back to article In defence of Comic Sans

Good Morning!!! A Facebook pal recently posted to his status: Whenever you see this font, raise your fists and shout "Comic saaaaans!" This is a splendid idea, and I have already promised him on your behalf that we will all join in this game. But it made me wonder: what is it about Comic Sans that inspires such excitement? …

COMMENTS

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  1. aBloke FromEarth
    Gates Horns

    Misuse

    I once saw a newspaper ad for a domestic violence helpline. It was in Comic Sans.

    I think that says everything, don't you?

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Too much spare time

    It's only a font. Nobody cares

  3. CT

    Bizarre Comic Sans sighting no342...

    ...labels on the on-screen buttons of the industrial control system for the hydraulic jacks used to launch the 1000s of tonnes of bridge deck for the Millau viaduct (source: Channel 5 documentary last night).

    I make no judgement.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Lay off!

    I actually thought Microsoft Comic Chat was pretty good, back when I first got online. Especially for novice users, the whole cartoon-y effect gave it a certain amount of personality. I'd be the first to burn Microsoft in effigy or otherwise, but sometimes --ok, just once or twice-- they do have a good idea. Shame they never really went with it after IE3

    1. Code Monkey

      Whereas...

      Whereas complaining on the Internet is a good use of anyone's time.

    2. David Dodwell-Bennett

      Nobody Cares

      Pete 2 - I can assure you many people do care. I think the article sums up the level of hot under the collarness Comic SS creates quite well - if anything, it undersells it a little.

      I'm on the "don't use it" side of the fence...especially in schools where I see it used all over the place. The excuse is that is "forms the 'a' properly" thus not confusing small children.

      Fair comment, but there are many other fonts which do that, and when it is used in newsletters home which are aimed at adults, my wife departs the room before she has to sit through another of my rants. It's the font equivalent of celebrity culture - famous for nothing other than being famous as it has no real talent worth speaking off.

      Of course, ultimately it's just a form of "I know better than you" snobbery, just as the use of unnecessary jargon and TLA's is. And it does give one a good reason for a long rant at people who couldn't careless and that is always worth a giggle in my book (a book printed in Helvetica)

      1. mccp
        FAIL

        People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...

        TLA's ???

        Where did that apostrophe come from?

        Oops.

        1. Just Thinking

          TLA's

          Fairly common, and not unreasonable, to separate the s with an apostrophe to indicate the plural of an acronym. Especially as mixed case acronyms are all the rage these days. How else would you know it was a plural rather than just ending in s?

          1. mccp

            No

            Fairly common, but incorrect use of an apostrophe. Sorry.

            Mixed case TLAs? I suppose that if you had to use one as a plural and the plural s was ambiguous, then perhaps you shouldn't use the TLA in that case.

          2. peredur

            Plurals

            The Spanish have a good way of making an abbreviation plural. Double up the letters in the abbreviation An example:

            EE UU == Estados Unidos

            Cool, I reckon.

            Cheers

            Peredur

      2. Charles Manning

        Who cares

        Sure some people do care....

        But the article was written by a Facebook user, so does his opinion still count?

    3. Gilbert Wham

      TMT

      Oh, you'd be surprised.

    4. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Well My Dear Watson...

      You cared enough to tell us you don't, so therefore you must!

      Incorrect font use is akin to slapping up purple on your walls and lime green door frames! Font's do matter, immensely!

      ( Too much sauce on Monday lunchtime! )

      1. Glyn 2
        Welcome

        Hang on

        When did you see my living room????

        I think the pink doors really set the purple and green off nicely too

      2. Steve X
        FAIL

        "Font's do matter"

        So do apostrophes. More than fonts, I'd say.

      3. Oblivion62
        FAIL

        We'll, my dear wat's_on...

        So does punctuation, my dear chap. Grocers' apostrophes get people even more indignant than the inappropriate use of Comic Sans.

        I should say, from back in the days of my typographical training, that serif typefaces tend to be more readable than sans serif ones, because the serifs add shape and distinction to the letters, assisting the brain's job in following the flow of them and translating them into words.

