Why Comic Sans is The Joke of The Graphic Design Community
For seasoned graphic designers, using Comic Sans is a sin and a complete disgrace to the design community. If you’re new to the wonderful world of graphic design, you might find yourself thinking, “Why do these designers joke about Comic Sans so often? Isn’t it like any other font?” There’s this universal understanding in the design community that Comic Sans is off limits, and real graphic designers never use it in any context other than to prove that no one uses Comic Sans. With so much controversy surrounding Comic Sans, it is surprising how few people know the origin of the font and why it’s considered a cardinal sin to use it in your designs.
History of Comic Sans
Vincent Connare created Comic Sans in 1993. As you might have guessed, the font was not created to become something ridiculous and taunting. Comic Sans started as a conceptual font for the Microsoft Bob project. It was a friendly application to help users become more comfortable with their Windows computer. Microsoft Bob used speech bubbles that guided users through the Windows interface. The font selected for this project was Times New Roman. Connare felt this font wasn’t a good match for Microsoft Bob and provided a few hand-written style letterforms to help the team conceptualize a more appropriate font. Comic Sans wasn’t used for Microsoft Bob, but Connare was asked to install the font in Windows Movie Maker. Comic Sans became as one of the default fonts included in Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
Why do people hate Comic Sans
Comic Sans became available on most computers and desktop publishing applications. Having easy access to Comic Sans led to several people using the font in all their projects. People used Comic Sans in everything from cute birthday cards to business proposals. This leads us to the first reason Comic Sans is so hated by many people: overuse. What started out as a cute font to make kids’ birthday cards turned into a “go-to” font for everything. After a few years of seeing Comic Sans on every document, people grew tired of the font. Comic Sans has a practical use, but that use isn’t your resume or a proposal for your boss.
The overuse of Comic Sans is one of the biggest offenses of the font, but more importantly than the overuse of the font is the visual appeal of the font. For the average person, they know something is a bit “off” about Comic Sans. They’re not sure why they don’t like it, but they know there is something wrong with the font. Many people assume that they do not like the font because it is childish Or whimsical. There are people that aren’t fans of handwritten, whimsical fonts, but that’s not the reason that most people don’t like Comic Sans. Comic Sans isn’t aesthetically pleasing, especially when it’s used as body copy. There are several books that explain what are the essentials for great type design, and Comic Sans breaks most of the rules. The spacing and alignment of the letters are jarring, there is no variation in stroke width on certain parts of the letters, and in some cases, the font is pretty unreadable.
Why Graphic Designers Don’t Like Comic Sans
If you look beyond the technical reasons for disliking Comic Sans, you’ll find a more thoughtful or philosophical explanation. Most graphic designers consider themselves unique in both their personal lives and their design projects. Because Comic Sans is so widely available and highly overused, the font isn’t seen as special. Designers can spend hours searching various websites for the perfect font to convey a certain emotion or stylistic choice. Comic Sans is so recognizable that it takes the fun and mystery out of using a new, never-before-seen font. To put it simply, Comic Sans is too common.
Every designer has their own style and preferences. Some designers prefer a modern, minimalist style. Others prefer bright colors and bold text. No matter your graphic design style, Comic Sans most likely doesn’t fit into that style. Even if you’re going for the cute kiddy vibes, there are thousands of unique fonts that do a better job of showing off your originality while also providing text that is legible and well received. Before using Comic Sans in your next project, take a look around and see if you’re able to find an alternative.