Marketers and designers take note: Font choice matters.
With the wrong font, a seemingly innocuous tote bag can get misinterpreted as mild hate speech. Check out the product below from the online retailer BelleChic, which Quotable Life designed and produced.
Do you notice anything off?
At first glance, many customers misread the bag’s actual message, “My favorite color is glitter.” Instead they saw, “My favorite color is Hitler.”
Several consumers took to Twitter to point out the flaw:
When your favourite colour appears to be ‘Hitler’, because of a poor choice of font. pic.twitter.com/ghZxKiJdU3
— Paul Burley (@burgerhewrote) July 23, 2017
my fav colour is also hitler pic.twitter.com/0tMnOGpsOG
— some quack 🎤🦆 (@hurlarious) July 23, 2017
BelleChic has since changed the bag’s design, issued an apology and even posted a mea culpa on Twitter:
We are beyond embarrassed about the design of our GLITTER tote bag 🙈 ✨. We replaced it with a new design. Hope you like this one better! pic.twitter.com/1ZXGAOcnGj
— BelleChic (@bellechicdeals) July 24, 2017
In a statement which was first published in Allure, BelleChic’s chief marketing officer, Matt Molen, distanced the company from the mistaken message:
“While I realize that most of the social media buzz and commentary has been tongue-in cheek, the type of abhorrent sentiment conveyed as part of the misinterpretation absolutely does not align with our company values, nor is it something we would ever want to encourage or support.”
Molen also told Allure that the product had been available on the site for more than a year before anyone took note of the typography mix-up.
It’s a rare and probably honest mistake, but all it takes is for a few offended customers to take to Twitter to attract a crowd and create a PR headache.
This incident can serve as a reminder to double check your font choices—and your interactions online. Molen’s statement and the company’s quick action saved the brand from a bigger blowout.