Trip Down Memory Lane

Anyone that was born in the 90’s was privileged enough to grow up during the rise of the personal computer. This age went hand in hand with word processing and it allowed for everyone to express their personality and creativity through the wonderful world of fonts! We have all been guilty of using some (or all) of these at some point (shock horror). So join us on a little trip down memory lane as we look at our favourite fonts that maybe should have stayed in the 90’s along with flare jeans and chain wallets.

(aka watching paint dry)
This. Is. The. Epitome. Of. Boring.

Nothing says High School English paper more than good old Times New Roman. Ever since its birth back in the stone age, this dull font has been the default for word processing for all popular computer platforms. No thought or care in the world is put into selecting this particular font; no wonder it was used in early caveman love letters.

Don’t get us wrong, Times New Roman isn’t a bad looking or an impractical font. It is easy to read and definitely gets the job done. It is for this reason that it is the most overused font to this day. However, if you choose to use Times New Roman, you fall into the trap of having your design immediately cry out ‘I don’t care’. The happiest day was when Microsoft Word changed it’s default font away from Times New Roman to a more modern, cleaner san serif solution. But the question is, how and why are people still using it?

(walk like an Egyptian – oh whey oh)

Was the main goal of your brand to specifically target the Na’vi from Avatar?  Or were you a Pharaoh in a past life? If so then we have the perfect font for you called Papyrus!!! With its cheap look and overuse in print media, this is a font that has no place in any designers’ toolkit. If we saw a company using Papyrus we would think twice about how serious they are as a business…and avoid them altogether *Drops mic*.

Although Papyrus has its middle eastern charms it doesn’t have a place in a professional portfolio, resume or large chunks of copy. Papyrus incorporates overly lengthy ascenders and descenders which in turn forces your eye to deviate too far from the baseline, creating an uncomfortable reading experience. According to its creator, Chris Costello, it was designed to imitate the pre-modern writing in papyrus leaves. This tacky font has gone over its use by date and should’ve stayed in our childhood memories.

(perfectly paired with its partner in crime clip-art)

Rumour has it that Curlz was designed specifically with 4 year old birthday invitations in mind but managed to find its way onto every little girls typed up presentation in the 90’s. Often found on ads for baked goods and primary school posters, this font is similar to the deadly Comic Sans in that it not only removes all seriousness from any message but has the added bonus of being completely unreadable. We would rather it come with a set of steak knives but designers will settle for it being phased out.

Legibility is Curlz’ biggest weakness and it is blessed with the magical power to force its reader to struggle finishing any sentences. Curlz was originally designed for party invitations by Carl Corssgrove and Steve Matteson in 1995. We know that the appeal of the font is to be fun and creative, however horrifying whispers circulate that women are still drawn to this cute and curly font to this day!

(Beware of Kittens)

Another overused font that has clawed its way into 2016 is the jaunty Comic Sans. Birthday cards, workplace warning signs, kids essays and lost kitten posters would be forever revolutionised by the playful Comic Sans. Ever since everyone who bought Windows 95 and figured out how to use their printer, Comic Sans has glued itself onto anything and everything typed by a 90’s kid. Irregular strokes and overuse of rounded edges, Comic Sans is bursting with childishness and immaturity, and has left no one on this planet to takes this font seriously anymore. Please think twice about your target audience, what you are trying to market, and how you want to be perceived by others the next time you decide to use Comic Sans MS.

Have your heard there’s a time and place for everything? Chiller proves that is a lie. There is never a time nor a place for using this completely annoying font (yes..even if you’re writing a teen horror novel). Its irregular weighted strokes and stems combined with a condensed top-heavy style makes the font difficult to visually digest in large chunks of copy. Every little boy wanted to use Chiller on his homework because no other font could make a book report on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory look fully sick! Our thoughts go out to any teacher who had to read paper after paper written in this chicken scratch.

Bradley Hand should be avoided in anything that wants to be seen as professional. This mistake is often made by businesses which fall outside the design industry (cough – finance and law). They want to appear clean, simple and professional, yet opt for a font which bears a strong personal touch that’s written by hand. Used primarily when kids have fallen out of the comic sans stage, Bradley Hand appeals to teenagers who want to be seen as ‘edgy’. However, we can see why people loved using it so much as it’s relatable in the sense that it represents handwriting. But if you want to write that special someone a personal letter why not pick up a pen and do it yourself.