I personally believe that, while it’s encouraged to take chances, just go all out and be crazy and outlandish in certain areas of art and graphic design, the use of subtlety is also a good thing, especially when it comes to a majority of graphic design projects. While I understand that you want to convey how lively, bouncy, or fun something is in the type as well as the art, I believe that if you push it too far, it can backfire on you, and it ends up looking like you’re going to stuff the target audiences’ mouths full of smiling sunshine, fluffy-wuffy clouds, pretty princess with pretty flowers and pretty dresses, rainbows and sparkly pink unicorn droppings. What am I getting at, exactly (besides constructing word diabetes)? Simply put, the font Curlz MT.
Curlz MT (spelled with a Z because as they say, “Poor Literacy is KEWL”) is a serif typeface designed by Carl Crossgrove and Steve Matteson in 1995. While it was meant to be a ‘whimsical’ font (as opposed to fonts that seemed very ‘strict’ and ’stiff’ like Times New Roman, Helvetica, and many other serif fonts), Curlz instead has a sense of forced casualness and ends up looking completely illegible when put into design. Even if the font is used in extreme moderation, graphic designers feel that its usage is just plain tacky and cheap-looking, especially when amateurs or the casual designer uses the typeface in their design (is it just me, or does anyone else seem to notice a pattern in this whole thing?) Designers also feel that people who use this font in their email or instant messaging programs on a regular basis are saying that the content of what they’re writing is secondary to the ‘AREN’T I JUST SO BOUNCY AND ADORABLE’ fake atmosphere that the font tries (and fails) to imply.
Not that Gigi, an imitation font of Curlz MT is any better; personally I think it’s worse since its design combines the illegibility/ decorative burden of the spiral serif that Curlz has, and also adds the effect of ‘LOOK AT HOW HAND-DRAWN I MADE THIS FONT DESIGN, THEREFORE IT LOOKS CASUAL AND AWESOME TO USE TO BE HIP AND COOL!’ trait that Papyrus has. I don’t know if that’s being too harsh on a typeface, but fonts like these are honestly just trying to hard to convey quirkiness. If anyone out there knows good fonts to counteract the horrible nature of these two fonts, please suggest them to me.