What’s wrong with Comic Sans?

There's a time and a place for everything. Unfortunately for Comic Sans, the time is 20 years ago and the place is a child's 5th birthday party. The hatred for Comic Sans is real and it's completely justified.

Comic Sans Logo

Back in 1994, an artist named Vincent Connare designed the Comic Sans font for Microsoft. At the time he described it as best for “new computer users and families with children”. If only he knew what he was unleashing into the world! It’s a silly (as silly as a font could be), informal font inspired by comic-book speech bubbles and should be used in appropriate situations.

comic sans funny

Sure, in the past the font may have served its purpose, but these days Comic Sans says bad things about the user. If you fail to see how inappropriate it is for use on anything I’m going to assume that you lack the ability to function as an adult.

Yes, it might have seemed fun and quirky back in 1994, but so was big frizzy hair, acid-wash jeans, overalls and having a chain hang from your pants to your velcro wallet.

What’s wrong with Comic Sans though?

Comic Sans is the computer version of writing in your own faeces; People aren’t doing to read what you have to say because they’ll be too busy averting their eyes in disgust from the atrocity of how you chose to convey your message.

Would you take any of the organisations in the image to the right seriously if they used Comic Sans on their logos? I’ll answer that for you. No you wouldn’t because you’re an intelligent adult.

To illustrate my point, I went out to a cafe for lunch with friends recently. We saw the cafe from the street and it looked nice, quite classy actually. We waked inside and grabbed a table. Upon opening the menu, the entire thing front to back was written in Comic Sans. At that point I assumed that my food would be made by a group of children in the kitchen before being brought to me by a clown on roller skates.

Comic Sans like is the badly-moustached uncle who comes to a family gathering and wants to show all the adults a fun magic trick where he pulls a coin out of your ear, accompanied by a hilarious commentary of crap jokes, before getting drunk on 2 beers, passing out in the corner in a pile of his own vomit.

Comic Sans walks into a bar and the barman says “Sorry we don’t serve your type in here”

Use Comic Sans properly

Comic Sans hate is real. The font enrages graphic designers and people with any sense of pleasing aesthetics, not just because how how bad it is, but because of how much it gets abused by people. The problem isn’t the font itself, the problem is its gross misuse. If you want to delve deeper into the issue, David Kadavy.net has written a very good academic study into this.

Despite the inappropriateness of using Comic Sans for anything ever, people still have a tendency to use it because they think it will make things seem fun, light-hearted and approachable. But Comic Sans conveys silliness and irreverence that is hardly suitable for serious matter.

Would you like to receive a letter written in Comic Sans from your doctor informing you that you have a deadly disease?
HAHAHAHA YOU’RE REALLY SICK!

inapproptiate comic sans

Would you take a workplace safety warning seriously if it was written in Comic Sans?
HAHAHAHA BE CAREFUL OR YOU MIGHT DIE!

inappropriate comic sans font

After you ignore the workplace safety warning because of the stupid font it was written in would you then take your Comic Sans dismissal seriously?
HAHAHAHA YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB ANY MORE!

inappropriate comic sans font

A guide to using Comic Sans

If you know somebody who abuses the font, here’s a quick print out and keep guide you can give to them;

  • Comic Sans will not make your church newsletter fun.
  • Your passive-aggressively condescending note to a co-worker will not become light hearted when written in Comic Sans.
  • Your blog is not more entertaining and your post won’t suddenly become funny when written in Comic Sans.
  • Your scientific paper explaining a major discovery will not be easier to understand if its written in Comic Sans.
  • The font won’t your business seem approachable and fun, it will make it look amaturish and tacky.
  • Nobody is going to come to your bake sale if the flyer is written in Comic Sans.
  • Comic Sans won’t make your breakup letter any less heart-breaking.
  • Even if it’s a comedian who died, never ever use it on a funeral invite.
  • If you use Comic Sans on your resume it will end up in the bin before being read.
  • Whatever you do, don’t embolden it or italicise it because that just compounds the awfulness.
  • Unless you enjoy violent confrontations, never ever ask a graphic designer to “try doing it in Comic Sans”.

There is a campaign to ban Comic Sans and you should definitely visit their website.

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I'm an ex breakfast radio DJ who no longer hosts a breakfast radio show so I created this website to give myself somewhere new to make jokes and rant about life, pop culture, celebrities and stupid people.

4 COMMENTS

  1. When we first got the internet, my favorite font was Comic Sans. This lasted until I was maybe 12.

    It’s a pretty bad font, but I don’t think it’s the worst. My graphic design professor’s least favorite was Papyrus. Now anytime I see that font, I become filled with rage.

  2. I can’t help but be amused when I see Comic Sans on corporate notices. Bless their hearts, they really don’t know any better. I’m not a major stickler for fonts so long as it’s legible, but I can definitely understand how tiring Comic Sans can be.

    And this post reminded me of this: http://xkcd.com/590/ 😀

  3. As a staunch Comic Sans defender, not to mention someone who really, really enjoys messing with the heads of his graphic designer friends, I can’t agree with the premise of this post (no matter how much I typically enjoy your work). While Comic Sans is criminally overused, it does have a time and a place for its usage. It is easily the best font to mess with other people.

    For example, I run an internal documentation database for the company I work for. The people who have access to this wiki are front-line support personnel, however because of the nature of the job, many of them have computer science or graphic design backgrounds. You’d better believe I made the database’s front end font Comic Sans on April Fool’s Day last year.

    Also…I’m just going to leave this here: http://comicsansproject.tumblr.com/

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