I've just watched a commercial break on TV and every ad was dominated by a sans-serif font. Ok, ok, so my new header contains a sans font, but since this blog's conception, my content has been published in a distinct serif font.
The impact of the sans font is being eroded away and it's becoming the easy safe font for marketing. The font tide will turn. Designers moved on from the "techno" and "grunge" fonts of the 80's and early 90's and it became cool to have clean lines for corporate identity. After the greed boom of the 80's and the crash that followed in the early 90's people wanted stability, honesty and no shonky hidden dealings. Merge the brand and the sans font. Its clean lines and bold character strengths signified to the punter that it displayed a brand with integrity. Helvetica is the main culprit.
Don't get me wrong here, I like Helvetica. It has the classiest set of derivatives and sub sets of any font. But, it's spoilt by it's dirtier cousin - Arial. It's the Microsoft font designed in 1982 that every Powerpoint in the business world displays with some sort of banal superiority. So where is the class? Sans fonts no longer have the same message to the consumer. We fill our lives with make-over shows, lifestyle shows and talent quests who's message is that if we want to succeed we need to "pull something extra out of the hat". Not only do we need to be good at what we do, we have to appear good...
The serif font. It sells a message that is not only readable, it looks classy. It is classical. Its beauty, strength and desirability lie in its origins. It will stand the test of time... now isn't that what you want from a product?