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Comic Sans Criminal
December 22, 2010 5:56 AM   Subscribe

How do you get a Comic Sans user to stop, just stop? An eloquent, well-designed, appeal. With stickers!

I didn't know that Comic Sans was relatively easy for dyslexics to read. That goes about 10% of the way to redeeming it for me. Any ideas for the other 90%, Comic Sans?
posted by pompelmo (169 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, some people really get worked up by the style choices of other people.
posted by gjc at 6:02 AM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Damn you, Aunt Mabel! How dare you try to interject a little whimsy into your monthly email updating us on Grandma's health! I'm stickering you so hard now.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:03 AM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Bravo. I'm sending this to a design agency which consistently tries to get my developers to build sites with nonstandard fonts. Maybe they'll take comedic education better than my threats to TP their offices.
posted by MatthewTie at 6:03 AM on December 22, 2010


Alternate title: How to make your co-workers and/or family members think you are an arrogant dickhead.
posted by ghharr at 6:04 AM on December 22, 2010 [23 favorites]


In what the restless shade of Jorge Luis Borges calls "fucking ridiculous," people who moan about Comic Sans users have outnumbered actual Comic Sans users.
posted by griphus at 6:04 AM on December 22, 2010 [37 favorites]


They state as a fact that "comic sans will come across as whimsical and jokey" but clearly that's not true of the people who are choosing it.
posted by smackfu at 6:06 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Any ideas for the other 90%, Comic Sans?

Yes: get over it. Not everyone has the design sense the the Chosen Few seem to cherish so much.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:06 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Coming Next: "You're not really going to wear THAT are you?"
posted by briank at 6:06 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can someone make a "SHUT THE FUCK UP" sticker for every time some annoying designer type tries to tell everyone why they're doing everything wrong?
posted by bondcliff at 6:08 AM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm at the second bubble, and already I find their design confusing - there's two much contrast between the middle two lines and the rest of the text, it makes me just jump past the white letters. Plus the heading over the bubble looks irrelevant, are we sure it's part of the same sentence?

I'm going to disregard their advice on font use.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:10 AM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh and the navigation doesn't work with the back button, nice.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:11 AM on December 22, 2010


Can we just call this type "font hipsters" and then everybody will dislike them?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:12 AM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


I can't believe I'm defending Comic Sans, as a designer no less, but here goes.

When I'm wireframing a design for clients, I usually use Balsamiq, which creates great sketchy looking wireframes. The Balsamiq typeface is very close to Comic Sans. The fact that it looks hand drawn helps get the point across that the wireframe is not a final design.

If I don't have access to Balsamiq, then Comic Sans and Powerpoint are a decent substitute for wireframing purposes.

There are probably better typefaces that look like handwriting, but Comic Sans is the most ubiquitous, and often the best choice, if that informal look is what you're going for.
posted by jranft at 6:12 AM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


I don't really understand the vitriol that is aimed at this font. Is it the roundness that's offensive? The unfulfilled promise in its name?
posted by Tha Race Card at 6:13 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


More like "colorschemecriminals.com," AM I RIGHT
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:13 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel the same way about people who wear dress shoes with jeans.

On the whole though, I can't be assed to design an instructional website about it. It's not going to stop half the middle-aged men I know from juxtaposing intentionally distressed casual legwear with smart, shiny footwear. I'll stick with speeding through puddles when I drive past them. It works a treat for my burning pent-up hatred.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:14 AM on December 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


I feel the same way about people who wear dress shoes with jeans.

You mean, every New Yorker? :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:15 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


You mean, every New Yorker? :)

Also, Continental Europe.
posted by griphus at 6:18 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Were the readability crimes in this page intentionally ironic? To show how bad readability hurts others? Or was it some dick's idea of compelling design to show text as images?
posted by Space Coyote at 6:19 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel the same way about people who wear dress shoes with jeans.

I have the same irrational outrage towards comic sans as I do to people who wear casual brown shoes with slightly-too-aggressively-hemmed black dress pants and white athletic socks (oh god my eyes) so you may be on to something here.
posted by elizardbits at 6:19 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I hate a lot of people. That's just a subcategory of a subcategory.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:19 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't really understand the vitriol that is aimed at this font.

For whatever reason, designers tend to be arrogant and convinced their opinions are fact. They have taste and other people don't and that's that. In their daily jobs, they have to stifle that a lot because the client is always right. So they take it out on random people.
posted by smackfu at 6:21 AM on December 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Someone should let these folks know that all caps is just as difficult (if not more difficult) to look at than Comic Sans.

