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Fonts: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted by: Thomas Harrison-Lord on 30 October 2017

What separates a good font from a bad font? Turns out, quite a bit. Our talented design studio team sat down for a quick discussion about their most loved and most loathed fonts, and why each one makes the list.

The font design of the text used on film posters, billboard adverts, television programme titles and even this very blog is an important decision, with hours upon hours spent making sure the font fits within the overarching philosophy. Being unique is a key factor as – depending on the marketing campaign – the text may be read millions of times, by millions of people.

So, without further ado, here is our team’s favourite (and least favourite) fonts.

The Good

Gotham Font Design

Gotham

Gotham is like a Helvetica +10. It features a lovely upper and lower case design with lots of weights. This font has a dirty little secret, which is a twin brother: Montserrat. This is almost identical to Gotham, but part of the Google Fonts service and therefore free to download and use. Handy.

Also, Gotham reminds me of Batman. That’s the main reason I like it really. Paul

AW Conqueror Font Design

AW Conqueror

The AW Conqueror family of fonts originated from a range of designer paper, which gave access to the font family for free as a promotional tool. There’s a large selection within this font family, all are very clean in design. It covers everything from decorative to fine Didot designs and even sans-serif. Mainly, they are just beautiful letters. Emma

Roboto Font Design

Roboto

Roboto is categorised as a neo-grotesque sans-serif and is commonly used for interfaces thanks to its legible design. Think of the Spotify font, but ever-so-slightly different. It originates from Google, as they created a new font for the Android operating system. I enjoy the super-clean and modern design. Neil

The Bad

Bertram Font Design

Bertram LET

A weird, sterile, font which is used far too much considering how ugly it is. Terrible. Whenever you see some signage that you think is a bad design, I bet they’ve used Bertram LET. I used it once for a comic, but it felt dirty doing so, betraying all of my design sensibilities. Once you see it, you can never unsee it. Most unfortunate. Paul

Lobster Font Design

Lobster

This font is drastically overused. I don’t mind it per se in lower case, but the caps are simply terrible and the world has seen it far too many times. It’s just that go-to vintage font that you see everywhere. Emma

Gill Sans Font Design

Gill Sans

Slightly controversial, this one. A classic and popular font, that doesn’t look too bad. Plus, it is widely used. But, I really don’t like the context – Gill Sans was created by Eric Gill, and by any measurement, he was not a nice individual. There are all sorts of negative connotations when using Gill Sans for marketing campaigns. I once worked somewhere that made it their corporate font. Awkward. Neil

The Ugly

The upshot of our design team being so into fonts is that their lives are affected by them on a daily basis. “Every time I see a restaurant menu in a bad font, I quiver.” is banded around the room during the font discussion.

“I once nearly took a picture of a car badge because the font kerning [spacing, to you or I] was just so bad. I couldn’t handle it”

So, while I hope you enjoyed this blog post about Fox Agency’s favourite and least-favourite fonts, spare a thought for graphic designers across our nation. They live with the constant criticism of font design, nibbling away at the back of their consciousness, every time they open their eyes.

It’s a hard life.

Our creative studio design team are experts in re-inventing or launching brands.

Categories: Design
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