The time has come

glutton's picture

I'm using a PC, so I have bigger issues than just Comic Sans. (I'm at work)

Isaac's picture

mr. pemberton, i curse you.

Isaac's picture

yes, i see it. and i still have it on my computer because my wife says i can't delete it because she might want to use it sometime. oh, the shame.

keith_tam's picture

I can't believe it! I haven't read all the posts... but it's just too much! I feel sorry for Vince. Although I'm not a fan of Comic Sans I must say, he had a reason to design Comic Sans and that was his job! Stop getting the designer involved in this... he isn't Comic Sans! It wasn't his fault! I'd like to also add that I went to the same grad school (University of Reading, UK) as Vince to do typeface design, so I do have some respect for his work (I don't know him personally though).

I think there's much to be said about informal fonts. People just love Comic Sans. Most of my non-designer friends love it and use it for their PowerPoint presentations and emails. I don't blame them. They need typefaces that they think are useful for expressing themselves and that are freely available to them. With the popularization of computers (or maybe even the typewriter), all the friendliness and warmth associated with handwriting are gone. We began to have to 'typeset' personal letters and other informal things with official, cold looking typefaces. Do you expect them to use Times New Roman or other 'proper typefaces' for everything? I don't think they should somehow. They are not as educated in type as us graphic designers, and they simply choose what appeals to them. The criteria that they use when they choose typefaces are different... they tend to choose non-typographic and 'handwritten' type. There's nothing wrong with it, I think. But the popularity of Comic Sans just show how big an effect a software monopoly can have on the visual landscape. I think we urgently need a good workhorse informal font that is free for everyone to use. I'm quite happy to take that on myself.

I don't agree with deleting Comic Sans on art schools' computers.... that's censorship! People, even designers, have to right to know what's available and to make decisions for themselves. Instructors who are fed up with seeing Comic Sans in their students' work should blame it on themselves, not the fact that the font is available on the computers. Education is key. I agree with Vince that Comic Sans could look really good if it is used well. I'm proud to say that I've used Sand in an email I sent on Halloween day! It worked! :-) I must say I'd rather see Comic Sans than Sand for running text. And trust me, I've seen Sand being used for running text!

K.

Stephen Coles's picture

Thank you, kemie. That's my first exposure to Googlism. A favorites:

1. comic sans is a really nice font' is banned
2. comic sans is a truly classic font
3. comic sans is the font of choice for killer clowns
4. comic sans is fine for now
5. comic sans is the devil
6. comic sans is inappropriate everywhere it's used
7. comic sans is god >>> god i tell you
8. comic sans is out

hrant's picture

> People just love Comic Sans.

They also love to inhale corndogs in the back of their pickup trucks blasting Lynyrd Skynyrd.

hhp

Isaac's picture

hrant, that is the funniest thing i've read in a long time.

Isaac's picture

>May your blood forever boil.

well, it probably will, and i'm not going to lie and say i'm not a snob. most people are about one thing or another. i just don't like things that are ugly. do you?

>The fact is it's the immediate choice of many people. It's a superstar

and so is brittney spears.

hrant's picture

Isaac *is* Brittney.

hhp

kraftie's picture

>> I think we urgently need a good workhorse informal font that is free for everyone to use.

kudos to that!!

trae's picture

I stumbled over here after reading elsewhere that a small band has formed around the hatred of Comic Sans and a raging discussion was going on... please let me in.

Primarily a writer by trade, I'm not educated enough yet to tell you precisely why I hate it; I just do. I woke up one morning and had some sort of typographic epiphany. I confess! I used it once, long ago, to rough out some scripts. When I came across them the other day, it was like looking in the mirror and suddenly remembering what exactly you did the drunken night before, running into a one night stand or realizing that you're living on skid row, prostituting yourself for crack. I thought I was being cute. Now I want to cleanse myself of that dark period and lose the shame. Either forgiveness or flagellation is welcome. I do confess a deep and abiding love for Helvetica... hope that's ok...I've come here to learn.

Isaac's picture

boy, hrant will be mad at you for that helvetica fetish, but i forgive you of your past misdeeds. i have done things with type that i had to destroy to make sure no one would find out.

>I thought I was being cute.

there's that word cute again. hmmm...

Isaac's picture

>It resembles natural human penmanship better than any font I have ever seen

but bancha, if you like human penmanship so much, why don't you grab a pen and start writing? this is probably fodder for a different discussion, but if you need a font that looks like handwriting, don't you actually just need handwriting?

