Now without trying to sound too controversial and risking the raised brows of the design community… the font Comic Sans has its place. Or at the very least ‘had’ its place.
The story of the most time-worn font in existence, Comic Sans, began in 1993 when typographic engineer Vincent Connare was asked to contribute to Microsoft’s new program fonts. He had noticed the animated cartoon dog ‘spoke in Times New Roman’ when first loading the program CD.
“I thought, ‘That’s silly. Dogs don’t talk like that.’ So I said it would look better if it looked like a comic book.”
From those modest beginnings the most infamous font in the world was born.
The real lesson Comic Sans teaches us is that appropriate tones need to be considered at all times in design. Imagine designing a child’s birthday invitation with the regimental Times New Roman or Romanesque Trajan Pro; it would rightfully look out of place. However, in terms of serving a design purpose, gimmicky children’s artwork is about the limit for the much maligned font.
So why does ‘everybody’ still seem to use Comic Sans for ‘everything’, well… because they can! If nothing else Comic Sans is certainly a unique font, and people want to be seen to be different, appear homely or casual. But as a result Comic Sans has been severely mistreated and is the No.1 joke in a designers handbook. Despite the growing number of typographic options accessible since the mid 90’s the font can still be found in offices, restaurants, theatres and numerous other upmarket establishments worldwide.
If you’re one of the unfortunate few still left using Comic Sans we’re here to help. Below are a handful of ‘services’ that should help curtail your unquenchable urge to use the font in future documents.
This site further explains that ‘all fonts have a personality and a purpose’ and that picking the correct one goes a long way to nailing a design.
A humorous look at Comic Sans including suggesting alternative fonts to use and printable propaganda to help support the cause.
An aim and shoot game that should be effective for those who are truly hooked.