Typeface Crimes

Bank GothicLike most easily entertained men, I went out to see Taken a couple weeks ago to satisfy my unexplainable craving for justified violence. There is nothing I would want to see more than Liam Neeson, pissed off, tearing through the flesh of whoever stands in the way of him rescuing his kidnapped daughter. The movie ended up having a very relevant and engaging backstory that I wasn’t expecting; his daughter was kidnapped and enrolled in a foreign sexual slave-trade. It was pretty disturbing even just getting a polished, Hollywood interpretation of the injustices that men commit against women across the world. Despite the miniscule handful of plot holes, the story-line was pretty solid and delivered exactly what the viewer wanted. It met all of my expectations and all of the expectations set by the trailer. Many movies fail to do this. I left more than satisfied and strongly suggest that the boys watch it.

On the release day, I came to the theater with Peter and we grabbed our seats just in time for  the previews. Because it was an action movie that we came to see, there were pretty much only action trailers preceding the feature presentation. As the trailers rolled, I was surprised by the effortless formula to making a trailer interesting, but as a graphic designer, I was also surprised to see that every action movie sported the same font.

There seems to be this trendy infatuation with the Bank Gothic typeface.”Wait, what? Are these major film companies not in contact with one another about anything?” I thought to myself. I ask myself why any designer on either one of these projects would let this happen. Is there a concern for a unique “corporate identity?” Is it completely different in the world of movies and I just don’t know? In my opinion, it’s pretty noob and it neutralizes all of the potentially awesome spring action flicks. Obviously I don’t lose sleep over this and I know that font overlap happens all the time with Helvetica. I don’t mind Helvetica. I suppose my dilemma is…ew…why Bank Gothic?bgothfont1

Look at it…it’s so narrow and off-beat. You want to say that it has a clean aspect to it when it doesn’t. It has no curvilinear delicacy to be clean or sterile. Yet, it’s a sans serif, so shouldn’t it? It only has one other purpose if it’s not used in a Batman movie to spell “Gotham City”: second-rate action movies. Maybe even a restaurant menu put together in Microsoft Publisher. It seems like no matter what these designers do to the font, it still looks the same to me. For whatever reason I don’t read something fresh or new or different or even interesting. Of course the trailer and everything before the title says it all, but the title should speak. Watchmen? That title speaks. Sin City? 300? even He’s Not That Into You speaks it’s context on its own. They can all work alone on a fan poster. Bank Gothic cannot. It’s just dead to me. I’m gonna sleep now and get a life.

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1 Comment

Filed under Frustration, Ideas

One response to “Typeface Crimes

  1. helenk

    no don’t get a life… so i can read about such things as the font that action movies use… never in my small mommyville world would i have thought to even consider the font used in movies.. i love your designer perspective…

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