The Ubiquity of Archer

Apr 12, 2010

Hoefler & Frere-Jones are undoubtedly one of the biggest type foundries around today. Known for their compelling and clean typefaces, it’s no surprise how their reach has greatly influenced quality designers of all types. Most recently, the notable typeface Archer has garnered lots of attention and use after being released for public consumption in 2008. But just like in any other industry, once something gets too popular, people will begin to question its ubiquitous nature and misuse. Evidence, there’s now even a blog out now dedicated to the over and misuse of Archer, called Archer Alert.

“Since banks are always trying to be friendly (“WaMu,” anyone?) Archer to me seems as good a choice as any.”

- Jonathan Hoefler

Lauren Adams writes over at AIGA an article that’s been floating around twittersphere this week that caught my attention. She argues if and how all the current uses of Archer are always appropriate for their respective industries. Examples include Newsweek using Archer for body copy, and Wells Fargo using it for a new branding approach. I chimed in mentioning how I noticed the Whitehouse had used Archer for their health reform website. I must admit it felt a bit awkward seeing Archer being used by the US government of all people. But most interesting was how Adams points out how Archer “boomed” once the US economy went bust. So that begs the question, if the Archer craze has any part in trying to lift spirits during a dismal economic climate.

Archer is easily one of the more elegant choices today for a “contemporary personable style” and I see no issues with its new found stardom. My guess is once the popularity dies down a bit as time moves forward, it will still be recognized as a typeface that will always find its way into relevant, meaningful design.

Link: Is Archer’s Use on Target? →

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