Also, THEY SHOULD STOP FRICKIN SHOUTING!
posted by lesli212 at 6:21 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


OT

I can't be assed to design an instructional website about it.

i honestly dont know if "assed" was intentional or not, but am stuck on trying to figure out what this sentence means and all i can think of is "as a verb, ass is awesome".
posted by liza at 6:24 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love that he uses that little scripty looking font at the top of the page... I've always thought that script type of fonts were about as stupid as it gets. We KNOW you didn't hand write this, did you really think you were gonna fool us with that?
posted by HuronBob at 6:24 AM on December 22, 2010


You mean, every New Yorker? :)

I will kick your teeth in with my dirty Chuck Taylors.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:25 AM on December 22, 2010


That is to say, the ones you see wearing that "style" came over on the PATH train.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:25 AM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know, I hate Comic Sans as much as the next pretentious designier-than-thou stick in the mud, but sites like this just make people look like pretentious designier-than-thou sticks in the mud.

And seriously, stickers? Never a good idea. If you're passing out stickers, you're encouraging vandalism. Like those "I park like an idiot" bumper stickers, remember those? And the creator was like, "Don't put these on people's cars, tee hee snicker snort," and there was a gallery of photos of badly-parked cars that people had put bumper stickers on. Stickers = childish. I wonder how old this guy is.
posted by Gator at 6:26 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't really understand the vitriol that is aimed at this font.

I think it's way overplayed - it's the bagging-on-Celine-Dion of design snobbery at this point - but I gotta say: This right here? This really very good sub-$20 Spanish red? Every time I buy it, which is fairly often, I think how much more of it I would buy if it weren't for that doofus label design making me think just a little that no winemaker who'd dare slap such a sloppy label on a bottle could actually make a half-decent wine. That you could tend the grapes, mine the terroir, harvest and press with care and age in barrels and all the rest - and then pour it into something that looks like the local Make-Yer-Own sample template.

The wine's good enough to overcome that tinge of oh-come-on exasperation, but just barely.
posted by gompa at 6:27 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ironically, that sticker page is unreadable due to poor typographic design.
posted by DU at 6:28 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's sad bikeshedding. Generally, type education is incredibly poor- people don't know what they should love, or why, but they know "enough" to dislike Comic Sans.
posted by Doug Stewart at 6:32 AM on December 22, 2010


The reflexive irateness of self-proclaimed 'designers' went it comes to font choices never ceases to crack me up. I mean, yeah, no one really likes comic sans. But there's a certain segment of individuals (like whoever designed this linked website) who feel the need to repeatedly reinforce just HOW MUCH they hate it. It's hilarious. My theory is that it is a kind of 'signalling' mechanism to establish themselves within a particular community. The bona fides of design, as it were.
posted by modernnomad at 6:35 AM on December 22, 2010


I kind of love how Apple uses Marker Felt in their notepad app and it drives all the designers mad.
posted by smackfu at 6:40 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's one of the rare cases where McSweeney's says it better than anybody:
You don't like that your coworker used me on that note about stealing her yogurt from the break room fridge? You don't like that I'm all over your sister-in-law's blog? You don't like that I'm on the sign for that new Thai place? You think I'm pedestrian and tacky? Guess the fuck what, Picasso. We don't all have seventy-three weights of stick-up-my-ass Helvetica sitting on our seventeen-inch MacBook Pros. Sorry the entire world can't all be done in stark Eurotrash Swiss type. Sorry some people like to have fun. Sorry I'm standing in the way of your minimalist Bauhaus-esque fascist snoozefest. Maybe sometime you should take off your black turtleneck, stop compulsively adjusting your Tumblr theme, and lighten the fuck up for once.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:42 AM on December 22, 2010 [45 favorites]


bagging-on-Celine-Dion

Oh, is bagging on her out? Is Kenny G still cool to bag on?
posted by explosion at 6:44 AM on December 22, 2010


I think someone should petition for Comic Sans to officially change its name to Anti Hipster.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:46 AM on December 22, 2010


I never use Comic Sans, but when people get all "THIS MAKES ME MAAAD" about it, it makes me reaaally want to start using it. For everything.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:48 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


people who moan about Comic Sans users have outnumbered actual Comic Sans users

So fucking what? People who complain about what a tragedy the Holocaust was outnumber actual Holocaust survivors, too. Your point is bullshit.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:49 AM on December 22, 2010


ARIAL LIVES!!!
posted by Ardiril at 6:51 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


An imperius spell here, I think. You no like comic sans? OK, you will use... curlz.
posted by jfuller at 6:51 AM on December 22, 2010


Wait wait. What do mean by "dress shoes" exactly?
posted by device55 at 6:51 AM on December 22, 2010


Do go on, C_D.
posted by Gator at 6:52 AM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


At this point aggressively hating Comic Sans has become the lazy way of saying you care about good graphic design. Or at least you care about other people thinking you care about good graphic design.

