Mighty Red Pen

April 20, 2009

To ban or not to ban Comic Sans?

Filed under: Mad marketing,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 6:53 pm
Tags: , ,

Comic Sans—love it or hate it, you can’t get away from it. So I was greatly interested in this little tidbit, “Typeface Inspired by Comic Books Has Become a Font of Ill Will.” This interesting article is an interview with Comic Sans designer Vincent Connare, and it explores the history of the typeface and the, er, controversy that now surrounds it. Check it out:

Vincent Connare designed the ubiquitous, bubbly Comic Sans typeface, but he sympathizes with the world-wide movement to ban it.

Mr. Connare has looked on, alternately amused and mortified, as Comic Sans has spread from a software project at Microsoft Corp. 15 years ago to grade-school fliers and holiday newsletters, Disney ads and Beanie Baby tags, business emails, street signs, Bibles, porn sites, gravestones and hospital posters about bowel cancer.

The font, a casual script designed to look like comic-book lettering, is the bane of graphic designers, other aesthetes and Internet geeks. It is a punch line: “Comic Sans walks into a bar, bartender says, ‘We don’t serve your type.'” On social-messaging site Twitter, complaints about the font pop up every minute or two. An online comic strip shows a gang kicking and swearing at Mr. Connare.

The jolly typeface has spawned the Ban Comic Sans movement, nearly a decade old but stronger now than ever, thanks to the Web. The mission: “to eradicate this font” and the “evil of typographical ignorance.”

“If you love it, you don’t know much about typography,” Mr. Connare says. But, he adds, “if you hate it, you really don’t know much about typography, either, and you should get another hobby.”

During recent elections in my town, one of the school committee candidates used it in her campaign posters and, for a brief moment, I had to really consider: could I vote for a candidate who could endorse Comic Sans? (Clearly not.) (Okay, just kidding.)

1 Comment »

  1. […] To ban or not to ban Comic Sans? Comic Sans—love it or hate it, you can’t get away from it. So I was greatly interested in this little tidbit, “Typeface Inspired by Comic Books Has Become a Font of Ill Will.” This interesting article is an interview with Comic Sans designer Vincent Connare, and it explores the history of the typeface and the, er, controversy that now surrounds it. Check it out: […]

    Pingback by links for 2009-04-30 « boblog — April 30, 2009 @ 5:25 am | Reply


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