        Despite this, I have never deliberately used Times New Roman (I know that's a split infinitive. It's an artificial stricture imposed on language by Victorians with too little to do on those long winter nights. Deal with it) at any time I have had any say in the matter. I suspect it's something to do with the way techies' brains are wired -- doctors are similar, I gather -- and we have finally managed to impose our views on everyone else, by virtue of having control of the only allegedly "personal" computers people think they own. Mwah-hah-hah-hah. <cough>

    5. Annihilator
      Go

      Indeed

      It was rather good, once you figured out how to turn off the actual comic bit... But yeah, I used it back in 96/97 (ish) on MSN when I was first online too.

      Isn't it still used to create Jerkcity?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Commiiicccc Saaaaaannnsssss

    ahh .. Verity on El Reg :)

    Whats not to like ?

  6. lil_eddie

    Explosm Comic

    This quote at the top of the article is from a recent Explosm comic - this is where the 'comic saaaaans' thing came from, not your mates facebook status.

    http://www.explosm.net/comics/2301/

  7. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    really...

    ...who really gives a toss except self indulgent toss pots that have way to much time on their hands.

    If you are so annoyed by a font, kill yourself, seriously, your a waste of oxygen.

    see what I did with the "your" their. just annoy the other pedants!!!!!!!!! Oooo, look! More to annoy them with !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grumble?!?

    I notice that one of the alternative fonts on that Ban Comic Sans site is called "Grumble", which according to Viz's Profanisaurus is a slang term for porno mags. There again, my graphic designer brother sent me a link to a Google font called "Growler", which as any fool knows is slang for the feminine reproductive bits.

  9. It wasnt me
    Thumb Down

    Defend it all you like.....

    ......but seeing a software specification written in comic is enough to make you despise it everywhere. The only solution is a complete ban, and if your little examples get killed in the crossfire then so be it.

  10. NorthernSands
    Coffee/keyboard

    Completely overused

    I have, this very hour, received a work e-mail with attached Word doc explaining the absence from work policy. It's three pages of size 12 Comic Sans, complete with bold and underlined headers along with CAPS and in-line bold sections. It's almost painful to read. It is everything that is wrong with how the font is used.

    It's completely overused, to the point of harming itself. If it had only ever been used where it was appropriate, then we wouldn't have websites like 'BanComicSans' and the world would be a better place.

    I am on a personal crusade in my workplace to have ComicSans removed as the default font. Wish me luck!

  11. Steve the Cynic
    FAIL

    Verity gets a FAIL award...

    By showing text-based examples of a visual effect. My jolly FreeBSD system, while it does run a reasonably modern browser, something called Firefox 3.6.13 that some of you may have heard of, does not have Comic Sans on board. Consequence: the examples of how Comic Sans looks in various contexts of questionable appropriateness come out in a marginally elegant seriffed typeface.

    FAIL. Sorry, Verity, but it had to be said.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      FAIL

      Possibly, just possibly

      You may have missed the point of an article written in the ironic style!!!11eleventyone!!1!

    2. danny_0x98

      Ask not for whom the "Fail!" calls

      Good point. About time someone put their finger on the point of that quadruple-edged sword of licensing and typographic loosey-gooseiness that is our modern day first medium of choice.

      Indeed, if Steve the Cynic cannot see Comic Sans, well, fie and fail Mozilla. Fie and fail FreeBSD. Fie and fail Internets and its tubes.

      Oops. Silly me. The Forte Finger of Fail was pointed at my beloved Ms Stob. I really should read past the first sentence.

      Fie and fail on me.

      In an essay on Comic Sans and those who know the one thing, its terribleness as a font (usually expressed in furtive, oblivious Arial), that used Comic Sans for example, erudition, and humor, you saw no Comic Sans. I feel your pain.

