Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Poor old Comic Sans

If you were born in the 80s chances are that you, at one point in your life, used Comic Sans and thought it was cool. I know I did! Its youthful, friendly appearance surely wouldn’t hurt a fly. I wondered what happened to make this playful, unassuming little typeface become the most hated font by designers.

With some research I have found that Comic Sans was designed by Vincent Connare while working for Microsoft in the 90s. It was originally designed for a cartoon pup that featured in a Microsoft product aimed at beginner users to help them through basic tasks.

Since then Comic Sans grew and grew in popularity. It even featured in one of my favourite games The Sims! However with this popularity the typeface was over used, often inappropriately, by the general public. It is this over use that has sparked the hatred of the typeface in the design community.
Extract from the original The Sims

And I mean extreme hatred with anti Comic Sans posters, a ban Comic Sans website and even a Kill Comic Sans game.

Poster designed by deviantart user djsoundwav

Kill Comic Sans game
I feel a little sorry for old Comic Sans. All it did was exist and become popular. If over use is reason for its hatred, which typeface will be next? Perhaps Helvetica? There is already an anti Helvetica movement, which, however, doesn’t seem to have caught on to the same extent.

Instead of getting angry at someone who has used Comic Sans inappropriately, perhaps take a moment to realise that they do not understand as you do the wonderful world of typography and educate them. Politely of course.

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