Feb 7, 2011

The Scourge of Bleeding Cowboys

Bleeding Cowboys is a free grunge font offered at Dafont.com. When it first came out years ago, I'll admit I thought it was pretty cool. I started noticing it on blogs, t-shirts, logos and album covers. Didn't mind it so much. Then the calendar flipped over to 2008 and I was pretty tired of it. That didn't stop work-at-home graphic designers (and apparently, designers at major firms - see the Taylor Swift liner art and Daughtry cover) from slapping it on everything that needed attitude for years to come. The below is a large, but far from thorough collection of album covers and music-related art that uses the horribly overused Bleeding Cowboys. Designers: Stop being so cheap and lazy! (that's my job)


  1. As somebody who makes some single 'cover' art for use with single reviews at Roughstock, I can't say if I've ever really used the Bleeding Cowboy font now that its' been so over-used. In fact, I agree with you that it's used way, way, too much. I do hope that people paid the creator for it - or at least corporations (like Dodge or was it Ford?) did.

  2. I agree sir, but it is the designer that sees the overuse, not the consumer. The consumer sees papyrus as a cool font just like bleeding cowboys. They understand that the effect on the album art is matching the idea or concept of the cover. As an artist and designer that is what sells the goods.

    I think if we can keep it fresh and vary the layout with a simple font to accompany it, our intent as designers is affective.

    1. Long before I became interested in design myself, I started noticing it EVERYWHERE. When a municipality decides it would be a cool font for a bus-stop (okay, it was a 'vibey' urban renewal project, but still), then you know it's overused. It was a year or so later that I saw it on a Daughtry album cover. And Taylor Swift. And thought "oh boy, why am I seeing this ugly font everywhere?". All those swashes, ugh. And that "L" that looks like a very short-bladed dagger. Cheesy.
      That's what this consumer saw.
      Our intent is - ahem - "affective"? Attention to detail is good. Not only for copywriters and proofreaders.

  3. The words "Dry County" probably make the best use of the font here, but still not very good...

  4. I used it once, then noticed how pervasive it was...then I stopped.



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