3.29.2011

hi, i'm comic sans and i love the circus.


If we were required to submit life resumes, mine would read something like the above. As a fairly easy-going person, I try to embrace the simple things and avoid too much negativity...or at least keep my negativity harnessed and humorous. 
But if there's one arena in which I show no mercy, it is most certainly this: Fonts. 

Living it up in a scholarly building surrounded by Graphic Design, Multimedia Design and various other Art majors has left this hypersensitivity fairly untouched for the past year. Fellow art students take extreme care to match font to occasion and I see lovely, hip signage throughout the art building. But, I came crashing back to earth yesterday evening while entering the ladies room...where I spotted this sign, hung by a well-intending janitor. Oh...how pampered I have been:


 (Please forgive awful cell photo. This was my best inconspicuous attempt, lest I look like a Creepster Bathroom Photo-Taker.)

Fontslaughter in the first degree, I cried! Whomever created this sign needs to do serious time in the slammer...time spent learning a lesson in appropriate use of Comic Sans. (This slideshow might help: limit it to childhood parties and kindergarten newsletters, please!) This sign's real pièce de résistance lies in the student who scrawled, "or use comic sans..." at the bottom of the sign. Mind reader. Because really? If that sign caught me washing out my paintbrushes in the sink, as it tells me not to...it would probably  high-five me, invite me to its birthday party and offer to share a PB&J for lunch.

Is all this gum-flapping over fonts completely silly? Do fonts really emote, or carry personality...and are some inappropriate for use in certain situations?

Are you a font snob, too? If so, which fonts really chap your rear?

(And lest I sound holier-than-thou, I'll let you in on a secret: There once was a time in which I used Papyrus and thought it was pretty bad-arse. There. I said it. Whew.)

18 comments:

  1. I saw nothing wrong with that sign at all, so I must not be a font snob... but my graphic designer husband, who can recognize and name every 5-something trillion of them, totally IS!!! Because of his influence, I am becoming more sensitive to what good design looks like, and I suppose fonts are included in that - but my big thing has always been grammar and spelling. I saw a sign on a machine at work the other day that read: "Broke". I almost had a stroke. I pointed it out to a co-worker who jokingly said that the only remedy to that crime against the English language is to add a "d" to the end. =)

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  2. I wouldn't say that I am a font snob, but I do appreciate a nice font. At a previous job, I was part of a team preparing for a small group meeting. My planning partner and I decided to make place cards for everyone and selected a different font for each person. It was quite fun and was surprisingly appreciated by many. The one exception was the guy who got Times New Roman. It was only selected for him because he was in graduate school and that is all he used! Once we explained, he thought it quite humorous. Happy Tuesday!

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  3. Yes! And Papyrus should only be used on church bulletin covers or when dealing with the Old Testament.

    Don't worry, you're not alone.

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  4. I'm with you on the Comic Sans - drives me nuts! I don't have a background in design anything (I took accounting :P) but I am a complete font snob.

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  5. My name is Lizzie and I am a font snob.

    Fun Story: My mother-in-law (the good soul that she is) created an invitation for our wedding rehearsal dinner. It looked like a flyer complete with Comic Sans. My father the type-setter, took one look at it and said 'what the hell is this'.

    She meant well ;)

    LB

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  6. I wouldn't call myself a "font-snob" because I'm sure that I use the wrong one from time to time, and I have to say that at first glance that sign didn't bother me. However, I do see as how the font would carry a certain childish feel, which I guess isn't quire fitting for what the sign says.
    <3 Kiersten

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  7. Ohmygoodness! Bethany. I love, LOVE, fonts. I was going to ask you where you got your beautiful loopy cursive, but figured it would be weird to admit to how much I adore fonts.

    xo

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  8. I used to have Comic Sans in my font closet, but like my bell bottoms and hippy headbands I tired of it. No longer trendy, cool, or cute. But like any trend it will be resurrected in another generation who will think it's the hippest font ever.

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  9. I'm a total font snob - and Comic Sans and Papyrus are both on my hate list.

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  10. I, too, am a font snob!
    But, it's part of my job. As a copy editor at a newspaper whose job it is to design snazzy pages for our readers, I've gotta know what works.
    And comic sans? It just doesn't.

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  11. I chuckled when I saw the first responses to your post on FB...who knew there were people who were so oblivious to the wrongs of Comic Sans. I didn't know they still existed. I am a pretty big font snob. My idea of a good time is downloading a new font or 12. Why use Blackladder when you can use Lobster????

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  12. yes, yes, and yes! i could not agree more! i am a font snob!

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  13. hmm, I maybe a partial font snob now. I can't even believe- and am very embarrassed to admit that Papyrus may have been used on my wedding program and rehearsal dinner invite. But to justify- it was before blogging was popular! Have you seen the movie Helvetica? It's on Netflix watch instantly. I think I watched part of it, can't remember if I got the whole way through. I guess I'm not so much a font snob as I am about cartoony paper. I just cringe.

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  14. ahh! i am a font snob too. tony makes fun of me for being able to 1. identify a font somewhere out in the real world in use 2. comment about it!

    haha i saw a photo on pinterest similar to yours, but someone had written "this is a fortune 500 company, not a lemonade stand"

    Jester is another one i just cannot get past.

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  15. LOL well i guess since I am a 2nd grade teacher I can get away with saying Comic Sans is one of my favs!!!
    I do tend to use it on everything for school, so much that i think my students think that is just the way things print out! LOL
    I do show them other fonts too LOL

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  16. You literally had me laughing my arse off!! I am a total font snob! HAHAHA! CURLZ MT MAKES ME CRINGE TO NO END! HAHAHAHA!! OMG, I JUST LOVED THIS.

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  17. i guess im a font snob too. i actually saw someone write a report in AR HERMANN in high school once.

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  18. I also have a love of fonts. Once, when particularly angry at an ex boyfriend during a party at his house, I left a hate-drenched message on his computer (where he was most likely to actually see it)... he called me the next morning and his first words were, "you picked a font?"

    A lot of friends took advantage of Comic Sans in high school to make papers appear longer... I could never do it :(

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