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Last year in October, I wrote a post about five fonts that you need to stop using. And you know what? It takes the prize for being the most visited page on my site. It is clear that choosing a half decent font is as popular as ever – and here are some more font crimes (and some alternative typefaces to choose from as well). It’s a motherhumpin’ #fontervention.

(Oh, and for any elitist graphic design pedants out there, I use the word “font” and “typeface” interchangably because that way, everyone knows what the fuck I’m on about and I don’t bore the shit out of myself by writing the same word over and over again)

Font crime Number 1: Times New Roman


If anything screams, “I don’t give a shit about how ANYTHING looks on my site” it’s Times New Roman.

Crap as a body text font. Crap as a display font for titles. Just an all-round, crap-in-general font. It’s the default font for most browsers, so using it looks like you chucked something up online and left all the default settings on, which, FYI, really isn’t the look you should be going for.

So are there any decent alternatives for Times New Roman?

Free: If you want a great serif font for your main body content, then there are PLENTY of great, clear, readable fonts to choose from. Try Droid Serif, Libre Baskerville or Latin Modern Roman.

Prefer something a little more special for your titles? Try Playfair Display (Check out the small caps version as well!), Abril Fatface and Elsie

Nearly Free: Want to stop scrimping on your serif font and get something a touch more unique? Gauthier FY Medium is quite, quite lovely.


Font crime Number 2: Algerian


Horrid, horrid, kebab shop font. Really, really horrid. This was mentioned to me by Kelly in the comments of the last font post I did, and I COMPLETELY AGREE.  Horrible letter forms, nasty lines and behold the ghastly built-in shadow. There are no saving graces with this font at all, not even if your business is called “Abra Kebabra” and you sell a variety of questionable rottiseried doner meats from your van on the A420 near Swindon . Vom vom vommity vom.

So, are there are any decent alternatives for Algerian?

Well, it all depends on the style that you’re going for because Algerian doesn’t really say anything except, “welcome to this mediocre Indian Takeaway” – and the style isn’t even SUPPOSED to be Indian.

FREE: If you just want a historic, Arabic-inspired display font (that is, a font great at larger sizes for things like headlines and titles, but not as a main body font), something like Almendra would work , which is a modern take on the Spanish/Moorish style and actually pretty stylish. Alternatively, you might want something with that built-in shadow, and in that case try  Jacques Francois Shadow 


NEARLY FREE: Again, difficult to pick something similar without it being completely pants. Try Amazinga, Magnifika or perhaps Multazam



Font Crime Number 3: Brush Script


Are you a painter and decorator? No? Then stop. Stop using this right now. I’m not sure there’s more that needs to be said about this. Just no.

So, are there any decent alternatives for Brush Script?

FREE: Oh my god, YES, YES and THRICE YES. Try Kaushan Script  (fun fact: this was designed by the same person who created Lobster), Yellowtail  or Yesteryear 

NEARLY FREE: Seriously, how long have you got! Try Paullina or Artful Beauty Brush. To be honest, I could have gone completely mad here, but I kept it hidden well. You’re welcome


Font crime Number 4: Pacifico


I’m going to come under fire for this, because I actually don’t HATE this font, but it needs to be TONED THE FUCK DOWN. It’s actually a great font, but shit the bed, IT. IS. EVERYWHERE.

And, let’s be honest, if you using this I get it – it’s fun, it’s quirky, it’s a bit retro – I wish the ending of certain letters wasn’t quite so abrupt, but heck, it’s cute.

But it is, unfortunately, EVERYWHERE, and I’d rather that you, dear esteemed reader, didn’t look like YOU wanted to be on that bandwagon with destination: EVERYONE ELSE’S DESIGN. So, this is a fontervention. PUT DOWN PACIFICO.

So, are there any decent alternatives for Pacifico?

FREE: In the next couple of years, I can see this one being another Pacifico, but as it’s still relatively new on the scene, try the Script font inside the Nexa Rust Free pack. The other fonts in there are equally nice, especially for that retro feel. You can also feast your eyes upon Leckerli One or Grand Hotel

NEARLY FREE: I like Alehouse, Ruffest and Filson. Take your pic!


Over to you. Any typefaces you see that make you want to scratch out your eyeballs? Any fonts that need to be permanently burned from your memory? Let me know in the comments below.


Gemma x


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