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You Will Not Be Taken Seriously If You Use Comic Sans

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Friday, July 9, 2010

You Will Not Be Taken Seriously If You Use Comic Sans

Here is further proof. Really. For the sake of one's dignity, some fonts are best avoided.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Amanda said...

I totally agree. And I especially hate it when people use it to break bad news! as if it softens the blow!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010  
Blogger Angela said...

Comic Sans walks into a bar. Barman says "we don't serve your Type here"

My boyfriend was once part of an interview panel. One of the applicants used Comic Sans on their CV/Resume. He refused to read the CV, the rest of the panel agreed and the CV went in the bin!

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6430036&page=1

This forum thread started in February and is still rambling on 287 pages later! I took part in it and it was very interesting to see how touchy some people got about the whole topic. I never realised before reading the thread, but I have to admit, I am a bit of a font snob.

Thursday, July 15, 2010  
Blogger Paper Chipmunk said...

To Amanda--what, you don't think that it conveys a handwritten, personal touch? (She gags.) I have to admit, I think Papyrus gets to me almost worse. It's the trendiness of it as much as anything that grates.

To Angela--Heh heh. I think I'll remember to tell that one. . .

I think I would toss a CV in Comic Sans too! That's like showing up for the interview in a crass t-shirt and sandals.

Thanks for the link, which I hadn't seen before. I can't believe how long it got. I don't understand why so many people get filled with rage at the shocking suggestion that different kinds of typefaces help convey different meanings and serve different purposes, and that it diminishes one's work if this isn't taken into consideration.

I must be turning into a font snob myself.

Saturday, July 17, 2010  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Why would you expect to be taken seriously using Comic Sans? The title says it all...Comic. What you might have forgotten is that sometimes there are excellent reasons for using a typeface that is childish or frivolous looking. I would not use this for serious work but I like it very much for a "comic" or childish look. I don't understand why the typeface should be bashed unilaterally because some people are not savvy enough to use it the way it was designed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010  
Blogger Paper Chipmunk said...

Actually, the guy who designed Comic Sans has said that it was not intended as a real typeface, but rather simply for message balloon speech in a children's Microsoft program. It was never supposed to have been included in any other applications other than those designed for children (http://tinyurl.com/265b3y6). It had not been intended for extended texts.

There are many interesting childish, comic, and, as you say, frivolous fonts out there that were more carefully designed, or at least haven't become so overused and abused that they've become a target of mockery. For the most part, comics authors use other comic fonts, not Comic Sans (there's a good discussion of that here: http://kleinletters.com/Blog/?p=3599).

Personally, I have many weird, wild, handwritten-looking, childish and casual fonts on my own computer. I enjoy using them, although their uses are rather limited. If comic-style lettering appeals to you, I recommend checking out some of the other comic-style fonts out there. Any of the big font purveyors, like myfonts.com, have good selections. Bancomicsans.com has alternatives that you can download right from their site: http://bancomicsans.com/main/?page_id=98

The sad truth is, there are many people who will discount your work, even if it's a lighthearted comic, if it's done in Comic Sans. I think it's helpful to be aware of this.

Monday, July 19, 2010  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Following your logic, consider the product duct tape. It was developed to help HVAC installers seal air ducts. Does that mean it shouldn't be used for anything else? Clearly it has utility that transcends air handling equipment. Talk about mockery, Ace Hardware sells it as "Duck Tape". Does this make it any less useful?

Comic Sans apparently became (too) popular because writers found it attractive and useful. It may well be overused and possibly even misused, but that doesn't alter it's basic utility. Are you really saying that everyone who has ever used Comic Sans in any capacity should be ignored? And do you mean to say that everything overused should be rejected?

I'm sure there are many wonderful typefaces that might be more attractive (and not yet overworked) than Comic Sans, but it just riles me that you think everything written in Comic Sans should be discounted.

Monday, July 19, 2010  
Blogger Paper Chipmunk said...

Hi Bonnie,

It seems I've been misinterpreted. I'm just reporting what any Google search on Comic Sans will tell you. I'm certainly not the first blogger to mention this last Comic Sans story, nor to comment on this or any other fonts, for good or bad. Did you read the link? It was a story about how someone's choice of this particular font for a particularly inappropriate item led to him being ridiculed online. It wasn't something I made up.



Choosing fonts is part of bookmaking. I personally feel that it's something worth discussing on a bookmaker's blog. I don't see why I'm a target of rage for mentioning a well-known perception in the design world. This is part of a wider discussion in our wider visual culture that I find rather interesting. Typefaces really matter to people. If they didn't, people wouldn't get this worked up about them, for bad or good. I wasn't suggesting that everything written in Comic Sans should be chucked in the bin.

