Typeface Tuesday – Papyrus

Much has been written (sneared) about the typeface Comic Sans, and how evil it is. I have already written about it and argued that while it is not a good font much of the hatred towards it comes from its misuse rather than the font itself. There are times and places where it could be considered acceptable to use Comic Sans. The times and places suitable to use Papyrus are far, far fewer.Typeface Tuesday Papyrus

If you are looking to provide a quick, cheap impression of an Egypt-lite desert country than Papyrus is your face. Anything else, sadly forget it. The deliberately rough, aged edges of the characters immediately stifle use as there is no clean sharp version to use as an alternative. The rough edges mean that the font only works in a certain range of sizes, too small and it becomes too fuzzy, too large and the rough edges stop even looking like that and become lumps and bumps.

The letterforms are too regular, rough edges notwithstanding, to look like calligraphy yet too irregular to reflect a Roman typeface. The large capitals by comparison makes the lower case seem small and weak, while it always needs work with the kerning to balance. How do I know this? I have needed an urgent and cheap font to reflect a stereotype of a desert land and made that hard, but quick choice.
Sadly it doesn’t seem to reflect the Arabic typefaces which would have made use of papyrus, nor does it reflect the art, design and lettering of North African cultures.

Perhaps, through its overuse in the digital world what was a hand crafted typeface for Letraset would have found a more positive niche and been allowed to find a new home. However, much like Comic Sans its viability has been killed off my misuse and over use.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *