Recently I discovered a Tumblr that features famous logos done in the font Comic Sans. Comic Sans is infamous in the design community as one of the ugliest fonts around. It’s not just that Comic Sans is ugly, it’s also overused. But it’s not the only one. The Papyrus font is another overused typeface. Mostly it’s used for restaurant menus, but you sometimes see it in more professional contexts. It was even used in James Cameron’s epic sci-fi film, “Avatar”. In any case, it got me to thinking, what would other famous logos look like in Papyrus? Let’s take a look.
Some of the logos look fine in Papyrus font. Logos that use simple sans-serif fonts, like Amazon and Walmart, look okay. Logos with elaborate script fonts, like Ford and Coca-Cola, are virtually unrecognizable. The CNN logo looks pretty good, though after connecting the letters and adding the white stripe, it no longer looks like Papyrus. That brings us to the heart of the question. Why is Papyrus such a bad font for logos? It has to do with the proportions. Papyrus isn’t inherently bad. It’s just badly proportioned. Look at the size of the capital letters compared to the size of the lowercase letters. In many places, it just doesn’t work. And while a competent graphic designer can tweak the proportions, the result may bear little resemblance to the original Papyrus font. That’s because a good wordmark logo shouldn’t be made from a stock font. It should be tweaked, so that it becomes a unique work of art in and of itself.
Next week: logos in Algerian font.