Archive for January, 2010

Oh Papyrus, Why Were You Created?

January 5, 2010

Oh Chris Costello, what were you thinking? Clearly an accomplised creative person such as yourself could have seen the Papyrus-trainwreck coming. Yet you forged ahead. And now thousands of inexperienced designers (and anyone with access to a computer) can inappropriately use it to create flyers, announcements, invitations, and menus with a touch of this seudo-ancient-looking font. Even sign shops can use it! (I think I even saw this on a resume years ago. For shame!)

Menu cover for Spice Village. Most of the offending typography is inside, although you get a nice hint of it on the cover.

Menu cover for Spice Village. Most of the offending typography is inside, although you get a nice hint of it on the cover.

As designers everywhere are up in arms about James Cameron’s mis-use of Papyrus in his latest accomplishment, Avatar, I have found a more local offense.

Spice Village Grill in Huntington Village (NY) is one of the newest restaurants to pop up on Main Street. Camera shop turned hookah bar turned restaurant, Spice Village Grill offers an authentic menu, a cozy atmosphere, and friendly servers and owners. And Papyrus. Yes, the rather cheap menu is not just poorly printed, it is done entirely in Papyrus, with a little Monotype Corsiva (yellow type with red drop shadows!) thrown in for good measure.

Oh my eyes! Clear Papyrus overload (among other design injustices.)

Here is something that will surprise you: I don’t think Papyrus is all bad. I don’t. I think it has its place. But that place is unlikely to ever be visited by most of us so Papyrus should just be left alone. Just. Don’t. Do. It. But if you must know, here are the times when Papyrus would be appropriate to use: when you’re designing the DVD or book cover of a biblical account – and you’re printing it on parchment, and when you’re… well, that’s about it. Enjoy!

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