So the main reason that we wanted to start a blog is to keep people updated with “what” Ampersand Studios “does” and to keep somewhat of a digital archive of some of the exciting things we have happening in our studio. We also wanted to use it as an opportunity to post things that we find interesting and to educate about things we find uninteresting…One of these things that we would like to discuss openly is the overused and misused font known as “Papyrus.” Obviously living in Boise, Idaho and being active in the wedding industry- we have seen our fair share…but surprisingly, big names who you would think could hire a designer are also using this wretched font. Here are just a few examples:
While shopping in the Albersons grocery store, I came across these ginger snap cookies. Franz, if you give us a call—we’ll give you a deal. This is your intervention. We know that you are no Nabisco, but please don’t let your receptionist “design” your packaging.
Lamb of God—-aren’t you a metal band? Why is your band’s identity in the same font as a bad wedding announcement? Enough said.
Okay, so I heard all of this hype about the movie Avatar…biggest movie of the year! Although I am not one for magical, mystical, fairy lands- I figure, majority rules and I should give it a try. Well the designer in me won again and I could hardly concentrate on the film due the all of the captions being set in fluorescent green papyrus. It is one thing to use it as the film’s title- but as the captions? In lime green? Wha!?
While I was searching for images to post from Avatar— I came across this “letter from Papyrus” from the blog: www.prttyshttydesign.blogspot.com
Dear Mr. Cameron,
A letter such as this can hardly do justice to the overwhelming gratitude I’m hoping to express herein. Your most recent film, Avatar, has finally legitimized my work in a way I’ve only ever dreamed of.
Goodness knows I’ve worked hard the past 26 years to make a name for myself. And it’s felt great coming to the aid of New Age spa owners, suburban party planners, and young couples looking to save money by making their own wedding invitations. But only now, by appearing in your movie, have I been given mainstream, high-level recognition as a serious typeface. And for that, I thank you.
Imagine my delight so many months ago at seeing the trailers and posters for this, your much anticipated return to science fiction movie making. To see the title AVATAR (all caps!) typeset in yours truly. Well, I practically wept. And to be rendered in such an artificial luminescent way… finally, in the hands of a true visionary such as yourself, my potential to look totally badass had been realized.
Little did I know that that was only the tip of the iceberg (no Titanic reference intended!). After seeing the finished film (in Imax 3D of course), I can easily say it is the greatest movie ever made! To think, among your many bold choices as a filmmaker—soldiers who fly helicopters despite mastering interstellar travel; inexplicable floating mountains; and humans still petty enough to commit genocide in order to acquire precious minerals such as the very cleverly named unobtainium—that I would be one of them. Kudos to you for not spending a single cent of your massive budget on an expensive, attractive font for the subtitles, and opting to put me to the task instead.
Shockingly, as if you hadn’t already done enough for me, when the title card appeared at the end of the picture, there I was again! Chills, I tell you, chills. I hardly have words, even now, to describe my sheer admiration for this final master stroke: glowing, green letters filling every inch of the screen. A lesser director man might have settled at filling the screen left to right, but not you. You saw me, in my humble proportions, and said No, not big enough. Undoubtedly, a few mouse-clicks later, your most talented technician had me soaring to new cap-heights. Let me never come back down.
Thank you Mr. Cameron, thank you!
Yours in friendship and wanton servitude,
Please note, Pr*tty Sh*tty was chosen as the forum for publication of this letter because of its long standing impartial, and unbiased stance on matters pertaining to design. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the author of this blog. They are the views solely of the author of this letter.