3 Fonts to Avoid in Your Design – Plus Tips to Find Free Ones! by @skleberdesign


by Stacy Kleber Jensen | Featured Contributor

There are an abundance of overused fonts out there, but there are a few that just scream amateur. When you run a professional business, it is best to stay clear unless you have a really good reason.

1. Times New Roman

Times New Roman is a default font. It is not necessarily badly designed, but it does make one look lazy. It gives the impression that you didn’t take the time to pick out the font for your design. Plus, do you really want your work to be reminiscent of all those essays you wrote in college (12 pt, double space please) – I think not. Try something like Georgia or Caslon to get that serif font look without being cliche.

2. Comic Sans

Comic sans strikes fear in the heart of designers everywhere. While I hesitate to say any font doesn’t have its place in society, I am going to go out on a limb and say the proper place isn’t in the collateral for your business. If you want a comic book font, try something like Jolly Good Sans which is a step up, and a little more modern.

3. Brush Script

While brush script is understandably chosen because it has the look and feel of calligraphy, it is by and far one of the most overused calligraphy fonts. With so many beautiful options out there, Brush Script begins to look clunky on the page. For a sleeker calligraphic font, try Allura or Alex Brush.

Other fonts I would avoid

Curlz, Papyrus, Impact, Courier, Arial

Where to go when you need something different

If you are looking for free fonts to use in your commercial work, there are a few great options out there.  One of them is Font Squirrel. Font Squirrel does a good job at rounding up fonts that are free for commercial use, saving you the headache of sorting through licenses.

Another good site for fonts is MyFonts.com.  Though it is a little more work to find the free fonts, they do have a good number in there. Many of their other fonts are reasonably priced as well, and all fonts are high quality.

Final thoughts

The best thing you can do for your designs is to keep it simple. Though display fonts have their place, nothing beats a classic, easy to read ad or logo that will stand the test of time.


Stacy Kleber Jensen (Washington, DC) – Founder and Chief Creative Officer of the graphic design studio, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC

Stacy Kleber Jensen

Stacy Kleber Jensen is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Stacy Kleber Design, LLC (www.skleber.com).  She is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a BFA in Visual Communications and a concentration in Graphic Design. Stacy is currently attending the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School to obtain a Masters of Science in Marketing.

Stacy founded her graphic design studio, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC, in 2008. Since its humble beginnings, Stacy Kleber Design, LLC has grown to specialize in branding and design for growing businesses and start-ups. Projects range from logo design and business collateral (business cards, stationery, etc) to websites and social media assistance. The greatest part of owning Stacy Kleber Design, LLC is helping businesses to establish their brand and their identity as a company, as well as find their voice in an ever changing digital world.

Notable clients include ASRC Federal Holding Corporation, Marriott OceanWatch Villas, Myrtle Beach International Airport, Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Please connect with Stacy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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4 Replies to “3 Fonts to Avoid in Your Design – Plus Tips to Find Free Ones! by @skleberdesign”

  1. Andrew @ Stringer Mallard

    Just a thought, but isn’t it more about the content than the font?

    1. Stacy Kleber Jensen[ Post Author ]

      Content is always king. These are just some tips on how to design your content professionally.

  2. Jeri

    Times New Roman works because it is so standard. The eye doesn’t get distracted by it. I love to use it when I edit documents. Yet, I guess there is a point to be made here since I tend to use Georgia or Garamond when I send my own documents.

  3. Nancy seeger

    Amen – yes definitely not going to enhance your stuff using any of the fonts you mentioned!

    Another goodie “League of Moveable type”


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