The Sacred Sandwich



Revealing further evidence that American churches are sinking deeper into apostasy, a new nationwide survey by The Barna Group discovered that almost 23% of U.S. churches are now using Papyrus typeface in their logos and church bulletins.

According to Barna’s polling data acquired by a random sampling of churches around the country: 57% of American churches continue to use the traditional Times Roman typeface, while 23% have succumbed to Papyrus, 15% have abandoned written language altogether and only communicate with YouTube videos, and the remaining 5% use Old English font because “that’s what King James used.”

“I think it’s safe to say that the Apocalypse is very, very near,” said Bob Vincent, spokesman for The Barna Group. “We thought things were bad when our past research showed that a large number of professing Christians didn’t believe in Jesus, but this insidious Papyrus lettering fad is clearly a sign of the end times.”

Created in 1982 by Chris Costello, Papyrus is a typeface that “merges traditional roman letterform with the look of hand-crafted antique calligraphy” to produce an universally-abhorred font that lazy, amateur logo designers use almost daily to torture the public. It is commonly overused by restaurants, health and lifestyle companies, beauty spas, and New Age organizations.

Earlier this summer, Living Word Community Church found itself on the verge of a nasty church split because of the dreaded typeface. When LWCC leadership unveiled the church’s new logo on the jumbo-tron during a 9:30 worship/celebration service in August, audible gasps of horror were heard throughout the congregation as people immediately recognized the Papyrus font. Thankfully, Sunday school teacher Shelley Ladou was able to shield the children’s eyes and quickly return them to the classroom before they were exposed to the offensive lettering.

“Papyrus font?” lamented Betty Teagarden, a church member of LWCC for over ten years. “It took them three months and one thousand dollars to come up with a logo using Papyrus? Good grief, they might as well use Comic Sans MS and send us all straight to hell.”

Though most in the congregation learned to live with the new logo, Betty Teagarden and eleven other members eventually left Living Word to find a new church fellowship that “still believes in Helvetica.”

Surprisingly, The Barna Group holds out hope that there is still time for an eventual backlash to squelch the popularity of Papyrus before it’s too late. “Our latest research seems to indicate that congregations get bored easily and will soon be looking for the next popular typeface to come along that they can embrace,” explained Vincent. “In fact, we’ve seen evidence that Hobo may be making a huge comeback. May God helps us all.”

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  • Comment by Rachel — September 14, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

    Forgive me, father, for losing sight of the true message and mission of the church, and following after false fonts…

  • Comment by Angus — September 14, 2009 @ 2:02 pm


  • Comment by Denita — September 14, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

    They are all APOSTATE INFIDELS! Don’t they know that Times New Roman is the ONLY APPROVED Font, inspired and untouched by corruption?? All other fonts are MISPRINTS!

    –TNR-Only Follower

  • Comment by SandBFlag — September 14, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

    I bet Barna didn’t check the worship software fonts. There is an underground movement to reclaim comic sans.

  • Comment by chris — September 14, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

    Hilarious!! But on a serious note, I’m wondering which type face the anti-christ will use? Verdona? (New but tepidly bland and easily read by all media devices…? how about a survey?)

  • Comment by Charles — September 14, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

    So…it’s finaly out into the clear light of day. It won’t be long now. Next will come the “Stick Drawing” cultists…damnable knaves. Can the end be far??

  • Comment by Randall — September 14, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

    Can’t we just use the font of blessing?

  • Comment by Charles — September 14, 2009 @ 11:32 pm

    Well, no Randall…That’s been growing algae lately. They’re not changing the water often enough.

  • Comment by Dominic Stockford — September 15, 2009 @ 2:30 am

    Do I need to repent for using Calibri?

  • Pingback by Tweets that mention New Barna Study: Overused Typeface Gains Foothold in U.S. Churches | The Sacred Sandwich -- — September 15, 2009 @ 6:09 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Zac Smith and terristuckey. terristuckey said: What the Font? Churches and Font Use (RT @toddrhoades)//Times New Roman is a sin & Comic Sans is a gateway drug! […]

  • Comment by Charles — September 15, 2009 @ 8:41 am

    Can Calibri be used to kill the algae in the font of blessing? Isn’t it a knockoff of Comment or Dutch Cleanser? If it works, your off the hook in my opinion.

  • Comment by lester — September 15, 2009 @ 9:40 am

    didn’t we all miss something in the translation?
    Times New Roman is a morph of the old roman which started and still has a strong hold in Vatican City

  • Comment by Charles — September 15, 2009 @ 11:43 am

    Yes, and that’s where it should stay. Right next to those algae ridden fonts of blessing! Clean out the whole lot, I say!

