Tuesday 17 October 2017

The graphic designer of the Papyrus font has responded to that Ryan Gosling SNL sketch

Chris Costello said it’s a “well-designed and well-thought out” font.

Ryan Gosling and the Avatar logo
Ryan Gosling and the Avatar logo

By Edd Dracott

While Comic Sans gets a lot of haters, over the weekend it was another font – Papyrus – taking the heat.

Ryan Gosling’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) sketch of the same name took the weekend by storm, and the man who created the typeface has now responded to it.

First of all, here’s the skit.

“He just highlighted Avatar, he clicked the dropdown menu and he just randomly selected Papyrus,” says a lamenting Gosling, taking aim at James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster Avatar. “He got away with it. This man, this professional graphic designer.

“Was it laziness, was it cruelty?”

That hilariously, wonderfully random video already has over two and a half million views on the comedy show’s YouTube channel – and now graphic designer Chris Costello, creator of the original Papyrus typeface, has shared his thoughts.

“I took a look at it and me and my wife were like cracking up, I mean we couldn’t stop laughing. It was one of the best things I’ve seen,” Costello told CBS News.

Costello designed the font, inspired, he said, by Egypt and the Middle East when he was 23, before selling the font for $750 (£566) and “very low” royalties. It is now used on Apple and Microsoft computers.

“It ended up being a default font set on every computer since 2000,” said Costello. “It was not my intent to be used for everything – it’s way overused.”

Despite the animosity towards Papyrus, Costello said he believes it’s “a well-designed and well-thought out” font.

It seems some people still need some persuading though.

Director Cameron is actually planning not just a sequel but a series of four more Avatar films, with release dates stretching from 2020 to 2025.

Let’s hope Ryan Gosling doesn’t find out…

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