Minion alternativesEnough already, Adobe customers

Dear Pro De­sign­ers Who Use Adobe Software:

You need to stop us­ing Minion.

Not be­cause it’s a bad font. I have no com­plaint with Min­ion as a work of type design.

You need to stop be­cause Min­ion is not a font choice. It is the ab­sence of a font choice. For many years, Min­ion has been bun­dled with Adobe de­sign soft­ware. It be­came the de­fault font start­ing in CS5. And that’s the main rea­son you use it. Not be­cause you like it. Rather, be­cause it’s al­ready there.

As a ty­po­graphic short­cut, this is worse than the av­er­age com­puter user who re­lies on ar­ial or times new ro­man or cal­ibri. Be­cause un­like the av­er­age com­puter user, you’re sup­posed to know about ty­pog­ra­phy and bet­ter fonts. You’re not sup­posed to rely on the defaults.

I can’t force you to in­ves­ti­gate the wide world of pro­fes­sional fonts. But some gen­tle sham­ing—that I can do.

Imag­ine what would hap­pen if your clients, or your em­ployer, de­cided they could get their de­sign projects done by re­ly­ing on de­faults. You’d be out of a job, right? Your work de­pends on peo­ple who care enough to go be­yond the de­faults and hire you.

That’s also true of type de­sign­ers. They de­pend on peo­ple like you to go be­yond de­fault fonts like Min­ion. And when you don’t—well, maybe you’re ap­ply­ing an in­con­sis­tent stan­dard. You don’t want de­faults to be good enough for your clients, yet you want them to be good enough for you.

The four text faces above—they’re the tini­est tip of the font ice­berg. But they’re not Min­ion. And you’ve got to start somewhere.

—MB