Why Not Comic Sans?

In 1995 Microsoft released the font Comic Sans originally designed for comic book style talk bubbles containing informational help text. Since that time the typeface has been used in countless contexts from restaurant signage to college exams to medical information. These widespread abuses of printed type threaten to erode the very foundations upon which centuries of typographic history are built.

While we recognize the font may be appropriate in a few specific instances, our position is that the only effective means of ending this epidemic of abuse is to completely ban Comic Sans. [from http://bancomicsans.com/]

When I tell non-design people who use Comic Sans pretty much everywhere that it isn’t good for, well, anything, they usually don’t understand why. I find these words from its creator Vincent Connare useful to clarify why Comic Sans is not even a real typeface:

Comic Sans was designed because when I was working at Microsoft I received a beta version of Microsoft Bob. It was a comic software package that had a dog called Rover at the beginning and he had a balloon with messages using Times New Roman. Comic Sans was NOT designed as a typeface but as a solution to a problem with the often overlooked part of a computer program’s interface, the typeface used to communicate the message. There was no intention to include the font in other applications other than those designed for children when I designed Comic Sans.

This is the full story by Vincent Connare, and this is a short fun documentary about Comic Sans and typography:

 

 

I wish we had a science of visual memetics to uncover the exact reasons why people prefer Comic Sans.

2 Comments

2 Comments
  1. tudza

    Since we’re all here to complain, I’d like to say I don’t like the way the people in the video pronounce “sans” such that it rhymes with “pans”

    Doesn’t anyone pronounce it so that it rhymes with “bronze” or just people that took French?

    • Well actually the French word is pronounced like “sun” – without the ‘s’ in the end (even with some swallowing of the ‘n’).

      While we’re at it, I also don’t like the usages like “sans-serif” or “sanserif” (this is the worst) in English. “Unserifed” is the way to go for the sake of consistency.

Leave a Comment

Join the conversation.

Leave a Comment

DMCA.com Protection Status © 2017 Deniz Cem Önduygu