I'm teaching Typography 1 this semester, and I've just given students their list of approved typefaces (the classics that can do no wrong). I also give them a list of fonts to avoid. During class someone asked the innocent question "Why are there so many fonts installed on our system that you don't want us to use?" I have no answer to this. Most likely the developers aren't typographers, or even graphic designers. And, someone out there might want to use Comic Sans for an interoffice party memo. But as graphic designers, this does not make it okay to use Comic Sans. Or Impact, Marker Felt, Arial, Hobo… But this does bring up an excellent idea: is it possible to take a typeface you despise and modify it to become something you enjoy and might actually use?
Challenge: Choose an ugly typeface. Use it as a base, then transform it into something beautiful, interesting, and compelling. Deconstruct and reconstruct, add and subtract.
Lara McCormick is the author of Playing with Type: 50 Graphic Experiments for Exploring the Creative Impact of Typographic Design Principles, due out in March 2013.