“I threw up a little in my mouth when I realized I would have to read that ugly font throughout the film,” says one blogger of 'Papyrus', the font used by James Cameron for the subtitles in Avatar. Thus proving once again that there is no area of life so trivial that someone can’t get very angry about it on the internet. I mean, Papyrus,
Possibly it is, yes. Meanwhile, this is an entire website devoted to the abolition of Comic Sans, a typeface which the wonderfully snarky blogger LMNOP describes as “the AOL of fonts; the very accessibility that made it popular and novel in the 1990s became its downfall. These days, just like an e-mail from an "@ aol.com" address has a distinct lack of credibility, an e-mail written in this font makes the sender seem ridiculous and out of touch.” (She goes on to similarly demolish users of Curlz MT - "Curlz MT is not a font; it's a cry for help" – and Vivaldi – "Because everything you write should look like a wedding invitation").
The trouble with fonts is that once you start looking for them you can’t see anything else. Little wonder, then, that people have started suffering from Font Paralysis, a very 21st century disease whereby writers are unable to start their great novels, poems or CVs because they can’t settle on the ‘right’ font.
...Chapter One. I mean, Chapter One. No that’s too 1950s newspaperman. Perhaps I mean Chapter One. Oh God, will Verdana subtly dilute the carefully-crafted ambience of my potential short story? ...
The Canadian blogger Phronk argues that Font Snobs are buffoons and plonkers. Phronk thinks fonts don’t matter and he’s drawn a clever flow chart to illustrate this. “A font's job is to display words” he insists, correctly. Unfortunately he adds: “So sure, that means being neutral and getting out of the words' way”, which is precisely the point being made by the Ban Comic Sans movement.
Fonts only matter if they’re visible. Like Wimbledon ballboys or manservants, the best ones - Ariel, Times, Georgia – are the ones you don’t notice at all.