Sunday, July 11, 2010

Papyrus Casts a Long Shadow

Hated and ridiculed by many, Papyrus is a font used on everything from religious music recordings to Hawaiian newspaper headlines to the subtitles in James Cameron's movie Avatar (not soon to be forgiven).

Headline reading From Fast to Fantastic, white type with black blurry drop shadow behind it
This shopping mall sign takes the font to a new level of subtlety, if you could call it that. In it, the slightly blurred drop shadow was created using Papyrus, but the white type in the foreground is not in the same typeface.

Due to a font loading error, the Adobe Sans font was substituted for the white type. The result is a silly, funhouse-mirror combination, as if the spare, minimalist sans type could have cast a shadow with bent crossbars, calligraphic letterforms and tilted "i" dots.

The same headline reset with Papyrus
Not including the mottled background used in the original, this is probably what the type was supposed to look like.

I can only wonder if the designers noticed the error or not. Or even if they did, they may have thought no one else would know the difference, so it wasn't worth reprinting.

Seen at HarMar shopping mall, Roseville, Minnesota.


Blythe said...

I was once in a mall where they had ambient music playing--backwards. I assume this doesn't happen in the digital age, but the queasy sensation was similar to the effect of this sign.

Carmella said...

I like papyrus. It looks nicely chewed like my Nylabone. I find it comforting.