Vincent Connare, the designer who invented Comic Sans, even sometimes says similar things and is well aware of the popular perceptions, good and bad, of his creation. (I found this article particularly interesting: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123992364819927171.html ) The point I was attempting to make was that it's good to be aware of such popular strong perceptions, whatever one happens to think about them, since they can affect how one's work is interpreted in the wider world. The owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers can attest to this. It's not meant to be a personal judgement. It's just an issue to consider—or not—when choosing a font for a particular project.



Thanks for taking the time to comment and adding to the discussion.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

I'm sorry Ellen if you thought I was directing rage at you personally--that certainly was not my intention. Like you, I was attempting to state my opinion. It seems that words can be misinterpreted even with the best of intention (and using a thoughtfully selected typeface). I do agree that choosing a typeface is an important part of bookmaking and I will certainly take into consideration how my choices might be received. Thanks for providing an outlet for this discussion and for all of your research on the topic.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010  
Blogger Paper Chipmunk said...

Hi again Bonnie,

As I say, I do appreciate you adding to the discussion. I admit to being cranky and opinionated, and not always as diplomatic as I could be. I don't know if you followed that Etsy link that Angela left above, but I think it's pretty telling. It originally started by, I seem to remember, someone encouraging people to branch out and try less standard display fonts for their shop banners. The comments have reached 287 pages, and many of them are quite passionate in both directions. I find it fascinating how strongly emotional this topic is for people. I'm glad that you felt we could debate about it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010  
Anonymous Paper Chipmunk said...

To Amanda--what, you don't think that it conveys a handwritten, personal touch? (She gags.) I have to admit, I think Papyrus gets to me almost worse. It's the trendiness of it as much as anything that grates.

To Angela--Heh heh. I think I'll remember to tell that one. . .

I think I would toss a CV in Comic Sans too! That's like showing up for the interview in a crass t-shirt and sandals.

Thanks for the link, which I hadn't seen before. I can't believe how long it got. I don't understand why so many people get filled with rage at the shocking suggestion that different kinds of typefaces help convey different meanings and serve different purposes, and that it diminishes one's work if this isn't taken into consideration.

I must be turning into a font snob myself.

Saturday, April 02, 2011  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Following your logic, consider the product duct tape. It was developed to help HVAC installers seal air ducts. Does that mean it shouldn't be used for anything else? Clearly it has utility that transcends air handling equipment. Talk about mockery, Ace Hardware sells it as "Duck Tape". Does this make it any less useful?

Comic Sans apparently became (too) popular because writers found it attractive and useful. It may well be overused and possibly even misused, but that doesn't alter it's basic utility. Are you really saying that everyone who has ever used Comic Sans in any capacity should be ignored? And do you mean to say that everything overused should be rejected?

I'm sure there are many wonderful typefaces that might be more attractive (and not yet overworked) than Comic Sans, but it just riles me that you think everything written in Comic Sans should be discounted.

Saturday, April 02, 2011  
Anonymous Paper Chipmunk said...

Actually, the guy who designed Comic Sans has said that it was not intended as a real typeface, but rather simply for message balloon speech in a children's Microsoft program. It was never supposed to have been included in any other applications other than those designed for children (http://tinyurl.com/265b3y6). It had not been intended for extended texts.

There are many interesting childish, comic, and, as you say, frivolous fonts out there that were more carefully designed, or at least haven't become so overused and abused that they've become a target of mockery. For the most part, comics authors use other comic fonts, not Comic Sans (there's a good discussion of that here: http://kleinletters.com/Blog/?p=3599).

Personally, I have many weird, wild, handwritten-looking, childish and casual fonts on my own computer. I enjoy using them, although their uses are rather limited. If comic-style lettering appeals to you, I recommend checking out some of the other comic-style fonts out there. Any of the big font purveyors, like myfonts.com, have good selections. Bancomicsans.com has alternatives that you can download right from their site: http://bancomicsans.com/main/?page_id=98

The sad truth is, there are many people who will discount your work, even if it's a lighthearted comic, if it's done in Comic Sans. I think it's helpful to be aware of this.

Saturday, April 02, 2011  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Why would you expect to be taken seriously using Comic Sans? The title says it all...Comic. What you might have forgotten is that sometimes there are excellent reasons for using a typeface that is childish or frivolous looking. I would not use this for serious work but I like it very much for a "comic" or childish look. I don't understand why the typeface should be bashed unilaterally because some people are not savvy enough to use it the way it was designed.

Saturday, April 02, 2011  

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