I cannot hold my peace.

For a long time, I have wanted to blog about something I feel strongly about, but I have restrained myself for fear of offending the majority of my readership. But now, after having watched The Office last night, I feel that it is time to let my opinion be heard.

On the Office, we saw that Jan has started a candle company. And I was so pleased to see that the set people chose to use Papyrus as Jan's candle font.

They understand.

What do they understand? They understand that everyone in the world uses Papyrus and that it's everyone's go-to font if they want to design something "cool." I have seen so much Papyrus in the last several years that it triggers an eye twitch every time I see it.

I can forgive non-designers who choose to use the font. I may make fun of all the ward bulletins, programs, Relief Society announcements, work posters, and baby shower announcements that display Papyrus, but I won't strike these people off my friends list (which is good, because I'd be left with no friends at all).

Papyrus is everywhere. This is what made Jan's candle branding so believable, and so I award extra points to the astuteness of The Office's set people.

What I cannot forgive is people who do actually brand their company by using this font. On a stroll up Main Street in Park City, I once counted seven separate businesses who used Papyrus as their business font. I've seen restaurant menu's use the font. I've even seen motion pictures use the font, which is extremely unacceptable. (You hire someone to make a font that's entirely unique to the movie, you fools! You don't use a font that comes loaded onto every computer in the world!)

Papyrus is not unique, and that's probably the biggest problem. If you want to design something that will pop, you don't choose the font that all of your neighbors and associates and general acquaintance has also chosen a billion times.

I promise that if you currently use Papyrus or have used Papyrus in the past, our friendship will survive it. Don't feel that you need to apologize to me, because probably 90 percent of the women reading this have used Papyrus before. I admit that when I first started to learn about design, I used it to create a poster that I was really proud of. But if you want my excellent, professional, valuable advice, I wouldn't use it again. Ever. I would delete it from your computer.

And then, one day, you might be like me and refuse to go back to restaurants who have Papyrus on the menu or shop at stores who use it in their branding. I can only hope that our united efforts will serve to abolish Papyrus completely from this earth.

27 comments:

Murray Terreno di Amore said...

You font snob, you.

Jon Boy said...

Did you notice that the signs above the restrooms at Olive Garden were in Papyrus? I found that fitting for some reason.

Janssen said...

Hello, best post ever.

Gretchen said...

Oh man, I hate Papyrus too! It's nice to find someone I can admit it to (besides my husband) who won't be offended. Pretty much ditto to everything you said :)

Th. said...

.

Papyrus is the new Trajan.

Slash Copperplate.

Slash Hevetica.

Slash Comic Sans.

Sarah said...

I felt the same way about jester a while ago... well, i still do, but it isn't used as often anymore.

Hannah said...

That is a horrible font! I hate Comic Sans with the same passion.

Tom Finnigan said...

Looks like you're not alone.

Comic sans is still winning though.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/48z98h

Shop Girl* said...

I am a papyrus offender.

It is my MSN font. *bows head in shame* haha

petit elefant said...

Oh Cicada, I hope our friendship can survive this. That's the font on my mailbox. Maybe you can design a font specifically for our family. Czarnowskowitz. We could call it that too.

Emily said...

OH! Other people have already posted about this, but the one that I hate is actually Comic Sans. I started hating it in middle school (when it was the trendy font for teachers to use) and have loathed it since.

The time when Papyrus is really annoying to me is when the spacing is messed up. I don't know why it seems to happen more often with Papyrus, or why it's more noticeable to me, but I think that looks so tacky.

AzĂșcar said...

I don't like Papyrus, it seems too...Egyptian.

Does that make sense?

If I even try to use it all of a sudden the words just look wrong.

Do not get me started on Comic Sans.

I'm all about deco-looking fonts.

Kristeee said...

I was going to be all clever and ask how you feel about Comic Sans . . . but apparently I should've commented earlier in the day to have looked clever. :)

girl with freckles said...

So it's not just me. And I second (or third... or fourth) the Comic Sans remarks.

Jordan said...

Until you posted the font I was sure I had never seen it before. Then, this morning, I found it on a business form I was printing up. I plead ignorance! I didn't make the form, I just copied it. But now that I've seen it I understand what you mean.

Audrey said...

I'm not a professional designer by any means. Actually, I'm a Spanish teacher. But I am a closet font nerd, and now I feel all validated and stuff, because there are certain fonts I just can't handle, two of which are Papyrus and Comic Sans.

I designed my sister's wedding invitations, and when I was printing up a couple of different samples, I did a couple just to be silly... Jokerman, Chiller, Papyrus, etc. And when my parents were looking through them, wouldn't you know that my father stopped at the one done in Papyrus and said, "Ooh, I think I like this one best so far." And he was totally serious! And then my mother shared with me that Papyrus is Dad's favorite font, and he writes all his talks for Church in Papyrus, his business cards are in Papyrus, and so on. And then I had to voluntarily disinherit myself. OK, not really, but I certainly was glad that I escaped the poor-taste-in-fonts gene.

Jon Boy said...

I must respectfully disagree with th. Comic Sans and Papyrus definitely belong in the same league. I personally don't like Helvetica, but I don't find it visually offensive like those two. I don't like it for body text, but it can be alright for display text. Same with Copperplate Gothic—not terrible, but easy to abuse. Trajan, though, is a pretty classy font, in my opinion.

Aoi Sakura said...

I always have been annoyed by how much people use that font, but I never knew what it was called... Now I do. So I guess I hate Papyrus, too. It really is everywhere.

C. said...

I would like to state with some pride that I have never used Papyrus... but I am very guilty of using Copperplate.

Rynell said...

You are not alone.

TOWR said...

I laughed at the font on Jan's labels too! Because ANYBODY who wants to show that a product is natural or earthy uses papyrus. Sigh.

I should talk: I type all my crap in Times New Roman 12pt. single-spaced 1" margin all the way 'round. Bo-ring.

Nemesis said...

Just got my hair cut at a place that listed all its services and prices in Papyrus on a stone tile. That is SUCH a spa font.

bedelia said...

I did my wedding invitations in that.

bedelia said...

just kidding.

jeri said...

I have to admit that I used that font just the other day. I had to make a placeholder ad that said "this ad is missing, find it!!!" so I used both Comic Sans AND Papyrus. I figured if I could get people to either barf or experience uncontrollable burning-of-the-eyes, they would be motivated to get the advertisers to turn stuff in on time. ;)

Kelly said...

I think you're my husband's favorite person now. He's always pointing out Papyrus and how trendy and annoying it is. I read him your post and he kept exclaiming, "Yes!" and "Exactly!"

ambrosia ananas said...

I *love* Papyrus. I am one of those people with poor taste. I refrain from using it, though, entirely because of you.