Let’s put the Sans back in Comic Sans

When God, or Buddha, or the Fontmonster, or whoever created the standard computer fonts—actually, it was probably Al Gore—started typesetting font after font, he (or she—I’m all for gender equality in the typeface world), created most of them equally. From Times to Tahoma, Arial to Verdana, most fonts are pretty great. Some of them are even sexy (I’m looking at you, Georgia). Even Courier has some legitimate uses (and some not so legitimate ones, you typewriter-loving-snobs). Not Comic Sans. It’s clear that the FontMonster had a bit too much to drink one night and thought it would be a great idea to create a font which was a little bit more “fun” than all the others. The holiest-of-all-font-creators thought, “I’ll call it Comic Sans to reflect its cool, fun-loving nature.”

Well, Fontmonster, you screwed up. Big time. And now we all have to live with it. Comic Sans has become an unfortunate part of society with which we must all cope.

From first grade projects to birthday cards to diorama sets, children often discover Comic Sans and declare it to be the greatest font ever. However, as kids age, (some of them) mature and discover new things. Soon they realize what a dire mistake they have made in declaring their unwavering love for the one-and-only typeface. 

Of all the suppressed memories every person has, there is only one that is shared by all of humanity; their one-time love affair with Comic Sans. Whether it was in KidPix or WordPerfect, you wrote something in Comic Sans once, and it felt good. But like picking your nose, while you sat there grinning, the rest of society frowned upon the deed.

Computers were made for serious business, and Comic Sans is anything but serious. Comic Sans is like the guy who shows up to a black tie cocktail party wearing a bathing suit and a snorkelling mask, with a big dab of sunscreen on his nose. Nobody is sure where he came from, and when he will leave; and they’re not sure if they should laugh or call the police.

Have you ever read something written in Comic Sans and thought “Hmm, that was a really insightful argument.” Nope. Ignoring everything on the page, what you thought was, “why is this written in Comic Sans?” I bet as soon as you opened this page of the paper, you thought “what is this article in Comic Sans, and why is it in Comic Sans?” Well, I’m writing about a very serious topic, and you don’t remember a single word of it because it’s in Comic Sans. Tell me one complete sentence I wrote above without looking. I know I can’t remember anything, and I’m writing the piece. This font is such a joke that I can’t even believe my own argument because it’s printed in it. If this article was published in Times New Roman, though, it would be a totally different story.

I took a course in first year, and the professor used Comic Sans on his lecture slides. Naturally, I thought the entire course was a joke. When I took the final exam, which was also in Comic Sans, I simply wrote “lol, good one prof,” and left. It turns out he wasn’t joking, and I had to take the course agian, all because of Comic Sans.

If you absolutely must have fun with your typefaces, please stick to Wingdings. At least then people will wonder what you’re actually trying to say, rather than immediately writing you off as a four year old.

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