    3. Martijn Bakker
      Boffin

      Might I suggest ...

      a minor addition to the domain user's login scripts:

      if not exist "%systemroot%\Fonts\comic.TTF" goto end

      del "%systemroot%\Fonts\comic.TTF"

      regdel "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts\Comic Sans MS (TrueType)"

      :end

    4. Haku
      Boffin

      Hold a hand over your left eye and read the letters, starting at the top line:

      http://www.haku.co.uk/b3ta/ComicSansEyeChart.gif

    5. byrresheim
      FAIL

      I second the motion!

      While I generally liked the idea of ironically (I hope) (I hope???) defending that hideous little font, I actually had to search my archives for the thingy and to install it, just to see the examples.

      Capitalising Comic Sans as in "Don't Panic!"? I do not have enough question marks on my computer to express my doubts about this idea.

    6. ThomH Silver badge

      So... a symptom, not a cause

      Banning Comic Sans somehow to solve all the world's signage and document composition problems is surely akin to banning PowerPoint and expecting everybody suddenly to be really good at public speaking?

      1. John 62
        Grenade

        banning powerpoint?

        it might not improve public speaking skills, but it's unlikely to do any harm!

        (Keynote would have to be legal, obviously, but you could kill all its themes apart from black and white and replace Gill Sans with Helvetica Neue. And Windows would have to be killed as well since it can't render glyphs in the correct shap).

  12. Piers
    Happy

    Brilliant Verity...

    ...as always, thank you!

    However, as any designer worth his salt will attest, the reason we don't like Comic Sans is that to our eyes, it does (for a whole catalogue of reasons I won't bore you with) look f**k ugly. If anyone reading this disagrees, that's OK. Carry on using it by all means.

    But as an example everyone might warm to, it has a visual effect on some of us similar to the one people get just before they ask the question "you call THAT music"?

  13. Jaruzel
    Heart

    I <3 Comic Sans

    There I said it. I set the default font in all the chat apps I use, to a dark purple Comic Sans 11pt. By doing this, I am saying I'm friendly and easy going, please talk to me. Nothing will stop me from using it, and group chat, I stand out, because I'm the one with the friendly font...

  14. Tom7

    Web fonts fail

    It took me a long time to figure out why this article seemed so surreal: I don't have Comic Sans installed, so all the examples come out in some quite nice-looking Lucida variant.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    For those who know me

    Comic Sans must fucking die a painful death by being force fed every single website and printed document that has been defiled by its glyphs of jovial doom.

  16. Ian Yates

    Well put

    But you'll never convince me. Something about the font just makes me think "amateur".

    If I wasn't at work I'd hunt for the photo of a "keep this door closed" sign in Comic Sans that someone has placed a "do not use Comic Sans - we are a fortune 500 company, not a toy factory" sign next to (in Arial).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Link

      You probably mean this:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/passiveaggressive/4773512458/

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Troll

      However

      Whilst you think that by using 11pt dark magenta Comic Sans, you appear as a friendly easy going kind of person, to anybody else, it immediately appears that you are a middle-aged housewife who has just got their first computer (probably a second-hand pentium II) and has discovered the 'e' icon on the desktop. Somehow you have made it further than MSN. But not much further. Approximately once a month, your 19 year old son comes home from uni for the weekend and reinstalls Windows for you to remove all the viruses you seem to have accumulated.

    3. Steve Power

      Arial?

      "do not use Comic Sans" is very clearly written in Helvetica. Look at the beautiful "a"

      1. Ian Yates

        n/t

        I stand corrected ;)

    4. hplasm Silver badge
      Pint

      Comic Sans, like every other font

      has it's place.

      But who wants to spend sooo much time trying to decide what that might be?

    5. John 62
      Thumb Up

      you're brilliant

      you teach everyone how to switch to plain-text only!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    A pub in my town

    changed its traditional swinging picture sign for a plain beige swinging sign with the pub's name written in Comic Sans. Insane decision.

