April 27, 2008

Ban Comic Sans

Those who know me as a designer know that there's one surefire way to make me cringe: Mention the font known as "Comic Sans". This horrible font was designed by Microsoft as an attempt to humanize and perhaps hip-up their characterless operating system and software. In fact, it has done the opposite by proving that they just don't get it. This font is atrocious, yet its wide availability especially in the context of Microsoft's banal alternatives has granted it's prevalent abuse from do-it-yourself-ers and anyone with a PC.

My position may sound elitist, but I can assure you that I have your own best interests at heart. The font was originally designed to be whimsical, a more personal alternative to more traditional old-style serifs (Times new Roman or better yet, Goudy) and Sans Serifs (Arial or better yet, Helvetica). Instead its childishness undermines any credibility of its user's intentions and essentially makes them look stupid. There, I said it.

Take for example, this passage from a recent spam email I received...Would you ever fall for this? I hope not. Would it somehow seem more credible if it were written in a more professional font? Perhaps.

Anyway, although I believe I developed my contempt for Comic Sans on my own, It's always nice to have validation by like-minded people. So here you go. Leading the movement against Comic Sans is this organization: www.bancomicsans.com


PT said...

What about cooper black?

Joe said...

Cooper Black?

Well aside from it being a serif, it's also geometrically designed and follows many traditional type design maxims. It's also based on a legitimate face vs. being designed after the dyslexic chalkboard scribblings of a frustrated engineer. It's readable and its whimsy is tolerable. I might consider using that, but I never have.

That being said there are millions of similarly designed fonts i find offensive. but it's the ubiquity and flagrant abuse of Comic Sans that I find truly as disgusting as it's repugnant aesthetic. I have a similar aversion to Copperplate Gothic, but far be it from me to deny the entire Financial and Legal industries of their go-to typographic staple. Then what would they rely on? Comic Sans perhaps?