Stop The (Font) Madness!

I am not a graphic designer, nor a copywriter…so those that are can throw my opinion out the window if you’d like.

But I am becoming increasingly-annoyed with bad fonts in ads.

It’s long been said about baseball umpires: “If they’re doing their job well, you never notice them.” The same could be said about the use of fonts in print and television ads.

It should be simple, shouldn’t it? Use a font that’s appropriate for the content and tone of the advertisement: Something strong, yet classy for the bank. Something a little more fun for the concert poster.

But not TOO fun. But not TOO classy. I have been staring at this concert poster all morning, and I still can’t figure out the name of the band. I’m starting to think it’s one of those 3D stereograms?

I think people are over-thinking it. Or most copyrighters and graphic designers are bored having to use the same fonts over-and-over again? Or they’re trying to put their signature (pun not intended) on the ad by trying to be unique? (Facebook and Google both made billions of dollars with the simplest of fonts.) Most of us really just want to immediately be able to read the copy and figure out what the ad is saying, or what the product is.

I do not have a font credo, but if I did…it would be this: “Bad copy cannot be saved by good fonts.”

If a font makes you take one second longer to read something because it’s written in some fancy script, it’s a bad font.

The message has to be interesting. If it IS interesting, don’t detract from its simple elegance by making it hard to read. The font you choose does not make your event more fancy, or more special…what you’re actually saying (hopefully) does?


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