  18. stuhacking
    Boffin

    Comic Chat

    Comic Chat was great! There's even an interesting paper about the project: http://kurlander.net/DJ/Pubs/SIGGRAPH96.pdf

    Sadly, it seems as though Windows users had already eschewed aesthetic creativity in favour of bland, grey boxes and spreadsheets.

  19. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Troll

    Outraged of Kent....

    The debate over Comic Sans is to me as pointless as moaning about the colours people paint their front doors, arguing over who's the best drummer or who's the best painter who ever lived.

    It's all ultimately intellectual masturbation over things outside of your own control. Suck it up and live with it. Surely there's something more to life to worry about?

  20. Stumpy Pepys

    In its defence

    I think Comic Sans is a decent enough typeface for cartoon bubbles (and one that I've used for that purpose).

    1. The Real Dave
      Stop

      It's not even good for comic lettering

      From a Grauniad interview with Dave Gibbons (artist and letterer of Watchmen).

      I apologise in advance for asking Gibbons what he thinks of Comic Sans, a Microsoft typeface partly derived from his Watchmen lettering.

      "It's just a shame they couldn't have used just the original font, because it's a real mess. I think it's a particularly ugly letter form," he says. "The other thing that really bugs me that they've used an upper case I with bars on it: it looks completely wrong to the comic eye

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/12/dave-gibbons-watchmen-interview

  21. peddley
    Thumb Up

    Comic Saaaaans!

    I use the font very rarely but I wouldn't want to see it disappearing from the drop down.

  22. fukudasan
    Boffin

    But teaching . . .

    . . . English to kids here in Korea, I use it all the time in my worksheets precisely because it appears clear to read, and its slantiness etc. defuses (in my opinion) some of the stress of trying to read, speak and pronounce words from a language very different from your own.

    If anyone here knows the dreadful fonts made available as part of Hangul Word Processor (HWP), which I would not inflict upon anyone not deliberately intending to drive themselves insane, some departure from what the Koreans think is a 'good' font should be welcomed.

    Besides I run Linux (Mandriva) _and_ I use OOo and this font is free . . . so what's to complain about???

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. fukudasan
        Happy

        Dude . . .

        . . . you rock.

  23. sniper

    isans

    Doesn't the iPhone use Comic Sans for its Notes app?

    Must be alright then.

  24. Wize

    Its not the font's fault

    Its like saying cars are to blame for people being in accidents. Its not the car itself, its how its driven. Using Comic Sans for a whole document is like driving your car the wrong way up the motorway. Its messy and hurts people. But used the right way, it works perfectly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No.

      It uses a font called "Marker Felt", which is not nearly as fugly as C***c Sans.

      1. Alan Esworthy
        Grenade

        simile

        Saying "'Marker Felt'...is not nearly as fugly as C***c Sans" is like saying that a 30 lb. rock dropped on your foot doesn't hurt as much as a 40 lb. rock.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Alan

          Absolutely! I was going to say that Marker Felt, as fonts go, is shite. In fact I cannot thing of a 'handwritten' or script font that doesn't make me ant to poke my eyes out.

    2. SImon Hobson Silver badge
      Flame

      RE: Its not the font's fault

      Exactly, just like when the Mac started appearing in peoples' homes some years earlier and people realised that there was more to life than the 2 or 3 monospaced fonts built into their printer. Suddenly you had monstrosities of newsletters that used every single font on the menu ... because they could.

      Ahh, those were the days, every combination of font and size, and all hammered out on the old 9 pin ImageWriter.

      Where I do "disagree" with Verity is here :

      >> This moment, the one just coming up right now, is the first time since 1997 you have remembered the existence of the not-very-good application bundled with IE called Microsoft Comic Chat. There. Sorry about that.

      >> Once it was installed on every PC in the world, ...

      Err, never heard of it. Perhaps it's because none of my PCs ran Windoze - it wasn't on every PC on the planet. Even when I had to use Windoze PCs at work (like unblocking toilets, someone has to do it) I don't recall that program.

      1. Wize

        I was going to upvote you, but...

