5 Terrible Fonts You Shouldn't Use in Print Design 26 April, 2007 — 33 commentsStuart Brown

(And preferably not at all, with the possible exception of Arial)

Posted in Fonts & Typography, Design
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For those designers who work with both web and print media, the limitations of web typography are all too apparent. Some designers struggle to shake off the bonds of such limitations, though - and repeatedly use and abuse some of the worst fonts available. Here are five examples which raise my typographical hackles.


Impact font

Sighted in bad advertising, signage and student newspapers everywhere, 'Impact' is a perfect exercise in bad typography. Its ubiquity and horrid letterforms make this one to avoid.


Papyrus font

Despite looking like a cheap, gimmicky single-use font, Papyrus has the dubious honour of cropping up everywhere - in the high street, in menus, banners and leaflets. Particularly popular amongst gift shops.

Arial/Arial Black

Arial Black font

Simply put: If you're working in a medium where you're not restricted to certain fonts, and you're considering using Arial - don't. Use Helvetica instead. Your typographer friends will thank you for it.

Curlz MT

Curlz font

Want to give that design that Francophilic laissez-faire look? Don't use Curlz MT. Everyone else after that Parisienne je ne sais quoi had the same idea.

Comic Sans MS

Comic Sans font

Every single list citing examples of bad fonts and typography mentions Comic Sans MS. The reason is simple: It is, by a large margin, one of the most abhorrent typefaces currently available. It's not that it's a terrible font - it's rather that it suits non-designers far better than those with a sense of the aesthetic would like.

Designers, take note - no matter how much your client begs you to use this 'friendly', 'fun', 'accessible' typeface - do not use it for anything where you can avoid it. There are alternatives.

Don't think the list stops there, either - these five are arguably my least favourite fonts for print, but there are plenty others. I'm not overtly fond of Bank Gothic or Century Gothic - but even the worst of typefaces can have their use.

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