If you aren't a software geek, this whole pattern/anti-pattern thing still might not make much sense, but can easily remedy that with some examples. Here's a pattern that appears in the book called Recovering Fontaholic.

Anti-Pattern: Fontaholic

Also Known As:

  • Crazed Typographer
  • Beer Goggles
  • Font Hangover


A fontaholic is someone who doesn't known when to say "enough" when using fonts. They all look so awesome when browsing through the incredible font-face options. But, once you've used four, six, or even nine, both you and your audience get the head pain equivalent of a hangover when viewing the slides of your presentation.


You need to "jazz up" your presentation. What better way to do that than to add some fun fonts and maybe even some clipart. Wow! That looks better. But if one additional font made it look a little better, then nine fonts will make it simply awesome!


This pattern is applicable any time you have a boring presentation that needs that extra "punch". And if you are going to give your slides a punch, then why not go all the way and give your audience a typographic migraine.


Audiences will be talking about how many fonts you used in your presentation for days. However, there your name and expletives may also be laced into those watercooler recaps.

Figure 6.2. A slide designed by a fontaholic


Open up the Fonts control panel on Windows, or the Font Book on Mac. Randomly choose five or more fonts from your vast list of faces that have been progressively installed by your OS and Office Application Suite in addition to ones you casually downloaded from the Internet. If the first five don't seem to be enough variety once placed into your slides, iterate and add another five until you are satisfied. Also consider mixing the use of three font faces within a single paragraph to score the equivalent of a font hat-trick.

Known Uses

  • Church pre-sermon announcements
  • New professors at community colleges
  • Salespersons that are struggling to close deals

Related Patterns

Recovering Fontaholic.

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