        ...I hit the pedant part of your post. I think by now, that everyone understands the generic term of PC to imply machines evolved from 8086 processors running a version of DOS/Windows. That was followed by a non-required bit of MS bashing with the 'Windoze' comments. Totally unnecessary and way off topic.

  25. Andy Taylor
    Coat

    The inventor of Comic Sans said:

    If you love Comic Sans, you don't know much about typography.

    If you hate Comic Sans, you really don't know anything about typography and should go and study something else.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Horses for Courses

    Like all tools, it has it's uses, however...

    Using it on the official, court enterable, legal document used to liscense a premise (and which must be displayed under the terms of the Liscensing Act) is not one of them. Something PORTSMOUTH CITY COUNCIL (Legal Services) Directorate failed to comphrend.

  27. Annihilator
    Coat

    I prefer..

    I much prefer the combination of Ralph Macchio and his clone, collectively known as "Daniel sans"

  28. Adam Trickett
    Linux

    It's not easy to read

    I have no idea why it's supposed to be easy to read, I'm dyslexic and find it harder to read than a plain sans-serif font. Even Times can be easier to read than Comic Sans...

    It's just a poor quality "comic" font that is used everywhere else for no good reason.

  29. Airborne Cigar
    Unhappy

    ... but not for functional specs. Please!

    Having worked for a bank that confused "clear and cool" with "clear and naff" and used Comic Sans as the house standard for all internal documents, I can confirm that a) it matters if you value your brain and b) you can go too far...

  30. drmexico
    Flame

    Comic Sans must die

    Comic sans is the most ugly horrible font that's ever been made accessible to the general public, specifically the people employed in offices up and down the country whose job it is to make stupid notices like "please wash up your mugs" and "turn this light off - save energy" and "please don't print this is if you don't need to" etc etc. It's so ugly it makes my eyes vomit. Coincidentally these are usually the same people who can't help using multiple exclamation points, bold and italics to make extra special emphasis on words that don't require it.

    I also hate the default, uninspired, lazy choice of Arial as the default e-mail font for most companies - how hard is it to choose a font specifically designed for screen reading?

    Myself, I'm a lover of Gill Sans and can't help assuming that any company that uses it in their branding is automatically reliable and trustworthy.

  31. Z80

    Don't ban it

    How would we know if someone is the kind of person who would use Comic Sans if they can't go ahead and show us?

  32. Popup

    Not the first.

    > ...that Bob had the distinction of being the very first monosyllabic Microsoft product to

    > be laughed out of existence.

    Surely that honour belongs to DOS.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Stop

      Ah, but...

      ...DOS wasn't (originally) an MS product!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get your priorities right

    I think this article has its priorities wrong.

    First, we need to get rid of the Papyrus font. Only when that has gone should we turn our attention to Comic Sans.

  34. George Nacht
    Unhappy

    I´m not troll

    but why get so excited about (a bit boring, true) font? I agree that nothing should be overused (with the exception of blue cheese. You can´t overuse a blue cheese), but I am using Comic Sans for many years for my amateur translations of webcomicses like XKCD or Pictures for sad children into my native language, and the result is...well...acceptable. I never dreamed of using it elsewhere.

    Is it really so widespread? In my cultural area (central Europe going to eastern Europe) I do not recall seeing a sign, let alone the whole document in this font.

  35. Sampler

    Cookie?

    Can we have some sort of alternative CSS cookie that stores a preference which renders the site in Comic Sans or Default depending on our choice?

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      More things to get rid of

      Before we embark on a crusade against an insignificant pattern of pixels, how about tackling things that actually matter?

      Before ridding the world of Comic Sans, let's fix poverty, disease, repression, oppression, suppression, ignorance (ooops, we're back on fonts again), intolerance (gah - and again), fear, guns (doh! same thing), greed, exploitation, climate change, crime, smoking, baldness, inflation, nagging, corruption, commercial fusion, algal blooms, spam, obesity and late trains.

