Font Madness: Elite Eight

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What's the worst font ever? We're down to the final eight remaining terrible fonts in Font Madness — our quest to crown the worst font ever. The regional finals are here. Vote!

Sans-Serif Regional Final: #1 Comic Sans vs. #11 Chicago

Comic Sans vs Chicago

A friend texted me this week: "Thought Chicago got a bad rap...that's a classic."

The voters have apparently disagreed up to this point, sending our only double-digit seed into the regional finals. It's up against Goliath this week.

Why Comic Sans Is The Worst

We've addressed the elephant in the room straight away: Comic Sans and Papyrus are the odds-on favorites to meet in the "championship." If you need an explanation here, you're probably not qualified to cast a vote.

But who knows, Papyrus was eliminated in the second round. Madness!

Why Chicago Is The Worst

Oh hey, it's that clunky font from your first iPod! I don't care that Chicago has an interesting past with early Macintosh computers, all I see this error message, and I start to twitch with dormant rage.

Voting for this round has concluded.

Serif Regional Final: #4 Informal Roman vs. #2 Goudy Stout

Informal Roman vs Goudy Stout

This is a fascinating match-up. Both fonts are not necessarily household names, but both fonts are inexplicably awful. I truly wish they both could advance.

Why Informal Roman Is The Worst

The font serves zero purpose. Name one instance where it would be appropriate to use this font and where no better alternative exists.

I'll wait. It's so bad.

Why Goudy Stout Is The Worst

Honestly, why? Why does this exist? Since when do fonts come in "obese" as the default weight? Who thought it would be a good idea to include this as standard font in software? So many questions.

Even the font's creator Frederic Goudy said Goudy Stout was designed in a "moment of typographic weakness."

Voting for this round has concluded.

Handwriting Regional Final: #4 Chalkboard vs. #7 Kristen ITC

Chalkboard vs Kristen ITC

There's not much to say here. The childish Comic Sans-esque fonts have spoken. Pick your poison.

Why Chalkboard Is The Worst

Wait...is that?

No, it is not Comic Sans. Someone actually spent the time to make a typeface that is allllmost Comic Sans, but not quite. I think that makes it worse.

Why Kristen ITC Is The Worst

Oh, come on. You're better off taking a physical crayon and just haphazardly scribbling over your monitor than you are producing any material written in Kristen ITC.

Voting for this round has concluded.

Decorative Regional Final: #5 Waker vs. #3 Jokerman

Waker vs. Jokerman

While I'm still disappointed Papyrus is not in this regional final, both Waker and Jokerman are comparably worthy piles of trash.

As one voter noted: "I've always scrolled past them, but the subset of super ornate 90's fonts is truly insane."

Why Waker Is The Worst

Wow. There is a lot to unpack here. This is a bad font even without the Chia Pet hair, but I'm guessing by the font name that those wildly unnecessary lines are supposed to be...sunbeams? I don't know. The actual answer doesn't matter. This is so awful.

Why Jokerman Is The Worst

If I had a dollar for every time I saw a "crafty" business use this font in their signage or branding, I would have a lot of money not to spend at those businesses.

Voting for this round has concluded.


Polls for this round closed at 11:30 a.m. EST on Monday, March 26.

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