Monthly Archives: April 2013

Comic Sans Irony

Comic Sans... sucks?

The British would have laughed us back to England.

Comic Sans sucks.

Googling “Comic Sans sucks” returns 193,000 results, so there’s proof. There are loads of objections: it’s ugly, it’s poorly kerned, it’s overused, it’s ugly, it’s juvenile, it’s unprofessional, it doesn’t scale well. All legitimate complaints; all legitimate reasons to dismiss anything written in Comic Sans out of hand.

I hate Comic Sans too*. When, recently, I went to a fairly expensive restaurant and saw Comic Sans on their menu, I laughed loudly enough that I had to be shushed by the maitre’d. So this isn’t some sort of devil’s advocate, “Comic Sans is underrated” thing.

But I haven’t always thought Comic Sans was bad, so maybe there’s a part of me that wants to defend it, just a little. When my parents bought their first Windows PC in the halcyon days of 1995, I had never heard of Comic Sans. To a 13-year-old kid coming from DOS, the idea that I could open up MS Paint, draw few circles and a couple word balloons and bust out the Comic Sans was intoxicating and I, like many from my generation, was intoxicated. There was even a program, Microsoft Comic Chat, where you could type your words and the conversation would take place in a series of panels. It was like we were a/s/l-ing** in a graphic novel! Point is, it was awesome. Comic Sans was designed for use by kids, so it makes sense that I, an unjaded kid, would like it.

Image

Anyone older than me probably never saw the appeal of a font that looked like a poor man’s Artie Simek, and I suspect children now pop out of the womb cooing for Comic Sans’ demise. Maybe there are others out there with nostalgia for this crappy little font, although, in my experience, it’s now mostly used to make things like an internal memo on toilet paper usage look “fun”.

There’s now a movement to remove Comic Sans from Windows’ standard font library. If that happens, maybe it’ll develop a cult following, and this post will someday be seen as an early text in the salvation of Comic Sans. But, if not, we’ll always have Papyrus.

* You’ll note that this post isn’t written in it; I’m not a sadist.

** Age/Sex/Location, and if you didn’t already know that, I’m surprised you’ve made it this far.

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