7 Fonts To Avoid In Your Next Design Project

Janine Dueck


Janine Dueck


July 9, 2021

7 Fonts To Avoid In Your Next Design Project

An often overlooked yet crucial aspect of graphic design is fonts. 

Just like colors, fonts can completely shift the style and mood of a design. Fonts can foster an entirely different aesthetic depending on the type of font and the manner in which they are used. 

Typography, which is just a fancy word for the art of arranging typefaces, gives the first impression of your design. It communicates a particular tone through its usage. It can draw the eye to certain portions of the design, especially in web design, and can be intertwined with other illustrative elements to highlight important information.

We tend to shy away from lengthy text, so using excellent typography to highlight the important stuff will help to communicate clearly and effectively to your audience. 

There is a ton of theory behind how typography is perceived, the readability of certain font styles, where to use certain styles, and so on. 

But in layman's terms: typography can either make or break design, and being mindful of the fonts you choose (and how they are arranged) is extremely important.

In the design world, there are a ton of what we will call “Voldemort fonts” – fonts that must not be named. 

These are the fonts that you simply avoid at all costs. They are the types of fonts that at one time were extremely popular and used across the board for many design pieces. These were the most readily available fonts on Word and even Microsoft Paint and were often paired with a lovely hue of vibrant magenta or aqua coloring (can you sense our sarcasm?)

Many recent and trendy fonts have been used so much they have become bland and a bit worn out. Fonts are like fashion – sometimes, they simply go out of style. There are always new styles, new aesthetics, and new typography to be utilized. There are also still a ton of classics you can’t go wrong with (we will include a few suggestions along the way!)

Here you have it: the fonts your church should avoid in your design projects. We hope you laugh as much reading this blog as we did writing it!

1. Comic Sans

This font is often tossed around in the creative world and has become a running joke amongst designers all over. It’s almost as if hating this font has become the hipster designer’s #1 personality trait.

Comic Sans brings that “5 year-old drawing with a crayon” kind of vibe. Often found in elementary school bulletin boards, this handwritten font brings a youth-like charm. And apparently, some ill-informed college professors have even used the beauty of Comic Sans in their professional college course syllabi.

Despite being pretty much the worst font for professional design, there are a few perks. Apparently, the “Comic Sans Trick” theorizes that if you draft essays while using the Comic Sans font, you will write better and write faster. 

There are actually other legitimate studies that show that using this font is beneficial for those with dyslexia due to the distinct style of each letter, making it simpler for those with this impairment to read. 

Despite the legit and the theorized helpful uses of Comic Sans, we would definitely recommend steering clear of this design in your church graphics. Unless you want to take the challenge to actually make Comic Sans look decent such as this designer did. 

2. Bleeding Cowboy

If we could define “early 2000s youth group” with a font, this would be it. Bleeding Cowboy is one of those fonts that was used to try to bring a more rustic style to designs that were often littered with plain san serif fonts. 

This font was pretty popular when churches were obsessed with pallet backdrops for some reason. We can probably bet this font was used on some youth group t-shirts for sure too.

Despite its rustic looking, distressed style, we don’t recommend using this font in your modern church designs. If you’re looking for a cooler font with the same distressed look, check out Sonder.

3. Papyrus

This is another font all the veteran designers have a good chuckle about. Another of the dozen or so “default fonts” on Microsoft Word, this ancient-looking font is one we just love to hate. 

This font was one of those “go-to” fonts because it was simply different from the typical Arial or Times New Roman fonts. As the font library began expanding over the years, Papyrus slowly faded to the background – antique charm and all.

Although it's looked down upon, we can’t deny the popularity of this font. Papyrus’ biggest claim to fame is its usage in the major motion picture Avatar. However, Papyrus has caused quite a stir over the years, even driving some to madness.

4. Impact

The name for this font seems to be fitting because it has been one of those go-to fonts for bringing the biggest “impact” to a certain part of the design. It’s the font clients think of when they ask designers to really make something “pop!” 

This big, bold font is large and in charge and is often used for major headlines, especially in advertisements and probably your church bulletin at some point.

The font itself does the job, but it has been greatly overused in design over the years. We recommend avoiding this one unless you want your design to look like an early 2000s classifieds newspaper ad. If you’re looking for a unique font alternative to Impact that can bring a fun, asymmetrical look to your design, BW Stretch is a great option.

5. Bradley Hand

When trying to make a certain line or word stand out in design, our default is to find a fancy or different-looking font to use in place of our plain default font. For some reason, Bradley Hand was one of those go-tos. 

Handwritten fonts are great because they add a personal, organic touch to design. They have seriously come a long way since Bradley Hand was the major player! T
This is actually a very popular trend right now in design and can be done extremely well when the right font is chosen. Some designers even opt to throw out automated fonts altogether and add in their own handwriting to design. These aren’t meant to be perfect, which makes them all the better. Artomoro is an excellent choice for a nice, handwritten font.

6. Bebas Neue

This is one of those fonts that made the list not for its inherent badness, but for its drastic overuse in design.

Bebas Neue is basically Impact if Impact went on the Jenny Craig diet. This font has been used similarly to Impact with bringing a “pop” to parts of a graphic, website, or other design projects.

This font aesthetically works in a lot of different types of designs which is why it has been so widely used in the past ten or so years. Big, bold fonts are definitely still a major trend, but Bebas Neue is a font that has been greatly exhausted.

7. Helvetica

This font being on the list may cause a bit of a stir, but we can all admit that Helvetica has become an extremely overused font. Helvetica is a veteran font and has been around since the 1950s and is the default choice for many designers. It has become the Arial of the 2020s.

This font is very sleek, simple, and has a ton of different variations, which make it great for a variety of purposes in design. Helvetica is actually one of the most used fonts in major brands logos such as The North Face, Jeep, and even Microsoft to name a few. Despite its beauty, it is still pretty overused in graphic design. 

If you’re looking for a fresh alternative to Helvetica, Akzidenz-Grotesk is a great option. This font has a sleek style and also features a ton of different weights and orientations.

There are literally thousands of fonts out there to choose from, with different fonts popping up each and every day! Typography is an essential form of graphic design, and typography designers are constantly creating new ways for us to convey our messages through our design work.

When choosing fonts for your design, make sure to find fonts that fit in with your branding, purpose of the design project and are generally on-trend. We recommend checking out some of the fonts shared in this blog and avoiding some overused and outdated ones! If you want expert design help, our team at Pro MediaFire is here to help! Learn more about how our design plan and keep your graphics on trend!

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