If a new study by Princeton psychologists is any indication, we’ll be seeing a surge in ugly typefaces within the near future. After switching out straightforward text book fonts for “disfluent” ones like Comic Sans and Haettenschweiler, the team of researchers found that students’ reading retention “signiﬁcantly improved in naturalistic settings by presenting reading material in a format that is slightly harder to read.” Given the potential educational application of this evidence — as well as its inevitably misapplied implications — here’s a preemptive field guide to five of the most reviled typefaces we’ll regrettably be seeing more of soon.
What is it: Although designer Chris Costello wanted to create the hypothetical look of ancient English script — had it been, say, written on Egyptian parchment two millenia ago — Papyrus has become synonymous with lazy pretentiousness. The faux-archaic feel of this calligraphy-inspired script has become a staple for short hand self-seriousness.
Common uses: Avatar’s subtitles, coffee shop signs, wedding invitations