  • Comment by Peter — September 15, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

    I think if you’re not creating your own font from scratch you’re totally missing the boat. We Mac users have known how important this kind of thing is for DECADES!

  • Comment by el Tee Chaplain — September 15, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

    I’m guilty of overusing Goudy myself, but I’ve recently turned from my ways and am embracing the established typefaces of my denomination, including Gutenburg –

  • Comment by Olivia — September 15, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

    Just in case. We’re already living in a world full of Charlie Gibson’s.

    Y’all had to have been there to understand this article. Helvetica is the Wall Street sanctioned type or hype. It does most of the work of mind control so ‘they’ say…..and they don’t know why.

    Next time you go to ‘the mall’ look around, Helvetica is buy-n-buy, everyWear!

  • Comment by Olivia — September 15, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

    Oh, and I forgot to tell the author-wow,very funny. I needed a good laugh today. The Lord’s genesis2 project is on glide path.

  • Comment by Carol — September 15, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

    Awwww. Awake from your slumber oh sheep…and use the font of choice by many proponents of the Anti Times New Roman font movement….BookmanOldStyle!

    When will these new fangled assemblies that call themselves Christians ever wake up from TimesNewRoman stronghold????

  • Comment by Nabal Ben-Nimrod — September 15, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

    “Papyrus Pimps”. hahahaha!

  • Comment by Nabal Ben-Nimrod — September 15, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

    I say it’s part of an Alexandrian cult conspiracy.

  • Comment by Jeff — September 15, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

    makes me wonder what font Jesus used when he wrote in the sand. Fun article. I truly am a “font lover” There I feel better. I love font. Nice to be out of the closet.

  • Comment by Les — September 16, 2009 @ 6:22 am

    Jeff, it was probably a sands serif font.

  • Comment by Papyrus Watcher — September 16, 2009 @ 9:40 am

    Haha, awesomely hilarious article!

  • Comment by Carol — September 16, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

    I’m surprised that Goth lettering was not used to be relevant with the “hip” crowd. It’s such a shame to waste a good font on church signs and even bulletins…but what they do to their power point software….it’s just getting to be too much…I must retire to my old generic “news courier” font…the one that looks like the good ol’ typewriter….gee whiz…Just to be sentimental and reminisce.

  • Comment by Jacob Pettinato — September 16, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

    This Article is straight from God himself! Papyrus is the font of the devil. along with Arial, Comic Sans, Bleeding Cowboys and other ugly grunge fonts. Helvetica is the god of fonts.

  • Comment by Nathan — September 16, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

    …a church that “still believes in HELL-vetica.”

    Thank you for many a chuckle over that one.

  • Comment by Steve — September 17, 2009 @ 7:51 am

    We fired our last deacon who brought the bulletins in with a lousy font. Fortunately our new deacon in charge of bulletins knows that he is on a short leash when it comes to font choice.

  • Comment by Steve — September 17, 2009 @ 8:35 am

    I’ve always questioned the accuracy of Barna studies. Specifically that graph included in the article above shows the “Don’t Read” category as extremely low in my view. Did they remember to include West Virginia in the survey?

  • Comment by Kevo — September 18, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

    IMPACT is going to dominate the world! AAAALLALALALALALAH!!

  • Comment by Keeper — September 19, 2009 @ 9:51 am

    Truly funny at face value, and I’m almost afraid to ask since I surely expose how very slow I am, but, from whence comest thine inspiration?

  • Pingback by Barna Study: Churches Going Straight to Helvetica « One In — September 20, 2009 @ 6:03 am

    […] Going Straight to Helvetica Posted on September 20, 2009 by Jay Guin Breaking news from the Sacred Sandwich – Revealing further evidence that American churches are sinking deeper into apostasy, a new […]

  • Comment by Scott — September 21, 2009 @ 11:50 am

    I confess. I’ve been using the Papyrus font for a few of our worship slides. I didn’t realize that by forcing our people to sing the songs of Zion while using this font was such a sly trick of the enemy to confuse us. I repent. Thank you for faithfully informing us of these ongoing attacks.

    As a follow up, maybe you could provide an approved list of usable fonts. That way, we’d have a strict code to go by and…never mind!

    Great fun. Love this site!

  • Comment by Hal — September 22, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Come, thou font of _very blessing!

  • Comment by Hal — September 22, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

    Does the graph show us that only 23 percent of the church actually ‘reeds’?

  • Comment by emergent pillage — September 22, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

    More Fusi, less Impact!!!

  • Comment by Eric — September 22, 2009 @ 10:15 pm


  • Comment by iMark — September 25, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

    Who will deliver me from this font of death?

