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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 41

Bad Idea:
STEREO TYPE

The omnipresent embarrassment of “exotic” type. Words by Debika Ray. Photograph by Stephanie Gonot.

Vincent Connare, the creator of Comic Sans, has long defended what is widely considered the world’s worst font. People who dismiss the childish font “don’t know anything about design,” he told Dezeen in 2014. 

There has been no such vocal defense of so called “ethnic typefaces, ” those which appropriate the aesthetic flourishes of foreign scripts to suggest that a brand has exotic origins. Yet they continue to be part of the visual noise of Western countries, screaming out from food labels, restaurant menus and posters. To anyone familiar with the alphabet being aped, they are about as authentic as the British tourist who wishes his companions bone apple tea prior to eating. 

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-One

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