Monday, March 16, 2009

Bad Type Sighting, 090316

In virtually any discipline, the via negationis, the negative example, can be an effective teacher. This is at least as true with graphic design and typography as it is with anything else, and in our era of aesthetic devaluation good examples (which is to say, bad examples) are to be found in abundance.

Case in point, this little photocopied beauty that struck me like a Three Stooges jab to the eyeballs when I opened a well-meaning card from a local bookkeeping business. (Pertinent information is blacked out to protect the guilty.) Y’know, I freely admit that my accounting skills are laughable. That’s why I hire a pro to do my taxes and provide consultation. But since these folks didn’t feel the need to hire a professional graphic designer to handle their promotion that got sent to this one (I know…times are tough), I feel all the more justified in rubbing it in a little!

If you insist, in the face of all protestations to the contrary, on doing it yourself, here’s a little typographical tip for you, free of charge: don’t use script fonts when any all caps work is required! (Or, vice versa, just refuse to use any all caps if you’re dead-set on using a script font. Or explore some other option like substituting a roman font for obligatory acronyms, etc.) That “Congratulations” is just painful. And the only thing scarier than the IRS itself is seeing the acronym spelled out in gaudy, flourishing, jostling, self-contradicting script capital letters. Kinda like those pantyhose commercials that Joe Namath did back in the 70’s. Ick! No thanks.

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