I had this error regularly in Visual Studio (2005) when I tried to add some controls to a form. And then I started having it in other applications as well so I started to look around what it could be.
It had to do with the Arial font (dôh); so I decided to re-install all the Arial fonts on my machine. This can be done by going into the %windows%\Fonts folder and copying all the arial¨.ttf files into a temporary folder. Then just double click them and it will re-install the font for you. This seems to have solved my problem
For backup information on this check this page out: