“Typecasting: The Use (and Misuse) of Period Typography in Movies”. That’s awesome. I love nitpicky articles like this. I’ve also noticed myself becoming more “font-aware” over the last few years. Lately, I’ve developed a physical revulsion to the inappropriate use of “Comic Sans MS”. (Yeah, I still use it for my Dahl logo, but it’s appropriate there.) For example, there was a restaurant near our place in London called “Spicy Fong!” that used Comic Sans MS on all its menus and signage. Could you possibly think of a font less suited to a Chinese restaurant? Me neither. I refused to go near the place.

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  1. Add ‘Curlz MT’ to the list of over-used, tacky fonts. I think just about every party invitation I’ve ever received has used that one, eww!

  2. It’s gotten to the point, for me, that I become exceedingly angry when I see certain fonts. For example: Isadora Bold, Begiuat Frisky, Zapf Chancery, and Courier. The first three annoy me because they’re inappropriately and horribly overused; the last pisses me off because it’s my printer’s default — the sight of which usually means that something is terribly wrong with my file. That’s NOT a Good Thing.

    Sigh. Oh, the woes of an overworked and underpaid graphic artist. ;P

  3. I’d like to elaborate on your post and say Comic Sans is inappropriate everywhere it’s used. That is, like, the stupidest looking font ever.

    Allright, maybe it would look decent in an ad for a cheap day care center.

  4. I’m so glad that there are other font-sensitive pedants in the world. I am among my people.

    Claire – is that the one with the curlicues on the ends of all the letters? I hate that one too.

    Moire – I loathe Zapf Chancery as well. I’m not as familiar with the first two you mentioned, though. Maybe we should all post examples of font usage that piss us off. There’s a real estate agency around the corner that uses Comic Sans. It’s ridiculous.

    Matt – I agree… except that I use it at my Dahl site! Can you come up with anything that would give me a similar feel without being so damn cheesy? (Actually, any design ideas at all you have for that site would be mucho appreciated.)

  5. God… I think you’d recognize Isadora Bold immediately, once you saw it. It is used a lot for commercial packaging — on anything from feminine hygiene products to bottles of Starbuck’s Frappicino.

    I think my real hatred for that font was created during my tenure in Fort Wayne Newspapers’ Advertising Dept. EVERYONE used that font. If you open any given Sunday edition of the Journal Gazette, you’d find Isadora Bold used on at least eight to ten different ads throughout. [shudder] I mean, it’s a lovely font and everything, and at one time I was quite fond of it. But too much of a good thing… you know.

    I think the real thing that bothered me was that there were a lot of “artists” that seemed to have no sense of typography. It was plainly obvious to me that a frivilous font like Isadora was not good for, say, a Mutton Power Equipment ad. Common friggin’ sense, yo! ;P

    Benguiat Frisky is one of your “whimsical” fonts, with different x-heights and whatnot. It almost looks like puffy-paint lettering, if you get what I mean. I haven’t seen it as much anymore, but every once in a while it’ll sneak onto the scene and I get that flash of GRRR! But seriously, you might LIKE Benguiat Frisky for your Dahl site. Wouldn’t that be funny? 😉

    I’ll have to find those two fonts and give you mini-examples.

    I think that people fall into using Comic Sans because they don’t bother to consult a professional artist, and with loathesome programs like Pagemaker create their own business cards and advertising. It wouldn’t even cost them that much money, really, if they hired a freelance graphic artist. I know that I sometimes will only ask for $10/hr if it’s a smaller company. I’m really only agreeing to do freelance work now to get my name out in the area — you know, networking and all that.

    But… Sigh. I guess not everyone can be born with a good sense for design and font usage. At least it CAN be learned. 😉

  6. I’m a good example of that. I shudder to recall some of my earlier site incarnations. Check out this post for embarrassing links. Those aren’t even the most egregious examples, either. At one point, I was using Comic Sans for ALL the text on my Dahl site. *shudder*

  7. There’s a woman I work with (across country) who has formatted her email with Comic Sans MS, in orange, no less, and I frequently need to forward and respond to her emails. Every time I do, I will change the size, color, and type of font because I can’t stand how ridiculous my working words look in orange Comic Sans MS!

    As far as the article goes, my best friend from college was working on her English PhD, and her thesis was based on the bibliographic study of an 18th century periodical. She spent a lot of time on the type face. I never really got it before reading this article. I guess I’ll pay more attention to type face in the future…

  8. Orange Comic Sans? She must die. 🙂

  9. Everybody hates Comic Sans MS. I can barely stand to look at it anymore!

  10. Hi my name if Faith and I have been assigned a project that concerns the usage of the font Benguiat. I must have examples of the font in use and I am having trouble finding some visual resources. I stummbled upon your site and thought you might know of some. If so would you be kind enough as letting me know where I might can find them. If not thanks anyway.

  11. Sorry, never heard of it. This isn’t a site dedicated to typography, really.

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