Why sans serif fonts suck

The capital I and lowercase l look identical. This makes, for example, Kim Jong Il look like Kim Jong the second on many web pages. If illuminate, illiterate, or illustrate start a sentence, it looks like they start with three lowercase l’s. I find this annoying.

This is why sans serif fonts suck. Opinionated rant over.

My mother gave me a book on a topic which interests me, but I haven’t been able to make myself read it yet because it’s printed in a sans serif font.

The you should love the movie Helvetica.

It can be a problem, but really it almost never is. I’ve been seeing Kim’s name all over the board the past several days, and never felt confused. Of course that could be because message text shows up as Trebuchet and has a little curved footer on the
l. Your font may vary.

Serif type sucks because the serifs clog up on some monitors, and those weird g’s and a’s are just too complex to display cleanly at small sizes.

(Kidding. The are no bad type faces, just inappropriate ones. Although admittedly some fonts are only appropriate for conveying the idea of ugly and incompetent.)

I agree. San serif fonts will be first up against the wall when [del] the revolution comes [/del] I am ruler of the world.

And let us not forget the number “1,” which means that in some typefaces, there are three letters that can be confused. And that’s not counting the cap “O” and the zero.

This is why graphic designers (should) take courses in typography, so they’re able to avoid fonts that can be problematic. Fonts were never intended to be interchangeable.

Yes, there are bad fonts. But much more common is a good font in the wrong hands.

I am in a mixed marriage: Mr. Mallard worships at the altar of Gill Sans. We get along well in 99% of our lives, but we don’t set type together. Ever.

Funny, I was just grousing about this the other day, since the font used on Twitter makes upper case I and lower case L look identical. I ended up typing “Kim Jong-iL.”

Is there a font that’s only mostly sans-serif, except where it relieves ambiguity? I like the clean look of Arial, but it would be nice if a capital i had the little bars on top and bottom, and a number 1 had the little hook on top. And maybe a slash in the number zero to differentiate it from the letter O.

Tahoma? I / l / 1 are all distinct, and the O is noticeably fatter than 0. Yet it is otherwise sans-serif.

Clearly you’re an exception, as at least one of the Republican candidates for president was quite confused. What’s even more hilarious is that George W. made exactly the same gaffe during his campaign.

Bodoni is a fine serif font. Not that I’m biased or anything.

There are bad typefaces. Really really bad ones.

Eye agree.

Eye work with a software app where Lots of variabLes begin with the Letter ELL, written in a Language that is case-insensitive. Eye initiated a tradition at the company of using CapitaL ELL instead of Lower-case eLL for aLL of these, which everyone eLse at the company picked up on.

In the city of BakersfieLd, CA., the downtown streets have Letters for names. But the street in between H and J is caLLed EYE Street.

Sure. Base Nine and Twelve is the first example I could think of off the top of my head. Moreover, as Baal Houtham mentioned, lots of designers have gotten in the habit of incorporating a finial onto the lowercase “l” DIN is a good example.

Regarding whether there are bad fonts or not, of course there are. The first one I tried designing in my Typography 1 class SUCKED (and I feel like I’m a halfway decent typographer).

I disagree. The problem with Comic Sans is its inappropriate application and overuse, and not the font itself, which is perfectly decent and well made.

You missed a word. That should have been, “This is why SOME sans serif fonts suck.” Not all of them are poorly-designed, as several other people have already pointed out.

I would also be happy to introduce you to some serif fonts that suck, if you’d like.

Hi friedo. My comment was a joke, but also true. At least as true as the OP’s comment that “san serif fonts suck.”

If I wanted to illustrate an article about how some type designers don’t understand character spacing or visual flow or consistency of weight and attitude then the perfect headline font could well be what you might call a “bad” font. It would be exactly the right font.

However, a font can certainly be bad in that it doesn’t match the apparent ambitions of the designer, and has extremely limited applicability.


So instead of Kim Jong-iL, he’s now Kim Jong-Ded?


When would you ever use illuminate, illiterate, or illustrate to start a sentence?