Kill a Font

Maverick18x's picture

Hey guys,

I know you all have at least one font that you absolutely hate and refuse to use, so I thought it would be fun to start a list. The rules are as follows:

1) Name the ONE font you'd kill. (Arial)
2) Explain why you chose it. (it's a knockoff)
3) Suggest an alternative. (Helvetica)


Stephen Coles's picture

1. Times New Roman
2. After Helvetica and Arial, the most ubiquitous typeface in the world, and it performs horribly in most of the settings in which its used.
3. Arnhem. A new serif for a new era.

blank's picture

1. Times New Roman.
2. Because as a newspaper face it’s outdated, and for everything else it looks like some idiot used a dated newspaper face in the wrong place. Because as much as designers love to bitch about Arial, Arial in all caps looks a lot better to me than Times.
3. Stone Serif. Sumner Stone is the forgotten typographic genius of our era. His designs are fecund with potential that almost nobody is doing a damned thing with.

Spire's picture

1. Times New Roman.
2. It's ugly and it's ubiquitous.
3. Freight Text.

hrant's picture

1) Helvetica
2) It's a goddam cyclops of a font.
3) Unica


Katharina's picture

1) Charlemagne
2) I hate the numbers with those ugly serifes.
3) Requiem

Chris Rugen's picture

1. Times New Roman
2. After Helvetica and Arial, the most ubiquitous typeface in the world, and it performs horribly in most of the settings in which its used.
3. Arnhem. A new serif for a new era.

Stewf, I came very close to presenting a plan for doing that very thing corporation-wide at one of my past employers.

The result: no dice. Free beat good, yet again.

1) Impact

2) Its inclusion in MS software has created a belief, apparently, that no other condensed bold is necessary, so people use it to make an IMPACT without a thought about LEGIBILITY.

3) Univers Condensed Black (but, really, most any decent grot/gothic with that variant will do).

Miss Tiffany's picture

While I can't think of any fonts I'd go so far as to kill, I'd kill fonts with unnecessarily restrictive EULAs.

AGL's picture

Times is not bad !

It is just in every single computer in the planet.

John the Fontaholic's picture

Hi everyone,

Can't believe this one hasn't been suggested yet...

1. Comic Sans

2. It's a fugly abomination that Microsoft thoughtlessly inflicted upon the world, thereby allowing millions of innocent (and not-so-innocent) computer users worldwide to perpetrate crimes against typography

3. Any number of comic book-inspired casual handwriting/handlettering fonts out there, especially anything done by Comicraft.

John the Fontaholic

Grrrben's picture

@ Matt: Helvetica is a rip off too.

Dav's picture

1. Microgramma/Eurostile

2. It sure was such a great typeface, back then. But — It's so heavily overused, and abused, currently, it's not even funny anymore.

3. (Foundry) Monoline; Vafle; And some more...


HaleyFiege's picture

Everyone is hating on the web fonts :(

Stephen Coles's picture

Oh, but Haley, no one is hating on the good ones.

poms's picture

1.+ 2. The most annoying sans serif i know in the recent years was/is FF Dax/FF Dax Wide. This typeface is so pretentious, and it's everywhere – screaming at me improperly.

3. Daxline would be calmer, Schmalhans would be nicer.

I agree, Eurostile should pause for n-years.

I have no problems with "the hidden" Times New Roman, where do you see it in use? I just see Verdana, Arial/Helvetica and Georgia, and a bit Tahoma on the web.

smongey's picture

1. Curlz MT
2. It makes me dizzy
3. Anything else

Stephen Coles's picture

A few of many Curlz alts: FF Fontesque, Marguerita, Scriptease, Swank, Gigi

smongey's picture

All equally dizzying. Although I don't mind Swank!

Jos Buivenga's picture

1. Concorde (Can't remember the foundry).
2. Had to use it. Just detested it's looks.
3. Any nice serif with good lookin' italics.

vivicity's picture

My vote also goes to Comic Sans. Especially in business correspondence!

David Rault's picture

1: Comic Sans
1: University Roman
1: Stop
1: Revue
1: Ayumi
1: Balloon
1: Hobo
1: Papyrus
1: Keedy
1: Curlz
1: NotCaslon
1: Remedy
2: there was a time these were fashionable, but there is a time one should be kind enough to stop use them everywhere.
3: anything else which is not looking too ugly.


