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Celebrating bad lettering (Bad is the new good, part two)

That disease in the form of bad lettering will never go away.

Check out the Epiduo acne treatment commercials and website, or the art of James Victore, or the pathetic new Hallmark ad campaign.

All of this can be dated back to when designers like Paul Rand experimented with informal and abstract lettering for ads.

I like Paul Rand's work a lot. Don't get me wrong. His well-disciplined examples command praise. Cummins diesel engines is still using his logo today. ABC is still using his logo today. So do IBM and Westinghouse. It's just that he made mediocre letterforms famous as well.

Now, any dumb schmoe with a set of pens who think they can draw can create juvenile lettering and PRESTO! It's all over the advertising landscape like a cancer!

Alexander Pope wrote this on vice...

"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."

We are living in an age where bad is the new good.


Say it ain't so!