A Font Fixation (fixatus fontus)

Queneau's picture

I think I'm going gaga!

Lately I seem to see Rotis just about everywhere! On the packages of food spices and fancy farmaceuticals, on medicins and magazines, envelopes and logo's (I guess when my dreams would feature type it would be Rotis as well...). I live in the Netherlands, which is worse enough (for Rotis-spotting that is), but when I'm in Germany it's even worse. I see the quirky lowercase a, c and e from far away. Just what is it that makes this font so irritable to the eye? And I still haven't worked out if I love it or hate it (it certainly isn't for everyone!)...

Does anyone have simular experiences with this angry mother of a font? Am I still to be saved or have I become an incurable type-geek?! And how about your personal font fixations?

Please help!

Cheers, Queneau

mukhtarsanders's picture

I would say the same for Trajan - totally overused. At the moment its all over bill boards for Michael Jackson's new concert tour and of course every other Hollywood movie poster!

Rotis is not too bad especially at smaller sizes. I spent ages looking for an alternative for my business card but ended up going back to it. I had to modify some of the glyphs as they were not looking right.

I have to remind myself being a designer though that most people have no idea what names of fonts are and don't care. There are so many other elements that make good design. A good font will look terrible if the typography is not up to scratch.

chn's picture

Being from the UK I'm surprised you mentioned Trajan and not Gill Sans. I've spent a few months in London and I think I had enough Gill Sans for the rest of my life.

Florian Hardwig's picture

You’re not alone:
Rotis is everywhere by Sander Baumann.
F

blank's picture

For me it’s Aachen right now; before that it was Trade Gothic and Alt Gothic.

I see Arial everywhere, too, but I think that’s because the economy is driving more projects to chop-shops.

blank's picture

For me it’s Aachen right now; before that it was Trade Gothic and Alt Gothic.

I see Arial everywhere, too, but I think that’s because the economy is driving more projects to chop-shops.

nina's picture

I'm having a Dax overload at the moment, it seems everybody and their dog is using Dax/Daxline over here (from stupid free tabloids to a community center for people with disabilities). Also, I've been getting really tired of seeing TheSans everywhere, which is a shame because it's a really great typeface.

"Does anyone have simular experiences with this angry mother of a font?"
:-) Is it angry? Rather strikes me as a bit… bitchy.
Rotis is certainly a font that lends itself to "being seen everywhere" simply because it's so distinctive. Also, I personally don't think the problem is that it's over-used, but rather that it's often misused. I used to hate it with a passion, but I've seen it used to great effect and have actually gotten very satisfactory results using it myself. I suspect it's not an easy one to use. (Like I said, bitchy. ;-) )
It sure doesn't help that to many graphic designers (at least over here), hating Rotis seems to qualify as a natural, if not required, attitude. :-/

Queneau's picture

Like I said: I'm not sure yet if I'm a lover or hater. It's interesting, that's for sure. Just because it breaks a few typographic rules doesn't make it bad. But it's bitchy alright! It needs quite a lot of attention to get it to work, but i believe it can be beautiful. I'm not too sure about using it for longer texts though, that might just be pushing things too far.

I also think it is a rather 'cold' typeface (see james' link), quite brainy and aloof. It's the same kind of feeling I get from DIN. I don't see how it could be used for texts dealing with 'emotions', though maybe you can prove me wrong.

@ Altaira: Dax also annoys me a lot (along with Sari and a few other 'friendly, rounded, modern' faces). I've used it for a project once or twice, but it's a dead end for me now.

cheerio Queneau

nina's picture

"Just because it breaks a few typographic rules doesn’t make it bad."
Dunno, I'd put that the other way round: I'm not sure the fact that it consciously breaks a few type design conventions automatically makes it good.

Btw I once read a book set in Rotis Serif. It was not easy. For my tastes, it's maybe a bit too loud and self-important for text.

Bendy's picture

I vote for Dax and Sari/Barmeno too. Along with Futura Black and Din (at least a year or two ago) and clunky old Arial.

I also once had the experience of reading a book (No Logo) in Rotis which made me seasick after a while.

Conversely, I never tire of Cronos or Myriad (and even Stone Sans) though they're everywhere in the UK these days.

I wish we wouldn't have to see the same fonts on packaging, posters and shop signs everywhere. I'm a hypocrite there though, as I use Myriad a lot, choosing the 'safe' option, and one I like. But at least its character fits with my uses.

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