If graphic design was a religion, fonts are its priests - some are brilliant and enhance your understanding of the text and others are, well ... best avoided.

Just The Facts

  1. A true graphic designer will be able to tell you the names of all the fonts used in the above image.
  2. A true graphic designer will have over 10 types of Helvetica available on their computer.
  3. In fact, a true graphic designer will have about 20 fonts on their computer that will be indiscernably different

Cracked on Fonts

In this modern day and age, a person's choice of font is as important as their dress-sense, their taste in music or their level of pendantry. It is a rare thing now that a person can reach the age of 21 without an acute sense of the appropriatness and application of fonts.

How... how dare they

For those of you who didn't have such wise parenting, the above chart will, of course, offer some aid. But there will still remain a darkness and confusion over your typography. Many people, baffled by the choice and overwhelmed by the diversity and sometimes ridiculousness of the available typefaces still make grave errors.

Fonting Guidelines

1. Never mix serif and sans serif in a single document unless you know what you're doing. Serifs are the little added bits of 'decoration' to a character - so Arial has practically no serifs, while Excalibur consists of little else. Mixing these two fundamental distinctions in a document is akin to dressing as RoboCop at a Renaissance fair. It looks dumb and makes no fucking sense.

2. The vast majority of fonts should not be used, ever. It's not that they are all terrible, it's just that unless you're making a Cracked Topic page, there is very little call for them. If you do find yourself in the position where you need various and interesting fonts, don't use the ones that are available by default. Everybody knows what fonts are default and your effort at being creative will end up generating the opposite impression.

3. Don't use too many fonts on one page.

4. Don't ever use Comic Sans Serif. It was a font introduced by Microsoft in 1995 who imagined (as only Microsoft can) that having a comic-y font like that will make those Powerpoint presentations slightly less narcoleptic-y.

This is either the worst case of commercial prostitution since Michael Bay's Transformers, or a place where Heidi Montag clones are bred for blood sport.

You may think that this article is attempting to derive humour by treating something as silly as fonts as something rather grave. You'd be wrong. Fonts are a big deal.


Fonts that Inexplicably Cause Joy

These fonts are those that are highly favoured in the font world, fonts that are prefered to other fonts but are to most people exactly the same.

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There are people who'd spit on their own grandma than use Times New Roman, but will swear by the majestic beauty of Georgia. Univers was once the golden boy of typefaces, being used on everything from General Electric products to Apple PowerBooks (remember those?) Many a post-grad has lost sleep over which font to use on his resume - Tahoma or Verdana? Calibri is used by people who actually quite like Arial, but are too afraid to admit it. It's sad, but we at Cracked know that everyone reading this has a favourite font. Wingdings doesn't count.

Fonts that Cause Disproportionate Rage

These are fonts that are either (a) overused (b) badly used (c) just annoying in the first place and (d) all of the above.

This font is acceptable only if used to announce First School plays. We all know they've got shitty computers and that their teachers wanted to be anything else. There is no known reason this is called Algerian.

The name of the font says it itself. Adored by Myspace dwelling Emos who think Vampires sparkle and started listening to Greenday once American Idiot came out.

This font makes the list simply because it is the chosen font for lolcats, memes and other types of writing super-imposed onto a picture. Out of the million of these memes produced everyday, only some are funny and for that reason, it makes this list.

This font has made thousands of girls question the sincerity behind a Valentine's Day card, simply because the script gives the impression of just not giving a shit. It's the Comic Sans of handwriting fonts. It says "this card was bought at a petrol garage". Plus, it will forever be associated with shitty poems telling you that their love (or whatever) will never die.

It's annoying when an 8 year old girl uses this font on her homework. But when a high-street hairdresser uses it to advertise a sale, you'd better develop a passion for hats before taking up their offer.

Prepare youself - here's a picture of the only kind of place you should expect to see these fonts:

Count how many fundamental rules have been broken here

What's so beautiful about this is its predictability. We found this on page two of a Google image search for 'church newsletter'. Just look at that monstrosity. Just look at it. It's like their font change function was speaking in tongues.