Font Madness: Sweet Sixteen

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What's the worst font ever? Two rounds of voting have already eliminated some early favorites in Font Madness — our quest to crown the worst font ever.

#1 Comic Sans vs. #4 Trebuchet MS

Comic Sans vs. Trebuchet MSWhy 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.

Why Trebuchet MS Is The Worst

Any font that rose to prominence because of Internet Explorer deserves a special place in typography purgatory. Trebuchet MS tried to bill itself as an early "cool" choice for a web-friendly font, but ultimately ended up being an unwanted reminder of boring PowerPoint presentations.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#11 Chicago vs. #7 Bank Gothic

Chicago vs Bank GothicWhy 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.

Why Bank Gothic Is The Worst

No, this is not a cool, edgy font. It's an overused movie poster font that only gets selected because it's slightly wider than most other default system fonts. What a concept! Oh, and it has its own Tumblr.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#9 Souvenir vs. #4 Informal Roman

Souvenir vs Informal RomanWhy Souvenir Is The Worst

Souvenir is the Papyrus of the pre-internet generation. While it could probably pass favorably for "retro-hipster" in today's world, the 1970s bludgeoned Souvenir to death in just about everything.

Why Informal Roman Is The Worst

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

I'll wait. It's so bad.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#6 Wide Latin vs. #2 Goudy Stout

Wide Latin vs. Goudy StoutWhy Wide Latin Is The Worst

This doesn't even look like a real font. It looks like someone took a subpar bold font and just increased the width by 200 percent. Voilà, Wide Latin!

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.

#9 Willona vs. #4 Chalkboard

willona-vs-chalkboardWhy Willona Is The Worst

Willona, you're taking the fall for the entire Millennial Wedding Script genre here. There's a new custom typeface popping up everyday that more or less looks exactly like this. You know the type. It's calligraphy with a dash of pumpkin spice latte.

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.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#11 Vivaldi Italic vs. #4 Kristen ITC

Vivaldi Italic vs. Kristen ITCWhy Vivaldi Italic Is The Worst

If you like illegible capital letters and unpleasantly distinct fake handwriting, Vivaldi Italic is your guy.

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.

#9 Giddy Up vs. #5 Waker

giddy-up-vs-wakerWhy Giddy Up Is The Worst

What are you supposed to be? Ropes? Little lasso-like curls? Giant pigtails? Do we really need one on every single character? Seems a bit much.

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.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#3 Jokerman vs. #2 Gigi

Jokerman vs GigiWhy 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.

Why Gigi Is The Worst

Microsoft describes Gigi as a font with a "charming and fresh handwritten quality." Keep in mind Microsoft also produced Windows Vista.

Voting for this round has concluded.


Polls for this round closed at 11:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 21.

Illumine8 Marketing & PR is a Frederick, Maryland-based firm that combines the power of business development strategy, marketing creativity and customer-focused sales to deliver sustainable and measurable results.

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