Typographic Monotony of American Retail

I love this article over at Fonts In Use: http://fontsinuse.com/uses/28/the-typographic-monotony-of-american-retail

It’s not really long, but it does talk about an issue we all know I love so dear: typography. Especially overdone typography.  Helvetica is so freakin over. I hated it when it was in, and I hate it now. There are so many other options out there! That’s it for my childish rant, now on to the thoughtful discussions.

I do like how he addresses the trend, but maybe it’s just riding its way out. I mean, things aren’t really cool when everyone, your mother AND Wal-Mart is doing it. The author also mentions the new wave of American Gothics (Gotham, Benton Sans, Franklin Gothic) taking over– which is really what I’ve been noticing lately, especially on the storefronts of Anthropologie, Abercrombie & Fitch, etc.

Type selection aside, I still find it strange that these companies would choose to keep things similar, instead of differentiating from each other. I mean if you’re GAP, wouldn’t you rather not be compared with Costco? Given they do use different weights, but I think it does speak to the brand in that they’re choosing to be rather pedestrian. How much harm could a little Benton Sans do? I mean really.

Ideally, articles like this would ring to the core of the heart of marketers and say “Hey! Wake up! Be more original, people can take it. We oogle at Pinterest all day, we can handle a little more sophistication in our design”. And hopefully now they know they can explore a little more variety into their style. Because you can, marketers. You really can.

I do find it cheekily comical that Walmart uses the combination of Myriad and Helvetica. The most pedestrian of all stores uses the most pedestrian of typefaces. That one makes total sense. Everyone else, make it work.

*Image sourced from original article

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