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Font Madness: First Round (Serif Region)

What's the worst serif font ever? The next round of voting in Font Madness — our quest to crown the worst font ever — is open as stalwarts like Times New Roman and Courier go up against a full field of dark horses. To the polls!

View the full bracket

#1 Times New Roman vs. #16 Didot

Times New Roman vs. Didot
Why Times New Roman Is The Worst

In a parallel universe where the decades-long default font is Garamond, Times New Roman is a lovely serif font. But we don’t live in that universe. At least pretend to care.

Why Didot Is The Worst

Didot has the frustrating ability to make Averages Joes think they can be amazing, "fashionable" designers. Go ahead, I dare you to italicize it and put it in all caps. So chic.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#8 Georgia vs. #9 Souvenir

Georgia vs. Souvenir
Why Georgia Is The Worst

Congratulations to Georgia for being an early web-friendly serif font that's not Times New Roman. That about wraps up the resume. The fact that Georgia's designer won a lifetime achievement award for this font (and a few other bracket participants) somehow makes it all worse.

Why Souvenir Is The Worst

Souvenir is the Papyrus of the pre-internet generation. While it could probably pass favorably for "retro-hipster" in today's world, the 1970s bludgeoned Souvenir to death in just about everything.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#5 Courier vs. #12 Cooper Black

Courier vs. Cooper Black
Why Courier Is The Worst

Courier is fine if you're writing a screenplay or need a monospaced font for an odd project. Unfortunately, Courier often gets treated like a regular font and usually creates some hot garbage in those instances.

Why Cooper Black Is The Worst

Yikes. Cooper Black is just Souvenir on steroids. Unless you're penning a Garfield comic or designing an album cover for your favorite disco band, avoid this typeface.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#4 Informal Roman vs. #13 Archer

Informal Roman vs. Archer
Why Informal Roman Is The Worst

The font serves zero purpose. Name me one instance where it would be appropriate to use this font and where no better alternative exists.

I'll wait. It's so bad.

Why Archer Is The Worst

Ah, the new Wells Fargo font. I feel dirty including a Hoefler & Co. font in this bracket because they're notorious for creating some downright awesome typefaces. Unfortunately, Archer has emerged as the cool font of lazy graphic designers everywhere.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#6 Wide Latin vs. #11 Garamond

Wide Latin vs. Garamond
Why Wide Latin Is The Worst

This doesn't even look like a real font. It looks like someone took a subpar bold font and just increased the width by 200 percent. Voilà, Wide Latin!

Why Garamond Is The Worst

Let's be honest with ourselves: The only time anyone ever uses Garamond is to deliberately avoid Times New Roman. And if you're already taking that much deliberate effort to not use Times New Roman, maybe also not use Garamond. Just a thought.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#3 Copperplate Gothic vs. #14 Modern No. 20

Copperplate Gothic vs. Modern No. 20
Why Copperplate Gothic Is The Worst

It's no surprise that many of the fonts in this bracket are overused. Some of those fonts are boring and inconspicous enough to blend in and get away with it most of the time. They fly under the radar and get mistaken for other similarly overused fonts. Copperplate Gothic is not one of those fonts.

Why Modern No. 20 Is The Worst

Try reading a line of text written entirely in Modern No. 20 without requiring a trip to the optometrist afterward. Individually, the characters in this typeface aren't all that bad. Pleasant contrast of thick and thin between the spines and stems. Collectively, though, it's like trying to decipher hieroglyphs from a foreign world.

Voting for this round has concluded.

#7 Trajan Pro vs. #10 Palatino

Trajan Pro vs. Palatino
Why Trajan Pro Is The Worst

On an unsuspecting glance, Trajan Pro might seem fine. Strong, sharp serifs. Got that gladiator-esque Roman vibe to it. Kinda cool. Except for the fact that every movie poster from the dawning of cinema uses it. No, seriously.

Why Palatino Is The Worst

See "Why Garamond Is The Worst".

Voting for this round has concluded.

#2 Goudy Stout vs. #15 Biondi

Goudy Stout vs. Biondi
Why Goudy Stout Is The Worst

Honestly, why? Why does this exist? Since when do fonts come in "obese" as the default weight? Who thought it would be a good idea to include this as standard font in software? So many questions.

Even the font's creator Frederic Goudy said Goudy Stout was designed in a "moment of typographic weakness."

Why Biondi Is The Worst

Oh look, it's Bank Gothic (barf) with tiny serifs. No one asked for this.

Voting for this round has concluded.


Polls for this round close at 11:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 11.

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