Jingly Jangly Christmas Fonts: A Designer’s Guide to the Nightmare Before Christmas!
Recently updated on July 1st, 2013 at 05:57 am
Oh! Sweet baby Jesus please save us from jingly, jangly Christmas fonts!
Bah! Humbug! Christmassy fonts are the graphical equivalent of a Christmas sweater. They come out once a year, look awful, and embarrass everyone with any shred of dignity or graphical taste! Mom loves them and thinks they are so scrummy and cute but everyone else abhors these frumpy, dumpy, lumpy eyesores!
Here’s the 10 distinct Christmas font categories:
- Snow-capped fonts!
- Razzle-dazzle-sparkley-do fonts
- Candy-cane stripy nightmare fonts
- Icicle (but not nice-icle) fonts
- Joy-to-the-world religious fonts from somewhere in history between baby Jesus and a leprechaun!
- Christmas tree themed fonts
- Elvish fonts from Santa’s Workshop (not to be confused with Elvis fonts that are also acceptable Christmas razzle-dazzle nonsense)
- Unreadable scripty fonts with a super-duper Christmas flourish!
- Christmas light-themed fonts
- Fatty fonts in Christmas stockings or wearing Santa hats at a jaunty angle!
Now let’s get specific on these font horrors. Here’s my personal rundown of the top 5 worst holiday fonts to drop down your design chimney once-a-year:
1. Candy Cane
Stop trying to hypnotize me with your whirling stripy Christmas magic, candy cane font! You can’t make me like you or think you’re fun! You are horrid. You hurt my eyes and make me dizzy! I wouldn’t use Candy Cane even if I was an old lady in a retirement home who was creating a flyer on an ancient inkjet printer for her Christmas potluck!
Don’t use it people! Don’t try to force fun into your Christmas designs!
This is the original “we three kings on camels” font from a distant and magical land of magic carpets, belly dancers, sultans, and furniture wholesalers. It comes out every Christmas to spread Joyous Noel but I really don’t feel the magic! It is such a clumsy font with fat serifs and an annoying drop-shadow that causes dizziness and nausea if looked upon for too long!
It’s such an awful font! Don’t use it at Christmas time!!! Don’t use it EVER!
3. White Christmas
White Christmas ticks two lame Christmas font boxes:
- Covered in dollops of snow
- An elfy and Celty font style from cartoon lapland
It just represents everything that’s tacky about Christmas design. The route one thought process that goes from “I need a font” to “I’ll just stick this snowy font on it!”
Stop it with the snow-capped theme fonts! From a design point of view, we’re not sure if they are fonts covered in snow or if a bird has plopped on them?
Grandma loves this posh font that goes hand-in-hand with Edwardian Christmas scenes of ladies, gents, and ruddy-faced scamps skating on ice-lakes! I feel like the designer should be wearing a top hat and a monocle when using this on their old-timey Christmas designs. It’s not post-modern or cool! It’s simply an ugly font pretending to be old!
Faux old and horrible! Don’t use it.
I think the majority of awful Christmas fonts that we endure at this time of year started out their lives in Christmas specials around the 1960s. This font is a bad recreation of those ’60s-style madcap fonts (that were pretty awful in the first place.) It’s so loopy and messy. There would NEVER be a good time to use it! I bet even snowmen can’t stand it!
It’s dated and crummy-looking! Please stay away!
Okay now that I’ve made my snooty comments about the Christmas fonts I don’t like, here are 5 alternative fonts that will add a bit of class to your Christmas designs.
Original source: http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/rodbolado/kimiko/
I love this super clean and bold font from Rodrigo Navarro Bolado that has a little bit of Christmas flourish.
Original source: http://www.dafont.com/antlers-demo.font
I struggle with calligraphic fonts. I always feel that you are making the viewer work too hard to read them! However, if I was going to use a Christmas script font, I’d choose this particularly elegant one.
Original source: http://deathmunkey.deviantart.com/#/d4qsw9h
There are so many font options when it comes to doing something fun and casual for the holidays. You really don’t have to resort to fake fun and frosty fonts. Go more contemporary with a handwritten “trash” font like the one above. There are a multitude of fonts like this to choose from but I really like the bold simplicity of this one. Better still would be to create your own handwritten text for your Christmas designs.
Original source: http://blog.honeydesign.com/my-favorite-font-aeronaut/
This font is extremely ostentatious but I can’t help loving it! If you want to give your designs a real sense of Christmas tradition then this font really suits that purpose. It’s based very closely on early German gothic fonts – reflecting the Western idea of Christmas that has its roots in German tradition.
5. DK Himmelblau
Original source: http://www.dafont.com/dk-himmelblau.font
Loose casual but also retro and Art Deco cool. Another font that lends a sense of tradition to your Christmas designs. Unlike Harrington and similar fonts that are trying to convey a sense of old world tradition, this font actually looks stylish and elegant.
These fonts are very Christmas-like in their design, but the truth is that most fonts can be Christmas fonts if used in the correct way as part of your greeting cards or flyer designs. There’s no need to resort to candy canes and snow-topped fonts. You may agree or disagree with my font criticism in this article but please don’t be too offended! This is just one man’s opinion. I’d love to know what you think. Maybe you’ve used one of these fonts and it looks brilliant! Feel free to comment. I’d love to be proved wrong.