Our Least-Favorite Fonts in Graphic Design and Marketing

Our Least-Favorite Fonts in Graphic Design and Marketing

Least Favorite FontsYou may have seen our post about our favorite fonts for graphic design and marketing here at Iconic Partners. Well, you’ve seen the good list. Time for the bad and the ugly.

When you look at the fonts on this list, you’ll notice that they all have one thing in common: they are easily distinguished. Each of these fonts has had their heyday, but those days are long past. Be wary of fonts that are easily recognized. These guys are the parachute pants/ski jackets/platform shoes of the graphic design and marketing world… hot for a few seconds, out of style the next minute. Don’t get stuck in a font rut, right?

Without further ado, here is our bad-list of fonts. Steer clear of these in your graphic design and marketing materials.

Papyrus

Papyrus

There’s no denying that Papyrus has some classic appeal. Major players are still using it in the entertainment industry. It made a star appearance in the movie Avatar for subtitles and the heavy metal band Lamb of God still uses Papyrus for their logo. It seems to pop up all over the place at florists, coffee shops and eateries. It does say rustic chic… but that was in the 1990’s. In a decade or two, Papyrus will be the font of the late 20th century. Time to drop it.

Comic Sans

ComicSans

People are still using this font. Why? You may not see it as often in logos as you see our friend, Papyrus… but it is a common website offender. It’s hard to find anything nice to say about Comic Sans except that it does try for the traditional look of classic comic books. That said, its shape has become so distinctive that people have become sick of seeing it. The entertainment industry has long abandoned Comic Sans. Let’s revisit it in 50 years when it can be all cool and retro.

Copperplate

Copperplate

Okay, admittedly, Copperplate has some elegance. It has the rare potential to work for an attractive logo, so if your graphic design or marketing team suggests it for your logo, you shouldn’t smack them immediately. At least wait until they have given you a really good reason that Copperplate is the only man for the job. We at Iconic Partners like to call Copperplate a Lemming Font. EVERYONE IS USING IT. Do you want to look like every other business? If you are completely married to Copperplate, at least make a few design edits to make it look a little unique. Copperplate can look nice with some great grunge effects applied. While Copperplate hasn’t reached the level of exhaustion that the two listed above have earned, it’s time to think about a plan B. In a few years, Copperplate will be a thing of the past.

Algerian

Algerian

Please, no. This font was never good. Just look at it and tell us it doesn’t look like a high school newsletter.

Lucinda Handwriting

Lucinda

Look at this font. Seen it before? Yeah. You have. Graphic design and marketing peeps use it to death. “It’s a classic,” they say. “A great go-to when you need a handwritten look,” they argue. Nope, still not. Look at the strokes in this font. Despite the fact that this font is a classic cursive, there is nothing handwritten about it. The blocky ascenders and decenders look completely unnatural, yet you will see this in design as a font used to indicate handwritten text. Please make it stop.

What fonts are on your bad list?

Like anything, a good font is much more difficult to find than a rotten one. The list of bad-apple-fonts in the world of graphic design and marketing goes on and on… and on and on. Any you’d like to add to our bad list? Go right ahead. Chances are, you probably won’t hear any complaints from us.

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Carolyn Byard

Carolyn is Iconic's art director and office dog handler. She strives to build unicorns, and she is completely obsessed with the fusion of beautiful design with strong strategy for unforgettable user interfaces.