Why this font is everywhere

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How Cooper Black became pop culture’s favorite font.

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There’s a typeface that has made a resurgence in the last couple of years. It’s appeared on hip hop album covers, food packaging, and advertising. Perhaps you know it from the Garfield comics, Tootsie Roll logo, or the Pet Sounds album cover by the Beach Boys. It’s called Cooper Black, and its popularity and ubiquity has never waned in the hundred years since it was first designed.

In the video above, Steven Heller and Bethany Heck tell the story of Cooper Black and deconstruct all the reasons it’s been pop culture’s favorite font for so long.

Design literacy: Understanding graphic design. Steven Heller, 2014.
The Book of Oz Cooper: an Appreciation of Oswald Bruce Cooper. Society of Typographic Arts, 1949.

Font Review Journal: https://fontreviewjournal.com/cooper/
Fonts In Use: https://fontsinuse.com/typefaces/7357/cooper-black
Letterform Archive: http://oa.letterformarchive.org/
Printing Films: http://printingfilms.com/
Museum of Printing: https://museumofprinting.org/
International Advertising and Design Database: https://magazines.iaddb.org/
Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/magazine_rack
Cornell University Library Hip hop collection: https://rmc.library.cornell.edu/hiphop/flyers.php

Additional sources: Getty Images / Shutterstock / Google Books

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Vox says:

Want more? We have an entire playlist about fonts. Check out this video on the 8-bit arcade font next: https://bit.ly/2UMITos

ullas kunder says:


Ethan Pixelate says:

i love how when talking about the letter O, their first example was the word POOP

Ogunseye Olumide Gabriel says:

shoprite font

The Dark Soul says:

Do more of this kind of content about design, and not politics

Lewis Ingram says:

The effort that goes into the visuals for these videos is amazing. Always quality

۵ χια Dყɳαʂƚყ ۵ says:

Being different is the best! 🌟👏🏼😏

Pablo Carvalho says:

Majestic made, thanks for real good history.

Rob Whitaker says:

I'd say Trajan Pro is the main offender for overuse

julyne says:

did i just finished the whole video

The Breakfast Menu says:

I never noticed how popular this font was and now I'll never unsee it.

Thanks, Vox.

zippee100 says:

I'm a font enthusiast and I've never seen Cooper Black before.

Jan Senpai says:

Lol i thought times new roman was the most popular font

JakulaithWolff says:

Cool. Now come try to analyze my unique handwriting font…

Deepan says:

(Comments in Cooper Black)

H.H Equestrian says:

Am I the only one that doesn't like this font?

Lowkey Ren says:

I find it appealing. Sooo yea I’m not mad

Barry Keegan says:

Cooper and Bauer Bodoni Black Italic 👌What more do you need

sofija. says:

because it’s cool

Camden Boyd says:

Wonder how many people and companies started using this font after the video came out? Cause now even I'm compelled to use it.

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