      Once we've got all of that nailed, then it's time to worry about the trivia - though I've got to say the ability to spell has got to come before what font you misspell your language in.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: More things to get rid of

        Until the world is rid of obnoxious, pompous, naive and ultimately meaningless relativism, I think it is absurd to even consider putting any energy into tackling any other issue at all.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ "More things to get rid of"

        Yes, but people won't do that. Too big for them to get a handle on. Or so they claim.

        So let us start small, with Comic Sans and other typographic monstrosities, and continue as we mean to go on.

    2. Matt Piechota

      Re: Cookie

      "Can we have some sort of alternative CSS cookie that stores a preference which renders the site in Comic Sans or Default depending on our choice?"

      Firefox -> Preferences, Content -> Fonts -> Advanced, Uncheck "Allow pages to set their own fonts".

      IE -> Tools -> internet options -> general -> accessibility, ignore fonts

    3. Alan Esworthy
      Thumb Up

      You also cannot overuse bacon.

      eom

    4. Rattus Rattus

      Why on earth

      would you get rid of Papyrus? It's a rather nice-looking font, if inappropriate in a lot of places people use it. But best of all, it's fantastic for winding up typography nerds.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why pick on typography?

    If you were to ask me, I'd say that the trouble is, the Desktop Publishing concept empowered millions all over the world and with no relevant training or insight whatsoever to produce their own graphic masterpieces and proudly display their lack of talent to millions. Those people don't know it but there are times when a marker pen, or even a ballpoint pen, is best.

    And more hurtful than mindless typography is the perceived need by most to start every creative design exercise by drawing a box rule around the piece of paper. Why, for f*ck's sake?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      @ "Why pick on typography"

      If I could upvote your post an infinite number of times, I would.

      Well said, sir.

      Typography is an _art_ and a skill -- so much so that newspaper compositors had an apprenticship twice as long as any other trade.

      Even Neville Brody at his most avant-garde and wackiest maintained that you can't break the rules without first knowing what they are, inside and out.

      A sentiment that, today, is all too sadly lost in many other disciplines.

    2. Annihilator
      Happy

      @Letters to the Editor

      Bad/amateur DTP efforts are getting better though - when ah wirra lad, you could expect to see a single document with a minimum of 8 fonts, 5 colours, bold text, italicised text, underlined text and the most heinous crime of them all: bold-italicised-and-underlined-all-at-the-same-time.

      <b><i><u>Is the most unforgivable thing to see</u></i></b> In fact any combination come to think of it

  37. Lutter

    Comic without Microsoft

    I recall finding this font, "Comic Sans MS", in the 1990's, and I became interested, since I thought it was a Microsoft-free font (sans = without in French).

    1. Fuzz

      sans does mean without

      In a font sans is an abbreviation for sans serif, meaning without serifs.

  38. Ross 7

    Simple test

    ...would you write your CV in it?

    It has it's place (somewhere in the 6th circle hell) but for most applications it is just wrong. WRONG!!!

    The lass insists on using it for all of her MS Powerpoint slides (she's a teacher). Then she wonders why most of the kids are have an IQ not far short of the font size she uses ^^. I tell you - there's a definite link.

    The root of the problem is "font diarrhoea" - people can't help but spray fonts everywhere. They really should put an onClick handler on the font select box in *ALL* applications. Everytime you click it a modal message box pops up asking "are you sure?", with a good 5 levels of recursion.

  39. frank 3
    Megaphone

    It's not the font

    There are worse fonts.

    It's the people who use it.

    Whenever I get an email in comic sans, a little piece of me curls up and dies in anticipation of the inanity that inevitably follows.

  40. Tim 21
    WTF?

    I did not care one way or the other.....

    But since so many people, who seem to have their heads firmly wedged up inside their own rear orifice, have made such a fuss about such trivial thing I have set all my defaults so that any email or document I create is in Comic Sans.

    Even the default font on my Linux machines is now Comic Sans.

