I always wanted to have Ryan Gosling play me in something. I should’ve known it would go down like this. On this weekend’s season opener for Saturday Night Live, the show finally addressed the worst part of 2009’s Avatar. It wasn’t the reliance on 3D, bad writing, or the plot. No, it was the font.
In pre-taped this video – one of the highlights of the episode – Gosling plays a man plagued by the Avatar logo, and the fact that whoever acted as the logo designer for the movie simply used the font “Papyrus,” which we know from Microsoft Word and, as the character explains, from “hookah bars, Shakira merch… off-brand teas.”
Indeed, Papyrus is the go-to font for when someone wants to make something look “exotic,” whether it’s for stuff meant to look vaguely Egyptian, ancient, or simply “other.”
It’s something font geeks have hammered on since before the movie came out, and something people have railed against on social media for years.
The business Edible Arrangements had long used the font in its logo and while that has since changed, the frequent attention was bad enough that they actually wrote a pretty lengthy tongue-in-cheek blog post about the whole thing.
There are few other fonts that get people as riled up as Papyrus. Font geeks will cite Trajan and Bank Gothic, both of which you’ve seen on every movie poster ever (with the exception of Avatar), and of course there’s that one other font. You know the one. We’re not going to say it.
We need Gosling doing more comedy as soon as possible – he’s proving to be a great fit for it despite his tendency toward more serious fare.
And make sure to stay until the end of the skit for the stinger at the end. And with four more Avatar movies on the way over the next decade, you can bet our Papyrus nightmare is only beginning.