One word of advice to senior Canadian artists: “Helvetica”

In the last year I have seen a couple of exhibitions by respected visual artists – who, for some reason, decided to use god awful fonts with text that was part of the project. The first was a video work of majestic nature projected on an entire wall, and I was totally distracted by the use of comic sans for the captions at the bottom. This was a painter crossing over into other areas, which is great, but that font made no sense and gave it the appearance of a LOLcats post. 

The second was wall text for a historical photo exploration show that used Papyrus …. dear lord, is this an invite to a company picnic? 

I recommend using Helvetica (or Arial) because it is so common it is not noticed and takes little attention away from the actual work of the show. Otherwise, it’s distracting, kitschy and looks downright amateurish. Bad fonts can grab your attention just as well as bad work can. Leave the font craft to designers and their clients.  


  1. Grey not Grey · June 6, 2012

    Hey now, LOLcats use impact. 😀

  2. Pingback: Do Not Use Comic Sans | Grey not Grey blog

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