    (apt-get install msttcorefonts)

    So all you out there that make such a fuss take note that every thing I produce is now in Comic Sans due to YOU!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And on another typographic note:

    Arial (horrific but ubiquitous) ain't Helvetica either. Neither is Johnston Sans equivalent to Gill Sans, as I have had the misfortune to catch on more than a few occassions.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    yuck

    Wife is a teacher and uses feckin Comic Sans everywhere. "It's non-threatening", says she, "It's fecking awful" says I.

    I hate it without a genuine reason. Word processors should be limited to 3 fonts and 2 colours to stop the feckin numpties having the urge to use every feckin font and colour in the same document.

    And animated gifs......

  43. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Comic Sans is useful

    In a world where we are encouraged to conform in so many ways, it is often difficult to tell which people are right-minded individuals who I would wish to enjoy a pint with (etc etc) and who are merely mindlessly following orders.

    Comic Sans provides an instant "credibility modifier", just as shell-suits and a lack of washing do when meeting someone face-to-face. It benefits everyone by saving the time wasted in interacting further.

    (And if a teacher of my children sent home a 'letter to parents' written Comic Sans they would get an educational follow-up meeting, as would the nupty who employed them.)

  44. Simon Rockman

    There are worse fonts

    I have a particular dislike for Souvenir and Cooper Black, which I think chavvy. I love New Johnstone (the font used by London Underground, based on Gill Sans). The windows font that deserves more recognition is Lucida.

  45. chairman_of_the_bored
    Flame

    You know it's going to be a bad day...

    ...when your client asks you to re-style a perfectly classy Wordpress site to use Comic Sans "because all his documentation is produced in that font". This happened to me this morning, honest. Made me wonder if I really wanted to have clients like him.

    Fie and fail on me for deliberately not mentioning cufon and other techniques, but I just fell back on the excuse that, like Steve The Cynic, some folk don't have Comic Sans installed.

  46. The Flying Dutchman

    Times New Roman...

    ...as a screen font, at point sizes of 10 or less.

    Now *that's* a real pain in the a**e.

    Comic Sans is a blessing by comparison.

    Never mind that my machine is bereft of Comic Sans anyway so I get Helvetica instead.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    A title

    Sod it, just convert everything to wingdings, then see how much people complain.

  48. David Pollard

    Robert Norton, RIP

    Do I detect hints of Robert Norton's mischievous sense of humour calling us from his grave? He was head of Microsoft's type group for a while.

    It would be a mark of the man's creativity and generosity to leave a legacy which reminds us not to allow technology to over-ride beauty.

    http://www.creativepro.com/article/dot-font-the-mischievous-mind-behind-microsoft-s-truetype-fonts

    1. Bob North

      Re: Robert Norton, RIP

      I met Robert Norton a few times, we were both members of the Wynkyn de Worde society where typographers, printers and 'those who care about these things' would meet for a monthly amiable chat.

      A modest man, he knew far more about typography than he would let on, and did a great job whilst at Microsoft, despite the challenges he faced there.

      Since his death technology has moved on significantly, and the need for typographical expertise in technology firms is greater than ever.

  49. Ari 1

    not all bad..

    Comic Sans isn't particularly beautiful, but neither is it amazingly horribly ugly. It's just kind of okay-ish, if somewhat awkward in some places (the capital i, for instance).

    The problem is much more with how people use it. The font has been used for speech bubbles (ok), text documents (not ok, I'm a cognitive scientist and will fight anyone to the death who tries to claim that comic sans is ok for a full document), greeting cards (usually not ok, "sorry your mum has died" for instance. Just use a pen to, well, WRITE the letters yourself) and warnings/notices ("caution, high voltage", no, just NO).

    You're always communicating a message, When you use a green background and red text you're saying "DO NOT READ THIS DOCUMENT", when you use the wrong font for the purpose you're saying "I'm not a professional", "I don't care whether I get this message across", or "hello, my name is **drooool**, asl?"

