like getting dressed … Just as one chooses an outfit according to the occasion, one decides on a font according to the kind of message you are seeking to convey.”

That said, we begin to understand the animosity expressed in the beginning of this article “Do typefaces really matter?”  Was Oscar-winning Director James Cameron getting dressed in the dark when he chose the typeface “Papyrus” for the movie Avatar?

The general consensus is that for such a large budget movie, more time, effort and money could have been spent to select a more suitable typeface for the posters and subtitles http://aaronweyenberg.com/402/avatar-movie-font-is-papyrus.

Because Papyrus is so over-used consumers look at it as an afterthought, rather than a design choice. http://www.flickr.com/groups/40081197@N00/

A satirical letter from Papyrus to Avatar’s director James Cameron is a clear testament to contempt for the typeface.

There are also entire blogs dedicated to this anti-papyrus sentiment http://www.iheartpapyrus.com/2009/08/cmon-james-cameron-you-can-afford-to.html.

For Holy Cow Creative it was the inspiration behind their branding http://jesushatespapyrus.com/holy-cow/jesus-hates-papyrus/.

With more than 200,000 fonts to choose from, it almost seems silly to “default” to overused typefaces.  Don’t get caught getting dressed in the dark.  If you’re convinced, join me and take the pledge http://www.luredesigninc.com/pledge/.

One Response to Don’t Get Dressed in the Dark. You’ll Get Laughed At!

  1. roger pynn says:

    Just as i thought … another vulgar commercial attempt to separate me from my money vs. a deeply spiritual temple devoted to the typophobic teachings of Times New Roman or that great hot typist Arial. If you follow the links, you have to grab your wallet. 🙂

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