Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Fonts, A Tale of Character

A good font is the difference between making your work look professional, or amateur. Professional fonts don’t necessarily reflect a corporate, or intellectual look either. We don’t have to look far to see that many websites, this one included, steers clear of the classic Arial, Times New Roman and so on. Yet, they still maintain a professional image about them. In this article, I attempt to explain the difference between a good font and a bad font for visual design.

Comic Sans, you knew this was coming

Straight off the bat, let’s talk about the worlds most controversial font. Not exactly the most pleasing of sentences to read, but comic sans is considered an ugly font by most accords. Yet, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its uses. When Comic Sans was made, it was to be a fun, quirky font. It was supposed to say: ‘Hey, I’m fun. You’re fun too, ‘ and it was reserved for designs that would call for it. Designs such as in a speech bubble in a comic (No shocker there).

However, people quickly grew tired of Comic Sans. But what did this font ever do to cause such an outburst? It all started when professionals all over the world decided they wanted their services to be more fun, more friendly… More accessible. All over the world, people were using Comic Sans when really it was highly inappropriate to do so. Click here for a fantastic website which shows some of the asinine uses of the font from the past, which really makes me wonder how people were allowed to make such a mockery of what is basically live-saving, or seriously critical work.

Comic Sans

With that out of the way, I would like to stress further that Comic Sans has its place. It’s just an incredibly niche place.

What, Fonts Cost Money? How About Free Fonts..?

The main font we use here on GeekOut is the native Ubuntu font, a free (even commercially usable) font. You need to take care when picking a font to use in your designs, especially if you wish to make some cash off them. You need to be aware that not all fonts are free to use – Some you need a specific license for. If you’re looking for a good source of free fonts, two really good websites to go to are 1001fonts and Dafont. These both deal with commercially free fonts, as well as some non-commercial ones.

GeekOut-halloween-banner.png

In case you were wondering about our Pumpkin from Halloween, we used a font called You Murderer which I got from 1001fonts. You’ll see this one is not a commercially free one. Before I went and used it, I checked the font info, which explained that it was freeware for non-profit use only. Small-Press publications are able to use it, as are non-commercial ventures. The font info provided gave me a link to the original creators website. If nothing else, this article can be considered a small shout-out to the creator.

If you’re ever thinking of making any cash off your designs and projects, always pick a license free (even commercially free) font. You don’t want to end up getting stung with a nasty letter telling you to not use a font or to pay up. Well, that’s it for this article. Hopefully you found it of some use, but as always, let me know what you thought in the comments below, over on Facebook or on Twitter. Thanks for reading!

8 responses

  1. Comic Sans Forever! G x

    Liked by 1 person

    November 30, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    • GAH! But no honestly, please don’t! :P

      Like

      December 1, 2015 at 1:00 am

  2. Terrifying true story: I know of at least one doctor’s clinic who send out test result letters in Comic Sans!

    Like

    December 1, 2015 at 6:33 am

    • It’s a fun font. Heavily overused, but fun. Sadly, even today I see people writing important emails in comic sans.

      Worse still: Chiller. If you havent seen it, write a serious letter, then change the font to Chiller. Chilling!!!

      Like

      December 1, 2015 at 10:00 am

  3. Great article! Fonts were actually the reason I started my career in advertising. If I had the choice between a great image, video, etc. I would choose fonts every time. I can’t remember how many presentations I have done on typography alone, let alone my custom fonts that I’ve created for professional use. Favorite would have to Agency or perhaps True North.

    Like

    December 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    • Thanks for commenting! It’s surprising how mamy people believe the fonts pre-installed on their system is the be all end all for fonts. The right font tells the story, yet the wrong font gives the wrong impression. As someone who has done presentations on fonts, do you think it is a psychological reason behind the connection we have to fonts? :)

      Liked by 1 person

      December 2, 2015 at 6:29 pm

      • I think it’s a cue. I mean I could write a paper on Star Trek and use Star Wars font and there would be a constant dissociation with the entire project. It’s a direcr link with memory in my opinion. It’s similar if I just write a random word and use a recognizable font, it’ll be registered in your mind.

        Like

        December 2, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      • That makes sense! I guess the child like nature of everyones favourite whipping font feels innocent, hence a huge portion of the world liked it. It feels unthreatening… But that means it feels like it doesnt want to be taken seriously.

        I think the Ubuntu font fills the niche of ‘fun, but sleek’ quite nicely!

        Like

        December 2, 2015 at 6:35 pm

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