Most of the worst over users of Comic Sans aren't graphic designers - they're amateurs having a little fun within a limited skillset and modest graphic tools. For many it might even be one of the first graphic design choices they consciously made. Roll your eyes if it's a poor choice, make a suggestion of you feel it's appropriate, but the whole Comic Sans policing dogpile went from being mildly amusing to outright annoying.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:53 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]




That said, I did laugh at a t-shirt I saw a few months ago with"Helvetica" done in Comic Sans.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:56 AM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


So fucking what? People who complain about what a tragedy the Holocaust was outnumber actual Holocaust survivors, too. Your point is bullshit.

If it is OK, among you and your "designer" friends, to analogize using Comic Sans with the Holocaust, that should give you a pretty good idea why nobody else takes you seriously or even wants to talk to you at all.
posted by mhoye at 6:58 AM on December 22, 2010 [28 favorites]


I kind of love how Apple uses Marker Felt in their notepad app and it drives all the designers mad.

I like the use of it there, think it fits.
posted by nomadicink at 6:58 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel the same way about people who wear dress shoes with jeans.

Oh, you mean business travelers like me who don't carry a second pair of shoes due to luggage space considerations, but don't want to wear our office clothes all the time when we're on the road?
posted by deadmessenger at 6:59 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


For whatever reason, designers tend to be arrogant and convinced their opinions are fact. They have taste and other people don't and that's that. In their daily jobs, they have to stifle that a lot because the client is always right. So they take it out on random people.

SOMEONE has to teach the ignorant masses, dammit!
posted by nomadicink at 7:01 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Last month I gave a presentation in front of an entire tractor factory and some of the bigwigs from corporate, and I had to use the template that was e-mailed to me. Not only did it use Comic Sans, but it included a "Git 'er Done" graphic on page three. So, next time you see Comic Sans, just be thankful that there's not a Larry the Cable Guy reference next to it.
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:03 AM on December 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


People may find all forms of font-whining tedious and irritating, but mark my words, we will miss the graphic designers after they get sent away on the B-Ark after buying the story about the fast-approaching menace of the Comic Sans Space Goat.
posted by Drastic at 7:04 AM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


So fucking what? People who complain about what a tragedy the Holocaust was outnumber actual Holocaust survivors, too. Your point is bullshit.

You're right, it is bullshit and I humbly apologize. I hope this doesn't affect my application for membership to your club, where we compare typeface misuse to genocide.

Remember when all those Armenians died? That's how I feel when I see an awning with Papyrus on it.
posted by griphus at 7:04 AM on December 22, 2010 [32 favorites]


I can't be assed to design an instructional website about it.

Yeah, if you click the link at the bottom, it looks like he's a freelance designer. He put this together to get some pageviews.

That said, I really didn't mind it that much. It's not like he was particularly bitchy about it.

It's sad bikeshedding. Generally, type education is incredibly poor- people don't know what they should love, or why, but they know "enough" to dislike Comic Sans.

I looked through his portfolio and he seems to know what he's doing. He designs billboards for some pretty big ad agencies.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:12 AM on December 22, 2010


I write all formal letters in wingdings.
posted by ob at 7:14 AM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


The issue with Comic Sans is that, used right, it can be a perfectly serviceable font -- it was, after all, designed after lettering in The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, and nobody reads those books and says, oh my God, look at this awful typeface. But it is constantly misused.

Do you really think the person who is misusing Comic Sans for a party invitation is going to use Futura right? Do we want them all to switch over to misusing Futura, and ruining it for us? Comic Sans is like the flypaper of typefaces. Let the people who would misuse type misuse that, rather than a type we actually care about.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:15 AM on December 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Do you really think the person who is misusing Comic Sans for a party invitation is going to use Futura right? Do we want them all to switch over to misusing Futura, and ruining it for us? Comic Sans is like the flypaper of typefaces. Let the people who would misuse type misuse that, rather than a type we actually care about.

QFT.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:17 AM on December 22, 2010


Wait wait. What do mean by "dress shoes" exactly?

This.

Oh, you mean business travelers like me who don't carry a second pair of shoes due to luggage space considerations, but don't want to wear our office clothes all the time when we're on the road?

Yes, you. Not you specifically, but I don't think anybody can pull that look off. Either make the space in your bags, or wear office clothes everywhere. You look silly with those shoes combined with ill-fitting jeans and a big polo shirt tucked into 'em.

