Back in the day when rotating 3D graphics and New Kids On The Block were all the rage, Comic Sans was the go-to font for a more stylish and fun design. Years later, the Internet is now aghast by simply looking at a document written purely in the childlike font. In fact, there’s even a website called Ban Comic Sans, which pretty much sums up how some people despise the font.
But come to think of it, does the entire world really dislike Comic Sans? Well, not really. Most people may not even be familiar with that font. However, mention that to a designer and you’ll probably get a stink eye!
The sans-serif font was created by Vincent Connare and released as part of the Windows 95 Plus Pack. Connare’s idea was to make a font that allows the younger generation to appreciate computers better. Comic Sans was a hit after its release, although some design experts argued that the font does not fit well with all kinds of documents and text displays.
Here are five reasons why many people – and possibly all design professionals – don’t find Comic Sans worthy of its place in the echelons of font history:
1. Tired and overused
Let’s face it. Since the release of Comic Sans in 1994, thousands of fonts have already surfaced and yet it has been used over and over again. People who still use Comic Sans either stick with fonts that they already know or dislike the burden of looking for an alternative.
Sure, the font looks simple, uncomplicated and fun. However, isn’t it time to move on to another equally frivolous but more updated font? You may start by searching for handwriting fonts or kiddie fonts.
2. Unfit for professional documents
Every time a formal document or sensitive message gets printed in Comic Sans, expect a public revolt. The font was designed to be engaging to children and fun to look at, so using it for government-issued statements or PSA on animal cruelty is not going to send the right message.
Here are a few cases where Comic Sans was used inappropriately, leading to ridicule or severe backlash:
- CERN’s breakthrough discovery of Higgs boson was somehow overshadowed by the team’s decision to use Comic Sans in their presentation slides.
- Lebron James announced his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers, but team owner Dan Gilbert wasn’t happy about it. He wrote his rants in an open letter in full Comic Sans splendor.
- There’s this announcement about sex offenders, and this Surrey Police PSA to help victims of sexual assault.
In other words, you may impress your primary school kids with your Comic Sans postcards, but don’t expect the same effect in more mature topics and issues.
Connare himself said that Comic Sans is a special kind of font designed for a particular purpose, and it may not fit well in many types of designs. Having said that, can’t we all agree that Comic Sans is not a stylish or sophisticated font? Its childlike vibe and squiggly style is not meant for company logos or professional design projects. Think of it as “the Crocs of the design world,” as this forum responder said.
On a more technical standpoint, other fonts distribute the visual weight better than Comic Sans. The comical font also has poor letterfit, according to this article. If you’re a designer or someone who frequently dabbles in design, you should know what this means.
Some people find Comic Sans slightly off-putting because of its apparent insincerity. It does not look professional enough to be used in official documents, but at the same time it doesn’t appear wacky or funny enough to be placed in actual comic balloons. In other words, Comic Sans does not deliver the message or feeling that you want to convey.
5. Personal bias
You might be reading this article and saying to yourself, “Well, I don’t agree that Comic Sans is an ugly font, and I don’t see the reason to hate it.” That’s a valid statement, considering that the decision to like Comic Sans is more of a personal preference. Designers and font experts can tell you all possible reasons to discourage you from using Comic Sans, but in the end, you have the right to use it for your documents and projects.