    Knowing when to use a serif or sans serif, or whether to use a formal or informal font is important for actually getting the message across in many cases. Showing that you want to get the message across show either your interest in your correspondent, or your professionalism. Sometimes Comic Sans is perfectly acceptable, but most often it is not. If in doubt then select a mainstream serif font such as Times New Roman. Sans serif fonts can be hard to read when used for multiple lines of text or long lines of text, serif fonts become messy at small sizes/long distances. Arial and Helvetica can be excellent choices for posters and such. If you're not an expert on fonts then the above is most of what you need to know.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    i LoVe CoMiC SaNs

    As it's the only font they let me use. When they took away my pens and said I could only use crayons I was upset, but now they say I can use a computer but only if I use Comic Sans.

    They tell me that's because it doesn't have all those sharp serif corners I could hurt myself on, but I'm not so sure. I think they just don't get typography, but whenever I mention kerning they take my computer away.

    But you understand. Will you be my friend?

  51. Nexox Enigma

    I prefer Courier...

    ...for my large, friendly letters: http://nexox.net/dontpanic.jpg

    Kindle screen saver jailbreak - worth the 7 (more or less) hard reboots required to install it.

  52. thecakeis(not)alie

    Comic Sans

    One font among many. As with all fonts, it has it's place. If you feel the need to "hate" or "love" a font, then you need to GO OUTSIDE, FIND A MEMBER OF YOUR PREFERRED GENDER AND HAVE SOME SEX.

    For the love of $diety, get some sun...

    1. chairman_of_the_bored
      Joke

      syntax error: undeclared variable $diety

      For the love of $diety, get some sun...

      How did you know I was on a diety? Who are you calling fat??

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a coincidence

    P.Z. Myers has a blog posting today about a bizarre vanity publication, typeset entirely in comic sans - have a look at: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/i_get_strange_books_in_my_mail.php

  54. Spanners Silver badge
    Grenade

    I Vote we need to fix other things first

    Lets start with removing the CAPS LOCK key from all keyboards and removing block capitals from all documents.

    Then we can fix a couple of americanisms.

    Lets start with the date format - DD/MM/YY(YY) is the proper order.

    Lets get rid of all the silly spelling - substituting S with Z randomly and removing U from words is also wrong.

    If we can't fix those, and other more important, items leave fonts alone. I can read it fine (as long as it is in proper case and spelled right!).

  55. Adam White
    Thumb Up

    It was all going so well

    but you broke my brain with the last bit. DON'T PANIC actually looks GOOD in Comic Sans.... that's just so bizarre. It's the only thing I have ever seen that looks good in Comic Sans... and it's possibly the best it has ever looked.

    I think I need to take a moment here. Well done Stob.

    As an aside: www.blambot.com for all your comic typeface needs.

  56. veti Silver badge
    Grenade

    Far from the worst crime against design

    I find it rather sad that so much hate is directed against Comic Sans, when so many companies will cheerfully and thoughtlessly use fonts like Times New Roman or Arial, in the apparent belief that they're being smart and professional.

    Times looks *hideous* in any format wider than a newspaper column. Arial is just lazy - it used to be one of MS's defaults, so it's at or near the top of every menu, let's not bother with finding something better like Gill or Lucida. But those same people who get apoplectic about joke e-mails in Comic Sans, will see nothing wrong in writing me a letter in either of those.

    Mote. Beam. Clue.

  57. rciafardone
    Grenade

    LONG LIFE COMIC SANS!!!

    It will outlive all its detractors i say...

  58. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Arial vs Helvetica

    Arial is a poor imitation of Helvetica. The latter was designed in Switzerland back in the days when Grotesque fonts were … in. I would not say that Helvetica is anything to go by, it is a Grotesque font … Arial? A pale copy of a Grotesque font.

    Anyway, real æsthetes use Helvetica over Arial anytime … as for Comic SanS? I used to like it when I was in my early teens ... use of it is a sign of immaturity.

  59. Mr Larrington
    Grenade

    Sans peur et sans reproche

    While Comic Sans is a bit rubbish, Times New Roman is at least a hundred times nastier.

    That is all.

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