KenBessie's picture

1. digitized versions of distressed type

2. the premise is that the type has existed in place for a while and has eroded or been distressed by the elements. However, each letter is distressed exactly the same. Every E is the same. Every S is the same. So a headline with repeated letters looks goofy.

3. there are better ways of distressing type than purchasing a pre-distressed font. Photoshop works. Or the old-fashioned method of outputting the type and beating the crap out of it, then scanning it back in, offers great satisfaction.

Stephen Coles's picture

or Trixie HD.

xil3's picture

1. Papyrus
2. overused to make things look old and traditional.
3. don't replace.

What many of you seem to be ignoring is the fact that many of these fonts are used everywhere because they are free. As 'Chris Rugen' said, free beats good so you can't suggest a pay font to be used instead of a free font.
The problem I'm realizing is that the mass public does not care about type or correct usage, it's only us that care so deeply about these things.

Stephen Coles's picture

Mass public, no. But it's always nice for professionals to have alternatives on hand for clients who have a particular typeface in mind due to the fact that it's on their computer.

Jan's picture

1. Optima

2. It’s what I would call ‘spießig’ in german. It’s so 50ies. I mean the grey 50ies that were to be washed away by the Pop and Beat rebellion in the 60ies.

3. Angie Sans maybe

Stephen Coles's picture

Amen, Jan. Cora and Accent Graphic for replacements too.

Jason Walley's picture

1. ) Interstate, or whatever is on the majority of highway signs across America.

2. ) I've always found it somewhat clumsy and arbitrarily sharp (notably on the lowercase l) for something that adorns so much of the country.

3. ) ClearviewHwy. It's so much more understated and legible. I noticed the sudden increase in legibility when driving through Pennsylvania a year or two ago (where most of the signs have already been switched).

Jan's picture

... and FF Advert maybe (with the two-storey ‘a’)?

Stephen Coles's picture

What you're seeing on the highway is a typeface designed by the US Highway Administration (mostly engineers). Interstate is a design inspired by that typeface designed by Tobias Frere-Jones (a bonafide type designer).

hrant's picture

"Inspired" is too generous.
"Based very closely on" is more accurate.


Stephen Coles's picture

Oh, I think it's much too different for that description.

NotBen78's picture

I get tired of seeing Rosewood.


Any other font.

nvhladek's picture

Bank Gothic.

As a sci-fi fan, I am completely burned out on it.

Hard to say. Most sci-fi type choices have become terribly cliché.

Nick Hladek

typerror's picture

Very kind of you Stephen


shawkash's picture

1.Avant Garde Gothic.
2.Avant Garde Gothic looks like a swiss cheese.
3.I don't have an alternative cause I avoid type styles whose counters are very large in relation to the stroke weight. This will slow the reader.


javaboy7962's picture

There is a movement to Ban Comic Sans. I think it's

I would agree that comic sans is a crime against typography. It actually does look like a comic book when it's in all caps, but everyone uses it for normal type.

1. Comic Sans
2. It looks like bad fifth grader handwriting and it pisses me off when people use it to write procedures at my office.
3. Lucida Console

hrant's picture

OK Stephen, I'll nix the "very". But that's it.
Polishing is way different than creating.


Spire's picture

[Comic Sans MS] actually does look like a comic book when it’s in all caps....

I strongly disagree.

James Arboghast's picture

I know you all have at least one font that you absolutely hate and refuse to use, so I thought it would be fun to start a list. The rules are as follows:

1) Name the ONE font you’d kill. (Arial)
2) Explain why you chose it. (it’s a knockoff)
3) Suggest an alternative. (Helvetica)

Let me do this one sound bite at a time:

I know...

You know only what you think you know, and what you think or believe you "know" is subject to errors of omission. Ignorance is golden in the end. As for what other people know, you cannot know the contents of their minds.

I know you all have at least one font that you absolutely hate and refuse to use...

Nope. Not even one. Such a mindset is unknown to me. Such an attitude fits the definition of what the ancient Greeks saw as Tyranny with a ruthless capital T. I thought it would be fun to start a list.

