Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Poor, Pitiful Papyrus

CAUTION: Design Rant, dead ahead.

We do business in the Adirondacks of New York State. The region is full of log home builders, fishing guides, lumberjacks, beauticians, jewelers, orthodontists, and street performers—all using the same font to help position themselves as earthy and accessible: Papyrus.

This has to stop. Paging through local publications, we see the same tired approach time and time again. It's tough to watch.

Sometimes the same folks use a "Got Milk" knock-off for their ad campaign. Or try to duplicate the Mastercard "Priceless" approach—but that's another rant altogether.

Papyrus is a bit of a thing in the office. We all have our own design pet peeves. Sean doesn't like letterspaced lower case letters. Derek is offended by coated paper, Trina hates off-the-shelf patterns, Raeanne has a conspiracy theory involving Pantone colors, but we all pretty-much agree that Papyrus is overused, and bad to begin with.

And should be phased out immediately.

At which point Zapfino will assume the role of horribly-designed-yet-incredibly-asscessible, and overused, typeface.


Amanda said...

Personally, I have to say that I appreciate the many companies, local and otherwise, who use Papyrus. It is my slamdunk, Wow, she's really paying attention opporunity, to offer commentary on design when spending time with Sean.
If you'll excuse me, I have to go bone up on Zapfino.

Kristy said...

The chef at the Club, who coinsidentally use to work at the Sagamore, used Papyrus on the new menus. I think I insulted him when I said that Red Lobster used it on their menus also. Bad papyrys! We can't be too hard on those who don't know any better, we all develop little type crushes now and then. I will always have a special place in my heart for Frutiger and Gill Sans.

Derek said...

This font is as old as the Egyptians who used it as paper.

Anonymous said...

I knew I had made a smart move joining the Tramp team when I heard that everyone else shared my loathing of Papyrus. It's hideous, "I'm rough but still elegant" cop out is literally EVERYWHERE... from cans of organic garbanzo beans at Price Chopper to horror movie covers at Blockbuster (no, seriously). Papyrus... your end is near!!

john yost said...

I love papyrus, where would the world be without it. My only hope is that I could freehand this font and use it on all my checks and notes to people. Shame on you.;-)


D Balogh said...

Ah Papyrus, I remember a friend back in college that decided to use that for a project (99-00? sometime then), and even then I hated it. Down here in NYC we have banned it along with Comic Sans and other dreaded fonts. Unfortunately upstate just loves anything that resembles that good-ole 'Adirondack rustic' look. Alas. Way to keep those people in check.

PS I'm from Q-bury originally, but in Brooklyn these days. I'm at: http://www.balogh-design.com