“He just highlighted Avatar… clicked the drop-down menu, and just randomly selected Papyrus… like a thoughtless child.” I was about to fall asleep saturday night when I heard Ryan Gosling freaking over a font on Saturday Night Live. Hilarious!
Freaking over a font
For most people watching, it probably looked like a ridiculous reaction to an innocent font, Papyrus. What’s really funny, is that the designers here at Opus would probably have a very similar reaction to anything set in Papyrus. It’s not innocent, it’s highly expressive, like bad perfume. You don’t want to smell it, you don’t want to see it. It’s an old-fashioned, stereotypical Egyptian? style of text. It also feels dated and unsophisticated. One designer described it as irritating and the “King of bad fonts.”
People may think it’s weird but designers usually have very strong opinions about fonts. Ryan Gosling does a great job showing his distaste and horror. He gives examples of where Papyrus is used: offbrand t-shirts and Shakira merch.
A character in the skit described it as “tribal yet futuristic.” Boy, that’s a stretch.
A few years ago Julia and I received a resume set in Papyrus and it was very difficult to take it seriously. Does this person have a connection to Egypt? Do they make paper in their spare time? Maybe they should have printed it on handmade paper for full effect.
When we do logo design, we look at many, MANY fonts until we find one that fits the brand personality of the client. Then we refine the letter forms in some way to ensure that the logo has a unique and custom feel. We are obsessive because they DO have the power to evoke a response, perhaps not as intense as Ryan’s in the skit, but strong, nevertheless.
P.S. I think whoever wrote the skit probably has a significant other who is a graphic designer.