I’m not sure where I stand on the Comic Sans debate. I certainly don’t use Comic Sans—mostly because I have such a wide variety of fonts to use. Why use Comic Sans, when there are so many other great fonts available?
Since Comic Sans is everywhere, how should we approach it?
Bad fonts in the heart
Bad fonts can actually be a lot of fun. I’ve come to love fonts that are derided. In 2016 I did a webcomic featuring the least popular font from eight free font websites. The end of the comic challenged the reader to use one of these fonts in their next project.
Since doing this comic, I’ve grown an affinity for bad fonts. One of my daily renderings of Psalm 100 was drawn with the Crack Man font. “Bad” fonts have now entered my affection.
Where does Comic Sans now sit in my heart? I’m not sure yet. Although this might change my heart:
I created an ASCII art heart using Comic Sans font, spelling the words “Comic Sans” repeatedly, obsessively. Yes, I actually made this graphic. I have gone insane. Please feel free to share this transparent PNG file and use anywhere.
Bad fonts in the brain
Logically, we might be able to accept Comic Sans a bit more now. An interesting defense of Comic Sans recently came up. Now the notion is being argued that Comic Sans helps people with dyslexia. (Thank you Fred for sharing this article)
The dyslexia point is an interesting one to raise. If it’s better for people with dyslexia, then sure! Go ahead and use it. However, I wonder what other fonts are better for people with dyslexia. Just because Comic Sans can be better doesn’t mean that’s the font to use now. What are the other fonts? Besides, I found this article rather amusing how the author introduced a scientific study with eye tracking data. Oh man! How exciting! Real proof! But then they said oops, Comic Sans wasn’t part of the study. That was a bit like, “oh yeah, we are getting all serious here, with serious proof.” Only to pull the rug and said, “yeah, well, um… not really. But we kinda think it would be good, because of the irregular shapes.”
The distinct shapes of Comic Sans might actually work. That would be totally exciting. But if the article is going to talk about scientific proof, then it might as well actually include Comic Sans in the scientific study. If we are going to use logical proof that Comic Sans is a good font to use for some people, then let’s go all logic, and scientifically study Comic Sans for people with dyslexia.
Bad fonts in my ethics
The author does make a good point in the ending paragraph…
It’s fun to hold a grudge, especially against something as seemingly innocuous as a dumb font. It’s less fun to see how that hatred manifests and affects people who are only trying to use the tools they have to get by. So hate on, haters — but hate judiciously.
That is exactly why I try to not hate on Comic Sans. Maybe I hated Comic Sans at some point in my life, but no longer. I don’t believe in spreading hate. Holding a grudge is continuing the hate cycle. A couple years ago I declared that your sports rival is a good team to root for. In fact, this year I declared that in addition to being a diehard lifelong Cubs fan, I’m now also a White Sox fan. Legit. No joke.
Conclusion on Comic Sans
Comic Sans? I don’t hate you. I just won’t use you.
While making the Comic Sans ASCII art heart, I initially thought I shouldn’t include the spaces between the words. I thought that would help to make it look more solid. But now that I’m done, the spaces actually create “white space rivers” that almost give the hard some dimension. I could have tried to fine to the rivers a bit more to really give the heart volume, but meh. It’s just a silly illustration, because I wanted to assign a “featured image” for this blog post.