10 Fonts You Should Avoid Using

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Katelyn Benfield July 22, 2020

10 Fonts to Avoid

We often hear a lot about the great fonts that make up a brand identity, but what happens when the fonts you chose for your brand aren’t quite serving you in the way they should? Typefaces have the power to make or break your brand, so, to make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 fonts to avoid while building your brand.

Here are the top 10 worst fonts to use for your website, branding efforts, and content in no particular order:

  1. Comic Sans -

    Originally designed to mimic the style of early comic books, this type is often used to communicate playfulness, innocence, and naivety. Using Comic Sans will lessen your brand’s impact as knowledgeable and experienced.

  2. Brush Script*

    Brush Script tends to replicate the advertising style of the 1950s, however, its place in contemporary design is very limited. Advertising in that period is now known as cheesy and over the top. The high contrast and the big, open, organic style in the letterforms make it difficult to read especially as anything other than display type.

  3. Times New Roman

    Times New Roman was designed to be straight-forward and bland. It has a very specific use. While it is good for academic and journalistic usage, when using it to represent your brand, it will purposefully take the life out of your brand.

  4. Helvetica

    A pioneer of mid-century gothic sans-serifs, Helvetica has it’s time and place. Like Times New Roman, it was designed to have zero impact on the meaning of the words. While it is legible and has a clean design, when used incorrectly, it gives your brand a cold approach.

  5. Curlz MT

    Just no.

    Curlz MT is overly ornate and will distract the reader from what you are saying. Like Comic Sans, it communicates playfulness and naivety and will take away from your brand’s ability to show knowledge, experience, and trustworthiness.

  6. Zapfino*

    While this was designed by world-renown typographer and calligrapher Hermann Zapf, typically it’s overused and used in the wrong context. It’s designed to display traditional calligraphic forms, but for the most part, it’s not a good representation of a brand. It’s hard to read because of the thin stroke widths and the elongated letterforms. If used, it can only be used as a short display type.

  7. Signpainter*

    Signpainter is designed to mimic the style of sign painting in businesses. While it has its place on specific styles of signage, using it as a brand type could hurt your legibility and brand representation. It’s meant for large form display type so due to the nature, it will be more difficult to read as body copy.

  8. Snell Roundhand*

    Snell Roundhand is a traditional script that’s mainly used for occasions. While the temptation is to elevate your brand with a calligraphic type, however, due to the nature of the letterforms, it reduces legibility and communicates a soft, gentle, and light brand.

  9. Papyrus

    Oh boy.

    Originally inspired by Biblical text, the designer looked to traditional forms of Roman style lettering used with a brush on papyrus paper to give it the unique texture that it has. A lot of its contemporary uses are linked to eastern thinking, earth and nature-based brands, and harmonious living. While the letterforms themselves are well designed, the over usage and misuse of this type have given it a bad reputation. Being designed for a specific purpose makes it stand out in a brand that does not follow those characteristics.

  10. Trajan

    Designed as a classical Roman serif typeface, it’s normally chosen for its classical and elegance; however, its overuse has taken away from it’s elegance. Its contemporary use is mainly for period piece movies and tv. This typeface is meant to be used for brands that want to appear classical, traditional, and unchanging. On the other hand, this type design will make your brand feel cold, non-adaptive, and even outdated.

At Red Razor Marketing, we understand the importance of creating a brand that consumers are drawn to and that work well for your business. We can help you make an SEO and user-friendly website for your business and define your brand in a clear and positive way. If you’re interested in rebranding your business or website, contact us today at (864) 207-4193 for a brand audit!