>You suck!!!

so?

trae's picture

Resembles human penmanship? I don't know ... now ShinnType's Handsome does... I just had a vision of legions of truant high school students attempting to fake excuses with Comic Sans. But I guess, if you're looking for something that is accessible to all, then, perhaps it does come the closest... Comic Sans is just so, so, Comic Sans. And so damn overused without deserving it, without being truly versatile. Versatile like, say, ummmm... Helvetica

trae's picture

And yeah, after careful thought, it is my fervent wish that someone would overhaul the basic font set shipped out with every computer. A foolproof selection of little black dress fonts that play well with each other... that way we don't have to be assaulted by atrocites carried out in MS Publisher... when Joe Corndogeater decides to use every single font at least once on his missing coonhound poster. Then again, perhaps it's rude to want to impose order and good taste on the masses?

hrant's picture

> coonhound

Funny.

> perhaps it's rude to want to impose
> order and good taste on the masses?

You know, if weren't an elitist myself, I'd really get on your case for that... ;-) But really, to me there's a difference between elitism and being mean. Imposing stuff is mean; being (or trying to be) "fatherly" is not. Also, "classification" is not universal, it's relative. You might be an "elite" in visual communication, but Mr Corndog might be an expert in raising hounds.

hhp

trae's picture

Point taken. Feeling a small prick of guilt...

hrant's picture

Gabriel, "formal analysis" tends to value art more than craft. True functionality has a deeper relevance than mere superficial consistency.

hhp

trae's picture

As someone who's hunted for upper I's with serifs (aaargh, words with that damn, bane of existance 'Il' combination), I'll give it that as a point... but in that respect, its informality limits its use... what is it? Fonts like Bell Gothic (am probably wrong and putting my foot in it) also have the 'I?' I think that's the one...now there's something usuable under a variety of conditions...

trae's picture

Oh yes! And yummy Sign Painter, too...

paul's picture

Wanting your favorite typeface to become part of the standard would be a wish granted by the Monkey's Paw. It would then join the ranks of dearly-beloved typefaces like Times, Helvetica, Avant Garde, Zaph Chancery and Comic Sans.

Would you still like your favorite font the one-thousanth time you saw it on a lost-dog flyer? How many times would you like to see it used as a newsletter text face in artificial bold with too-tight leading? How often would you like to see it on a laser-printed price list with lots of sizes and underlines and outlines and drop shadows? How often would it take for you to see your favorite display face used for e-mail text or body copy (in all caps, of course)? How often would you enjoy seeing it artificially bolded or slanted? How often would you need to see it used for a 3-D spinning logo?

Would you even want to touch it for serious projects any more?

The people who wold commit these attrocities simply would never buy your favorite typeface, except by sheer accident, and they would never, ever buy fonts with expert sets.

My greatest, secret fear is that a blackletter typeface will someday become standard - you know everyone would be using it in all caps whenever they wanted to be sophisticated or elegant. The fact that we don't have this now actually reflects good taste on somebody's part, because the masses would love it. Give me Comic Sans any day!

anonymous's picture

The bitterness in this thread strikes me as typographic snobbery, with at least a touch of envy at the sensational popularity of this dumbed-down typeface. If it was that bad it wouldn't be so ubiquitous. The fact is it's the immediate choice of many people. It's a superstar - a stupendous design success and Vincent should be immensely proud.

May your blood forever boil.

anonymous's picture

isaac secretly likes brittney.

anonymous's picture

You suck!!! Comic Sans Rules! It's my favorite font because:
1.It resembles natural human penmanship better than any font I have ever seen.
2.It is installed on virtually all computers running Windows and some other OSs, so when I send email or use it in web design it will be displayed properly.
3. It has a laid back tone and is fun to use.

You suck! Comic Sans Rules! I bet you hate Microsoft too - well guess what -Microsoft Rules!

anonymous's picture

Funny stuff, but how 'bout banning the loathsome pop-up ads?

anonymous's picture

I cant wait to see comic sans on a headstone, then you'll know it was a typographer with a sense of humour. It'd probably say 'I'll always haunt you'

anonymous's picture

>> I think we urgently need a good workhorse informal font that is free for everyone to use.

kudos to that!!

Good dog fits the bill. But I hate to see it become too too common. Right now, I'm happy when I see it. It's like cheering the underdog.

anonymous's picture

Good Dog looks too eccentric for general use.

Paul

anonymous's picture

It's a superstar - a stupendous design success and Vincent should be immensely proud.

Not that the fact Comic Sans is the only "informal" font available with Windows has anything to do with it's sucess, right?

As for the justificative that the problem with Comic Sans is appropriate/inappropriate use, how about doing a formal analysis of it? The lack of any respect x-height, the fact that it's uppercase I and C have serifs even if it's a sans serif font. Should I go on?

anonymous's picture

No-one has mentioned the pre digital Comic Sans - Dom Casual. A beautiful font that screams "Bargai sale" and "Local Scout Troop Fair" in benign 50's paintstrokes. I hated it. Then I got to love it. Like the Beatles. Ubiquity cuts both ways.

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