How to identify fantasy fonts

I can clearly identify wacky fonts like this one:

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to be of the “fantasy” type, but some fonts look almost like regular serif or sans serif fonts only with some strange things going on. As an example take this other one:

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It’s advertised as serif, and it does have some serif characteristics as far as I can tell, but it also has some strange characters that seem out of place, like the lower case “a” or “f”. It just doesn’t strike me as being a proper serif font, but I’m no expert in type.

How can I be sure a font is fantasy or not?


Like “fantasy,” “wacky” is not in the Dictionary of Spiffy Type Terminology. 🙂

I get from your question, and the exchange with e100, that you’re asking about decorative type rather than “typefaces that would be good when designing a fantasy MMORPG.”

A decorative face is, for the most part, one that doesn’t fit in any of the categories used to describe text or ordinary display faces, such as “transitional”, “modern”, “slab serif”, etc.
Decorative faces are okay for headline or display applications, never for longer passages of text.

Your first example goes beyond “decorative” and is what’s often called a “novelty” typeface. “Novelty” songs are basically musical jokes (“A Boy Named Sue” and the old Sonny and Cher “Rockefeller song are good examples) that you get the first time and don’t find so amusing or interesting the second or later times. Novelty fonts are the same way. Use those dragons in a headline, everybody gets the dragon joke, then it’s stale.

Blue Island is a decorative font. Toybox Blocks is a novelty font.

Source : Link , Question Author : devius , Answer Author : Alan Gilbertson

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