Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Bane of Avatar

Remember when Avatar came to theaters in 2009? Besides being a more fantastic form of FernGully , the most disappointing feature of this movie was the use of Papyrus. This movie is estimated to cost $280 million, and I was surprised that they would use a common, crude, and un-liked typeface for a movie of this epic a proportion. With all this money spent, it would have been small change to develop their own typeface or spend a couple hundred dollars and buy one with more unique, and less offensive styling.

  • Skylark : This typeface has similar attributes to Papyrus: distressed look, extended ascenders and descenders.
  • Baker Signet Roman: This one is not distressed but has similar ink quality to it, with the thick and thins of the lines that make up each letter. The ends are also come to a point like Papyrus
  • Solano Gothic: This one is not like Papyrus at all, but because of its condensed letterforms and the unusual short descenders and ascenders with curved edges.
  • Eurostile: Similar to Solano this also has the feeling of being sci-fi without the illegibility. TI also has short ascenders and descenders.
There is an entire site dedicated to all of your papyrus sightings. It's everywhere. Where have you seen it today? Apparently James Cameron did a slightly customized typeface with a few alterations. Either way, why emulate a bad typeface so closely?

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