  • Comment by Daniel — September 28, 2009 @ 8:55 am

    When will you cover the abomination that is multi-columned web pages (which this site is also guilty of)? The only truly acceptable, genuine and evidently orthodox use one-column, flexible-to-window-width, web pages in Times New Roman.

  • Comment by tyler — September 29, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

    you guys are so legalistic! at my church we dont subscribe to your font-loving religosity. instead, our church allows the pamphlets to be written a variety of font styles and colors, all center-justified of course!

  • Pingback by Stuff Christians Like: Papyrus « MrBokChoi — October 27, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

    […] I found another hilarious site on how U.S. Churches have adopted this hideous […]

  • Comment by D G Pomerhn Jr — December 22, 2009 @ 2:32 am

    Um…do I need to repent of my Wicked Queen BB font? Man, and it looked so good on my business letter headings, too…

  • Comment by rob dp — December 27, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

    good to see comic sans is no more. Palatino i think should be used to root out and more than conquer Papyrus.

  • Comment by SamWise — December 29, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

    The influx of Papyrus in Evangelical churches as exposed by Barna’s research can probably be traced to rising influence of the Emerging Conversation. Their emphasis on unity within diversity of types has lead to an inclusiveness of mimicry typefaces such as: Cyrillic (Eastern Orthodox); Arabic, Monaco, and Algerian (Islamic); Zapf Dingbat and Wingdings (Charismatic and Pentecostal); Batang, Candara, Mongolian Bantai, and Himalayan (Buddhism and Hinduism); And Roman Blackletter, Gothic, and Gaelic (Roman Catholic). The Western mainline denominations who had continued to be in the Times Roman tradition since their break with Rome during the Reformation have increasingly come under the influence of Modernism and now Post-Modernism. Thus, Emergents have introduced a flurry of new fonts they have recently evolved including: Cambria, Old English, and Baskerville from the Anglimergents; Georgia, Bookman, and Gill from the Baptimergents; Perpetua, Leelawdee, and Prestige Elite from the Presbymergents; Courier, Eurostile, and Century from the Methomergents; An finally Euphemia, Symbol, and Constantia from the Cathlomergents. Emergent Leaders have been calling for a Universal Council to manage all the faces of Emergence and to bring about a Utopia revolution. (Extracted from the National Council of Calligraphy’s report on “Scripting, Glyphs, Serifs, and Ornamentals: The influence and Ascendancy of Papyri Uncials.”

  • Comment by dave — March 4, 2010 @ 10:26 am

    dude das funny!

  • Comment by Lance Haverkamp — June 4, 2010 @ 12:39 am

    I repented for being a fontamentalist years ago.

  • Comment by Ubinam Rosarium — September 10, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    The best (non-baptismal) font is Apple Chancery.

  • Comment by Jacob — September 22, 2010 @ 1:02 am

    This reminds me of one of my favorite hymns:
    “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing.”

    Er, something like that.

  • Comment by Cathleen — February 28, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    Fonts are fallible
    Pictures are perfect!

  • Comment by Kyle — March 7, 2011 @ 12:50 am

    Calibri is the anti-font, I fear it is nearly replaced TNR.

    TNR-Only FTW

  • Pingback by Use Comic Sans MS; Send Them to Hell « Jay Friesen's Blog — June 9, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    […] New Barna Study: Overused Typeface Gains Foothold in U.S. Churches […]

  • Comment by Truthinator — August 3, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    C, C, Ca, Can’t type…..laughing too hard! This is really funny. Great work.

  • Comment by Manny — December 30, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    In keeping with the old “Hell fire and brimstone” the only font for me is Hellvicta. Brings um to their knees every time.

  • Comment by Michael T — January 6, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    Has anyone come up with a baptismal font?

  • Comment by Patti — December 2, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Oh my, this is the best news article I’ve read in so long! And the best use of a survey. I don’t know what I like more, the article or the comments! And the ‘center justified’ comment is the best! Can’t wait to spend time with you all in Heaven. Be blessed.

  • Comment by Errol — April 19, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

    As an old timey printer who used letterpress (Chandler & Price printing presses, if I recall the name correctly) and cut my teeth on using hand held composing sticks and using dozens of different type styles, faces and sizes, there is an art in choosing the right font for whatever job you are doing so that the consumer gets the best impression for the cause he is promoting whether it be church, a retail store, or the bar across the street. My favorite font for reading my KJV on e-Sword is Gothic 32 Extended. It’s a beautiful font, almost heavenly, and easy to read. It would be excellent for church bulletins, just my opinion.

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