Horrible Fonts and Better Alternatives
Horrible fonts are everywhere. You seem them on a daily basis. Someone has downloaded one of these horrible fonts from a site. They decided to use them in their logo or their design work, and it makes you cringe. If you see the type and think to yourself “Those are horrible fonts, I can do much better!” You aren’t alone. There are other designers that feel the same way. Here are just a few horrible fonts that really make me want to scream when I see them. I also provided alternatives under each one so you can escape with dignity. Most can be downloaded for free, or if you have the Adobe Software, it is included within the software.
If I see this font used one more time for an Egyptian theme or for an all natural product or health spa, I am going to lose my lunch. I hate this font with such a passion that I deleted it from my system. I even recently saw it used for a movie title for a film that I know had a decent budget. There are much more imaginative fonts out there with an organic feel. Or better yet, here’s an idea: if you are creating a logo for an organic company, create your own from scratch. You are creating an identity, not a cliche or embarrassment. This is one of the most horrible fonts out there.
Alternatives: Try MothproofScript, Kingthings Calligraphica, Trajan
I don’t know and I do not care who designed this font, but stop using it in designs! It is quirky, malformed and is not a good choice for commercial work. If you are trying to create a logo for a children’s product, there are tons of better suited fonts out there. This font doesn’t even look good when used in comics. This is considered by most designers as one of the most horrible fonts.
Alternatives: Try Wonder Comic, Action Man, Komika Axis
Okay, I know I will catch some flack for this one. I love the font, I really do. It is beautiful in its design and works well for certain applications, such as signage and so on, but not for everything else under the sun. When I see this font used in a movie poster, or for a generic product label with a simple color slapped on it, I just want to scream. How does Helvetica help to sell your product? What have to done to the typeface to make it suit your product? If your have altered it to make it your own, so be it, but stop using Helvetica as a catch-all or safety net for your logo work. There is no “always acceptable” answer. The horror in this one isn’t necessarily the look, its the extreme overusage.
Alternatives: Univers, Futura, Frutiger, Akzidenz-Grotesk
Who on earth thinks this is a convincing typewriter font? I have seen entire websites that use this font to mimic a typewriter concept. Anyone can go on dafont.com and find a much more suitable typewriter font. The are plenty that are way more convincing than Courier. The stroke needs to be thicker and less consistent to be a convincing typewriter font.
Alternatives: Try Pro Font Windows, Latin Modern Mono, Bitstream, Special Elite
Despite being the default on Word, Times is a decent font, but in the same way that Helvetica is not a catch-all, neither is Times. I can’t think of a single reason to use Times for your Serif font needs when there are others out there that are more interesting, and have better reasons to use them. Helvetica is a good typeface for body copy, as well as Garamond. Futura can work well depending on the application, but stop over using Times.
Alternatives: Try Sabon, Jenson, Adobe Garamond Pro
Bank Gothic and Copperplate
I hate these fonts as well. Using all caps in just about anything is a no-no and small caps is annoying to read. Both of these fonts are difficult to read. All caps and small caps make a word so hard to read, and the spacing breaks up each word too much. Talk about a design nightmare! You definitely don’t want to use these typefaces for body copy, but I couldn’t imagine confidently using them in a title or display situation effectively either. it seems like everyone loves to use Bank Gothic for anything to do with Sci-fi.
Alternatives: Try Stratum Black, FF DIN, Orbitron
This font is almost too much to handle. It is so incredibly thick, with a tall x-height, that is overpowers most designs. I see it way too often in titles and headers, and can actually be difficult to read. I like Trade Gothic or News Gothic much better. They seem more controlled and give your the same amount of impact, but without carrying too much weight. Impact seems to be bloated and too weighty.
Alternatives: Try Interstate, Franklin Gothic, Coda