5 fonts you should never use on your website

One of the best ways to give your website unique character is to choose a great font. Not all fonts are created equal, however, and using some could be detrimental to your website if you decide to utilize them. Here are 5 examples of fonts you should never use on your site.

1. Brush Script

Brush Script is intended to be a cursive script font. But let’s face the facts — nobody actually writes in cursive like Brush Script. If you use Brush Script on your website, here’s what you communicate to people who visit it: “Hi, I’m a menu from a mom-and-pop restaurant in the 1990s.” Obviously, there’s nothing at all wrong with mom-and-pop restaurants in the 1990s. It’s just not 1990 anymore. The world moved on, the mom-and-pop restaurants moved on, and your website needs to move on too. This goes for Lobster and other script fonts. Don’t use them either!

2. Times New Roman

Once upon a time, Times New Roman was everywhere. As one of the default Microsoft Office fonts until 2007, Times New Roman was used, overused, and used some more. And while this font lived an extremely productive life, it is now happily enjoying retirement. Like Brush Script, utilizing Times New Roman on a modern website communicates anything but modernization. What does using Times New Roman communicate about you if you use it on your website?

  • Plain tofu is your favorite food.
  • Your favorite radio station is static.
  • You avoid vanilla ice cream because the flavor is too potent.

You get the idea. Times New Roman is so ubiquitous that it is now boring. If you use it on your website, there’s a pretty good chance that a visitor to your site won’t stay long. While Craigslist still pulls off the mid-1990s Arial/Times New Roman look, even most brutalist sites should probably avoid Times New Roman.

3. Bradley Hand

Just like nobody actually writes cursive like Brush Script, nobody writes manuscript like Bradley Hand — well, except for maybe Richard Bradley, who created it. No offense against him, but your website doesn’t need to utilize another person’s handwriting. While you might feel like it communicates that you’re down to earth, in reality it erodes at your professionalism. 

4. Papyrus

Some fonts are so bad that they have Twitter accounts dedicated to spotting them in public. As a preinstalled Microsoft Windows font, Papyrus saw a lot of use early on from church promotional graphics and middle school papers about Egypt. Later on, Avatar featured Papyrus in its movie posters, and its overuse had reached the point of no return. Years later, there is no appropriate reason to use Papyrus on anything.

5. Comic Sans

Like Papyrus, Comic Sans draws ire and mockery from the design community. As its title suggests, Comic Sans was designed for comic-like speech bubbles, but its use spread like wildfire due to its inclusion as a default Microsoft Windows font. Teachers loved to use the playful font for young students, and before long, Comic Sans appeared randomly in places where a childlike or comic theme was entirely absent. But even if you’re creating a website dedicated to comic strips, don’t use Comic Sans. It is hated to the point that it has websites dedicated to its destruction and referring to its users as “criminals.”