Some strange new definition of the word "fun" I hadn't encountered before. You are about the fiftieth person to start such a hate list. Nothing could be more tedious or predictable at Typophile.

1) Name the ONE font you’d kill. (Arial)
2) Explain why you chose it. (it’s a knockoff)
3) Suggest an alternative. (Helvetica)

1) Get over it. Fonts cannot be killed, and expression of the desire to do so is an expression of your own insecurity, a projection of your anxieties and fears on what you don't understand.
2) Explain why you have to pick on any body or any thing.
3) Tyranny, murder.
4) Also try: designing your own fonts.

j a m e s

Miss Tiffany's picture

This is all subjective. No need to poo-poo on someone else's fun.

hrant's picture

Yeah Tiff, don't poo-poo on James's fun. ;-)


Miss Tiffany's picture

True, true. James tells me I need to cut the cards more often. So, I figure I'm doing that. Or maybe this isn't what he means. ;^)

James Arboghast's picture

Tiffany, Hrant, Eden — what I wrote isn't a personal attack, but a call for tolerance. Albeit inflammatory in style. While it may look as if I am taking the topic of this one too seriously, when I see typophiles revving up the hate juggernaut I wonder who is poo-pooing who and what. Perhaps you guys can tell me; is a thread like this anything other than poo-hanging session?

Hate is a corrosive word. Look at where hatred got the guy who stated the Ban Comic Sans campaign. Nowhere. My point—hating what you dislike rarely makes that thing go away, and we're better off tolerating it. Nobody here will engage in any actual killing, and the life of no living thing is under threat. But "kill" is still dangerous corrosive word, I think best reserved for living things that actually threaten us and cannot be tolerated. The national socialists in Germany hated the Jews and killed between 9 and 11 million of them. The Jews weren't threatening anybody, but when the axis powers took control of what was left of Germany we found it neccessary to execute the murderers who had tried to exterminate an entire race of people. Only in extreme circumstances like that is killing anybody neccessary. Why the Nazis had to hate the Jews. Well, clearly it was the Nazis projecting their fears and insecurities onto a convenient social / cultural group.

He who saves one life saves the entire world.

Will hating certain fonts we dislike (can't bring ourselves to tolerate) make them disappear? Not likely. So where does hating them get us?

He who hates one font hates all of typography Don't take it literally. I'm speaking figuratively.

Wouldn't your time be better spent on days to come
Not the ones that went?

—words by Ron Sexsmith.

Tiffany—I'm not out of control, not doing a Bill Troop trip here, but having you step in and remind me why I joined this community in the first place is a good thing. We all need to keep a grip on the things that really count.

j a m e s

Jan's picture

You’re really hating this thread, aren’t you, James?

James Arboghast's picture

You're really misunderstanding what I say, aren't you, Jan?

(sigh) I'm imitating you. How predictable. How boring.

No. What makes you think I hate the thread? I only find it abhorrent, childish and stupid, arrogant and concieted. Intolerant.

Why don't you attempt to answer the question: Is the topic of this thread anything other than poo-hanging?

It seems you think that my questioning it amounts to hating it. How simplistic. Such a black & white view. I've seen you express hatred of numerous fonts. How intolerant. Such a black & white view.

There is a difference between being critical of something and hating it.

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

It wan't neccessary to cut the cards before. It is at this point we should cut the cards. If I am really saying terrible things and expressing hatred for something, you shouldn't feel the need to retaliate or at least suppress what I say, because it only makes me look bad (if true).

Don't let it escalate into a personal fight. Go on with the typo discussion. Remember why you joined this community in the first place.

j a m e s

Jan's picture

I wasn’t all that serious and I think you’re taking this thread waayyy too serious.
Should have added a ;-) to my last post.

I’ve seen you express hatred of numerous fonts.
Me? Where? When? I’m pretty sure I never stated I hate a font.
I dislike, find overused but I don’t hate.

aszszelp's picture

After Comic Sans, Arial and Times New Roman the most ranted font is probably Papyrus.
But it was just yesterday, that I saw a perfect use of it. Really. It was a perfect choice for that Rooibos tea package. Beautiful.

Remember: there is no bad font. Only fonts used inappropriately.


hrant's picture

There is no love without hate.


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