Cheeps from Hunter-McMain

From Concept to Completion. Creative Advertising and Graphic Design Services.

1 Comment

Top 10 Things Designers Hate: Number 7

Welcome back to our blog series, “Top 10 Things Designers Hate!” If you haven’t already, definitely go check out our previous posts in this series, about “borrowed” images, rate cards, and ads with too much text! Today’s post will cover another topic that is near and dear to the hearts of many designers: Fonts.


7) You say, “Let’s use something fun, like Comic Sans!”

One of the most important things to know about design is that Comic Sans is not your friend. Nor are Papyrus, Times New Roman, or any other over-used fonts that can be found in Microsoft Word.

This is a good example of a poor font choice. The font is cutesy and fun, but the Harley-Davidson Riding Club should seem cool and tough! Image courtesy of

This is a good example of a poor font choice. The font is cutesy and fun, but the Harley-Davidson Riding Club should seem cool and tough! Image courtesy of

Designers see fonts like this as a “lazy” design choice. Since they are so frequently used, they are perceived as all-purpose fonts. That means they are not going to provide that specific, individualized tone that you’re hoping to achieve with your ad. There are even websites devoted to pointing out bad uses of popular fonts.

Not that we don't love the funny papers! Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Your designer likely has a stockpile of hundreds of fonts that aren’t immediately recognizable by the average person. They will certainly have something with the feel you’re looking for, but with the added advantage that clients will not recognize it. That means that they’ll think of the font as unique, and associate it with your business—instead of with the Sunday funny-papers.

A great font can help send the message that you want to send, and tell your story, visually. Instead of asking for a specific font you already know about, try focusing on a general look and tone that you want for your ad! It may help to bring in examples of ads you like, and explain what about them works for you. With that information, your designer will be able to generate a design (with a font) that is perfect for you and your business.

This Kodak ad makes great use of typography! By using a font that evokes an old typewriter, they emphasize the comparison they’re making between pictures and words. Image courtesy of

This Kodak ad makes great use of typography! By using a font that evokes an old typewriter, they emphasize the comparison they’re making between pictures and words. Image courtesy of

Related Articles

6 Practices for Good Website Design

Business Tips and Trends


This is the five-second rule for good web design. First impressions should be clear, concise and to the point. Your value proposition should be clear to your audience on your website and address their needs immediately. If they don’t see content that is compelling to them, then they will leave your website.

Command Your Audience

What do you want your users to do when they first visit your website? Would you like them to call you? Request a quote? Work with you? It could be anything so long as they understand what you’re asking them to do with your call-to-action.

Content Rules the Land

Do not let your content go by the way side otherwise your audience will see outdated content. Be bold, keep it fresh, keep it real and show them your company is active in creating new content. (Note: This also helps your organic search engine optimization!)

Navigating the Road

Moving from page to page in a website should be simple. Don’t litter your site with dead ends, 404 errors, or dead links. Navigation for your website should be smooth sailing!

R.I.P. Flash Websites

Flash websites used to be all the rage until customer bases starting growing via mobile devices. Most mobile devices don’t support flash or the website is painstakingly slow. Avoid flash and stick to the basics.

The Typography Tuxedo

Sometimes, we get bombarded by so many banners flashing, blinking, glaring at us through the computer screen that we can’t even digest the information that the site is trying to communicate. “Respect text contrast.” Take your typography skills out and let it go classic with black on white. It has and still is the most effective way to present type. With the right amount of contrast on your site, it will make all the difference.



How Typography Works as a Function of Design

Typography is the art or process of setting and arranging typefaces to stylize the appearance. A font is another word for typeface. Did you know that Helvetica has 111 different styles? There are two basic categories fonts fit into. There are “serif” and “san serif” and the difference is very simple. One has decorative “feet” while the other doesn’t. “Sans” (a French word that means without) helps you remember which is which. San-serif type fonts are without the curls or small appendixes (feet) that we find at the end of each letter. Script fonts are much like penmanship or cursive writing. There are 90,000 typefaces available today, with over 455,000 unique individual font files, and 25,000 font families. That’s a lot of type!!

Fonts are aligned in four different ways. Flush left means the text is aligned along the left margin or gutter, also known as left-aligned or ragged right. Flush right, the text is aligned on the right margin, also known as right-aligned or ragged left. Justified text is aligned along both the left and right side margine and is also known as fully justified. The last type of alignment is centered – where the text is neither left nor right margin but an even gap on each side of the line.

We found a great link with infographics to teach you more about typography:

There are special fonts that are websafe and should be used to enable search-engine friendly browsers. Not all fonts are viewed the same on other people’s computer so it is wise to choose specific fonts for easier readability on the web.

Here is a list of common fonts to all versions of Windows and Mac computers: Arial, Comic Sans, Courier, Georgia, Impact, Lucida/Monaco, Palatino, Geneva, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, Verdana, Symbol, and Webdings/Zapf Dingbats.


More Typography Facts!

  • Leading is the space between lines of text and is measured from baseline to baseline. Leading is important when setting paragraphs because it influences the readability of the text.
  • Tracking and Kerning refer to the adjustment of space between type. Tracking is the adjustment of a group of letters (or a word). Kerning refers to the space between individual letters.
  • Columns are used when shorter lines of text are needed to help break up a large space so they are easier to read. A general rule is to have no more than 50-60 characters on each line. This is a standard number depending on the project.
  • Too many type faces is not a good thing. Try to limit each design piece to 2 or 3 type faces and styles. This usually means the header should be one bold, standout font and the body copy should be another. Subheads should be smaller than headline but bolder than the body copy.
  • The last piece of advice on Typography – If you can’t design typefaces to be visually pleasing, hire an expert!