Typography in Pop Culture | Entry 8:
Defending Comic Sans
Any computer literate individual has heard of the humiliation of a typeface, Comic Sans. Why such the bad rap though? Comic Sans has become the joke of not only the design community but by also that of the computer savvy. It has been so hated that there was even a Ban Comic Sans movement. However, we all used it at some point in our lives. Hey, you probably even loved it at some point of your life. Comic Sans was the go-to “fun” font for all your book reports and paragraph-long writing assignments you had in middle school. For an even more fun time you could make the letters blue! Why did such a beloved font become the target of such bullying?
I am reluctant to blame Vincent Connare, the designer of Comic Sans. He designed the typeface in 1995 while working for Microsoft. Connare explained the intended purpose of Comic Sans. It was exclusively designed for a young audience and was designed for a comic software that originally inappropriately used Times New Roman. Drawing inspiration from comic books, Connare addressed Microsoft’s need for a fun typeface. It was pre-installed in every Macintosh by 1996. Comic Sans became the only fun type available. It is unsophisticated but lighthearted and friendly. It is wobbly and quirky. Reminiscent of alphabet soup.
What went wrong was its misuse. It was TOO accessible. Like my dad, my dad types all, literally all, of his emails in forest green Comic Sans. I didn’t even know you could make default settings like that for your emails. He’ll forward me emails with fellow professionals about official business and it’ll actually be in green Comic Sans. It’s like his signature. I don’t know why. Point is, people’s misuse of the typeface is comical because anyone with any natural sense of design can tell the implications of Comic San’s personality.
Comic Sans is loved by a certain type of idiot and hated by the other idiots and it’s only those who are educated in design that can appreciate it for what it was and is…. But in no way, shape, or form am I condoning the use of Comic Sans in any way.
Comic Sans is the most misunderstood typeface. It is unwarrantedly ridiculed. Despite there being numerous articles online defending the typeface, I feel the need to write another because no one seems to listen. However, I am excited for the resurgence of Comic Sans. I’m calling it now. Comic Sans will be cool again.
Below is a great video defending Comic Sans. Thanks for reading!