Fonts. They can ruin an otherwise perfect piece of work. They can, however, also make something “meh” into a “Wow!”. Whether you’re a design enthusiast who likes the DIY approach or an amateur who likes making customized birthday cards and posters, here are some fonts you should avoid at all costs (and what you can replace them with).
THE BAD: Comic Sans
You probably shouldn’t be too surprised seeing Comic Sans in this list. Before we get to the negative side, let’s get the positives out of the way. Yes, it’s a free and casual style font that isn’t meant to be taken seriously. Yes, it is also one of the few fonts approved for use for Dyslexics by the the British Dyslexia Association (BDA).
That’s great, until suddenly everyone decides to use it for everything. Yup – even the police.
Comic sans is undoubtedly the most infamous font out of them all. One of the reasons why many people seem to find it weird or unpleasant is because it falls right into the uncanny valley. It comes really close to what a person’s handwriting could look like, yet it’s obviously not real. The childish and playful appearance of the font also play a huge role here. Websites like comicsanscriminal.com and bancomicsans.com explain this very well. Believe it or not, there are also lots of other fonts that are suitable for dyslexics that actually look nice, clean and professional. For me, this means that big companies like Starbucks really have no excuse for using the font whatsoever.
The bottom line? Yes, it’s okay to use Comic Sans in actual comic strips, in works meant for young children and when presenting information to a group of dyslexics. But please, PLEASE don’t use it on official documents, serious presentations, signs, posters, album art, signatures etc.
THE GOOD: Digital Strip
If you think Comic Sans is unsuitable even for it’s main purpose, comics, here’s an alternative. A proper and good looking font for making comics. Nice, punchy and contently playful. Although comic sans is okay to use for comic books there’s still a likelihood of over-analytic designers to spot the font and burn down your comic book studio. You never know – better safe than sorry!
On the serious side – Digital Strip looks like the slightly more mature brother of Comic Sans. It keeps the rounded edges of each letter and retains a nice and bold look. It feels kind of like the font used in Marvel comic books, except it’s a bit thicker.
So there you go – if you want or need to put Captain America in your next design piece this is the font.