Why “if you can’t beat them, join them” was never a designer’s motto!
First and foremost, let us start by saying that there’s nothing wrong with Papyrus as a typeface. This is to make sure that no one is under the impression that this rambling is to be interpreted as some sort of battle cry of an anti-Papyrus movement. Instead, it is just a player – and underpaid, overworked actor.
Maybe an anecdote would help. A few weekends ago I found myself at an Artists Market in Bethesda, Md. It was a gorgeous day for walking past beautiful paintings, handmade jewelry, and decorative sculptures. Collecting business cards as I wandered, I couldn’t help but notice how many of these cards – these tokens of remembrance – looked strikingly similar. Not similar due to name, trade or paper it was printed on, but because of the fact that they were set in – gasp! – Papyrus.
This struck me as an odd conundrum. When you hand someone a business card, it is like leaving a bit of yourself with them. This tiny 3.5 x 2 inch piece of cardstock is all they have to possess to find you again. So now two months down the road, your potential client is sitting there with 30 cards from various people, retail stores and organizations, trying to remember which of these was from you. Quite a task when you have five off-white cards that are printed using Papyrus! Note the lack of distinction:
So much for leaving a mark!
Please don’t think that this is limited to our woeful Papyrus. Many businesses feel that their image needs updating, and instead of looking to a design firm or freelance graphic designer – people who, just like you, went through much education to get to their jobs – for help, they say “how hard could it be?” So they instead sit down, open up MS Word, and start scrolling through the 30 fonts that came pre-installed at on their computer and “take a whack” at the great wide world of image branding.
A graphic designer’s job description isn’t “me make pretty now.” Their role is to help you and your business/organization/cause/“life’s work” show the world what possibilities lie within you. To give you an image that will distinguish you from the crowd. And don’t forget: to help you get past the Papyrus sand trap.Posted on July 29, 2004 at 07:49 pm ESTTags: Typography, Fonts, Papyrus
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