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I'm watching a live Adobe UX design webinar right now and they're taking community submissions. One of the submissions used Lobster for their title typeface and the presenters froze, zoomed in on it and basically said "who dared to use this typeface. We need to talk about your font choices".

screencap from the webinar in question Included the video title in case anyone wants to watch it on Youtube. Here's where they point out (and complain about) the Lobster font 44:35.

So, I haven't heard anything about Lobster being a taboo font choice (although it's not my style so I don't use it anyway).

Is it becoming the new comic sans? Why? How does this happen to what appears to be a decent typeface?

I found this article that seems to claim that "font abuse" is to blame for the designers' negative association with this font. I've looked through this question about comic sans, but it seems to me that Lobster is a well-designed font so why is it experiencing similar hatred?

TL;DR Version

What is it about a font that causes designers (or others) to have adverse reactions to it?

Arial and Helvetica can easily be labelled as overused, yet I haven't seen people complain about them. At least not to the extent that people complain about Comic Sans and now Lobster.

  • I think this is primarily opinion based, but "font abuse" sounds about right – Devin Oct 24 '17 at 19:14
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    Zapf Chancery... Brush Script... University Roman... Mistral... Comic Sans... Lobster... every generation needs a font or two to complain about. Give a font away for free and everyone with a PC will use it, making the font overused and an eyesore eventually. – Scott Oct 24 '17 at 20:14
  • @Devin so there are no specific characteristics of a font that lead it down the path of Comic Sans? With Comic Sans, I get it. It's not an attractive font, it's got issues. But with Lobster, it looks like a pretty good font to me (in a technical sense). Is it not an issue of the font? It's just the users who ruin the design potential of a typeface? – Ashlee Palka Oct 24 '17 at 20:25
  • I don't see where "they" complain about it. One guy on the panel simply says he's at war with Lobster whatever that means. Maybe a copyright dispute? Who knows. I tried searching Rolf Jensen Lobster but couldn't find anything. The others seem to just ignore him and try to continue with the presentation – Ryan Oct 25 '17 at 15:22
  • @Ryan the moderator guy kind of made a big deal about it. "i hope this is a joke" etc. Then, looking into it more I found more complaints against it across the web. All of the comments on the live stream were basically "NOOO NOT LOBSTER" "bring out comic sans" etc. I've just never heard this response to a well-designed font before so I was confused as to what the problem is – Ashlee Palka Oct 25 '17 at 17:53
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I think its several different issues that make designers "hate" a font, and they often get clumped together

  • Bad quality. If a font is badly designed, then it will stick out. Amateur designers often do not recognize that a font might be badly designed and use it anyways. In this regard, Comic Sans has many design flaws (it's not terrible, though), but Lobster is a very well designed typeface.

  • Overuse. Especially in the case of free fonts or fonts that come bundled with the OS, they tend to get overused quickly and people get tired of them. The lose all originality and impact, and get associated with unprofessional design. Both Comic Sans and Lobster suffer from this phenomenon.

  • Inappropriate use. Designers know when to use what kind of font, but when fonts are used in contexts that don't fit (a comic font for a business letter, a sci-fi font for a wedding invitation) it makes it look cheap and jarring. Both Comic Sans and Lobster are often used in context where they don't really fit.

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    Okay, so then the difference between these fonts and something like Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica is that they are more decorative and therefore are more prone to becoming a hated font? – Ashlee Palka Oct 25 '17 at 14:26
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    @AshleePalka I would say that Lobster et. al. are indeed more decorative but that in itself isn't the issue. The decorative nature, and the fact it's free, tends to initiate more misuse by non-designers... which results in poor usage becoming abundant and the font becoming synonymous with "bad" design, even though the font itself may not be poorly designed. – Scott Oct 25 '17 at 18:05
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In the world of graphic design everyone has an opinion. Same with fonts. All it takes is a couple of designers speaking negatively about a font and all of a sudden a conga line begins to form and everyone gets onboard. If I'm looking at specific fonts for a specific project, it's my decision initially. Eventually the client will decide if he wants to use your choices or not...and he/she pays the bills.

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As to Comic Sans a major factor I suspect is that it was designed specifically for Microsoft Bob which was a sort of super-duper clippy. Bob was a disaster and he was rapidly sent to the vets on that final journey.

The story is here and a few other places.

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