As designers, our importance relies on being capable of seeing things where other people can’t and create new ways of conveying things while displaying a high level of aesthetics, so that’s why I’ve decided to make this article after realizing how designers are becoming stagnant in respect of one of the most important aspects in design, typography. This article is a small statement against the abuse of one of the nicest typefaces of present time, I’m talking about Pablo Impallari’s Lobster.
The reason why Lobster has received such acclamation relies on its careful design, a large number of ligatures and little touches, plus a high attention to details, turning Lobster into one of a kind in the world of typefaces. The font went mainstream once it was included on the Google Fonts API and everyone found out about its existence, since that day we have seen more and more sites, designs and applications adopting Lobster as their pennant.
The problem is that even when we designers are often behind the establishing of new tendencies and art expressions, we are susceptible of getting absorbed by the market and thus end up employing the same thing that everyone uses just because it’s the “trend”. This has happened to Lobster sadly, reaching a point where some designers have gone as far as calling it the new ComicSans!!!. The issue is that the font is so darn appealing that many of us don’t resist placing it in some part of our designs, fortunately we’re starting to gain conscience about this situation and things are about to change.
What started as a classy font designed for retro designs and elegant websites has now spread to corporate websites, technology blogs and applications, it seems that people think that using Lobster is a synonym of good design. If we add the fact that people are becoming addicts of the whole “vintage” thing, it was to expect that Lobster was going to be present in every hipster gig poster and retro-looking application.
What is the need of using Lobster on this poster?, everything else is using a SansSerif typeface and if the idea was selling cinema as an old tradition that we should always remember, then they’re sending a confusing message that mixes a “retro” font with modern colors and fonts.
Used as a display font, Lobster delivers excellent results such as in the example above. Unfortunately, many people have begun to use it as a web font, working with sizes below 16 px that totally destroy the beauty of Lobster. What pisses me the most is that now, thanks to the @font-face property and the Google Font API, the possibilities for choosing a font are enormous, so there’s no reason for sticking with Lobster.
It’s funny the fact that we complain about the people that refuses to abandon Internet Explorer or those who think that Papyrus is the best choice for making a wedding invitation, however we keep using Lobster for every new freebie we make and if someone ask for a “vintage” look then voilà, Lobster is here to save the day. Before Lobster was here and even before Mr. Impallari began his career in typography design, there was a whole array of fonts that designers worked with for creating “retro” designs, so if someone says that the reason why he uses Lobster is because it’s the best font ever, then he’s lying!.
The previous example is clearly an abuse of Lobster, even when the tittle looks good, there was no need to use the same font for the author’s name because as I said before, Lobster shouldn’t be shrink to such small sizes.
This is a classic example of Lobster abuse. Many of the latest freebies featured in sites such as ThemeForest have been displaying lots of freebies and resources with Lobster everywhere, the colors and the style of the ad itself are not precisely “vintage”, however it supposedly looks good because it was made with Lobster.
I can’t deny the fact that this “Under Construction” design looks beautiful, nevertheless I think that Lobster was not the only way of making this design to look good.
Lobster has also taken control over blogs, here we can see a Lobster title that does not connect with the rest of the page made with SansSerif fonts, pixel perfect elements and lots of white areas.
On this case the Lobster usage is great, as it was picked for making a “retro” website along with a beautiful color palette. This is a clear example of when and how you can use Lobster, though the upper left banner and the texts located behind the menu elements are quite small, making them hard to read.
Another example of Lobster abuse, there was absolutely no need of bringing Lobster into this set of clean and modern design elements.
Finding “vintage” themes such as this one has become something very common; hopefully this saturation of cyan-almond websites and Lobster titles with the same “Inner Shadow” effect over and over can persuade people to look for something else and thereby stop this Lobster invasion!.
What was the necessity of using Lobster on this ad?, this was clearly designed by someone who relies on design clichés (gradients, inner shadows, etc).
I’m not advocating for a cease of activities regarding the Lobster font, actually I’m a big fan of this beautiful typeface and I have used it in many of my designs. What I’m asking for is a little judgement before deciding that Lobster is the best option you have, there is a big shelf filled with beautiful fonts that can help you prettify your designs. I disagree with those who think of Lobster as the new ComicSans because there’s a huge bridge between the two of them, therefore the only thing I suggest to every designer out there is: Stop abusing this lovely font before we start seeing it in every single restaurant out there!.