When in Rome?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:17 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Remember when all those Armenians died? That's how I feel when I see an awning with Papyrus on it.

Copperplate Gothic Bold brings me straight back to the muddy trenches of the Great War. *shudders*
posted by Think_Long at 7:18 AM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Civil Disobedient: So fucking what? People who complain about what a tragedy the Holocaust was outnumber actual Holocaust survivors, too. Your point is bullshit.

I think griphus was trying to say that dealing with people complaining about Comic Sans has become a much bigger problem than dealing with the use of the font itself.
posted by Malor at 7:18 AM on December 22, 2010


My theory is that it is a kind of 'signalling' mechanism to establish themselves within a particular community. The bona fides of design, as it were.

As a signifier of insider coolness, isn't dissing on Comic Sans worth about as much as saying that Joy Division were cool? Loudly affirming the obvious is a neophyte mistake, marking one out as a new arrival.
posted by acb at 7:20 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


People who complain about what a tragedy the Holocaust was outnumber actual Holocaust survivors, too. Your point is bullshit.

Whoa with the pile-on, folks. I think that was just a bad parody of a certain kind of Metafilter comment.

At least, that's what I hope it was.

If not, then carry on.
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:20 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, is bagging on her out? Is Kenny G still cool to bag on?

For now, but give him three yers and he'll be the next Hall & Oates-style ironic hipster touchstone.

And then Singapore Airport will be the hippest place on earth.
posted by acb at 7:21 AM on December 22, 2010


Comic Sans sucks. Whining about it, though, doesn't suck as much as whining about whining about it.

So you guys win the Whinolympics.
posted by grubi at 7:21 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not everyone has the design sense the the Chosen Few seem to cherish so much.

We know. That's why were telling them that they should use a different font.
posted by chillmost at 7:21 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


best. godwin. ever.
posted by yeolcoatl at 7:22 AM on December 22, 2010 [19 favorites]


I once had one of those Nigeran scammers send me an email in Comic Sans. I think I actually laughed-out-loud at that email...
posted by StarmanDXE at 7:22 AM on December 22, 2010


It really doesn't matter, but then again neither do most things that people disagree about. It's a bit like seeing marketing that's self consciously using the kid's slang, dawg. It's well intentioned, but the choice can come across as awkward or tone deaf.

I don't really know fonts, but isn't it also supposed to be quite a badly made one? I know I find it harder to read large chunks of if than say, Verdana.
posted by lucidium at 7:25 AM on December 22, 2010


Do you really think the person who is misusing Comic Sans for a party invitation is going to use Futura right? Do we want them all to switch over to misusing Futura, and ruining it for us? Comic Sans is like the flypaper of typefaces. Let the people who would misuse type misuse that, rather than a type we actually care about.

Or alternatively, let them all start using Helvetica so that we can bury the cult of it being the epitome of typographical good taste and move on. Typography hasn't been all downhill since 1957, after all.

Though if that happens, everyone would just use Arial, and the chopped-off 't's and indecisively bent 'R'-leg would give them away.
posted by acb at 7:26 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This.

ok well that does suck.
posted by device55 at 7:27 AM on December 22, 2010


I don't really know fonts, but isn't it also supposed to be quite a badly made one? I know I find it harder to read large chunks of if than say, Verdana.

That's because verdana was specifically designed to be read on a screen. That's why it's the patron-font of mefi. Comic sans was designed to make help bubbles in Microsoft BOB feel less intimidating.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:29 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


gompa: “The wine's good enough to overcome that tinge of oh-come-on exasperation, but just barely.”

That's probably a sign that you need to get over it.
posted by koeselitz at 7:32 AM on December 22, 2010


I'm now making a comprehensive digital media strategy proposal for a Japanese company that uses Comic Sans as the MAIN font in it's BUSINESS textbooks. They simply don't know how it looks.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:33 AM on December 22, 2010


I'm now making a comprehensive digital media strategy proposal for a Japanese company that uses Comic Sans as the MAIN font in it's BUSINESS textbooks. They simply don't know how it looks.

Oh god. For the body text?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:34 AM on December 22, 2010


The issue with Comic Sans is that, used right, it can be a perfectly serviceable font -- it was, after all, designed after lettering in The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, and nobody reads those books and says, oh my God, look at this awful typeface.

Both Dark Knight and Watchmen were hand-lettered. Here's why Comic Sans doesn't even work as a typeface for comics.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 7:34 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


So fucking what? People who complain about what a tragedy the Holocaust was outnumber actual Holocaust survivors, too. Your point is bullshit.

OH HAI GODWIN! IS COMIC SANS TEARING U APART?

In all seriousness, fuck the guy that made his web site and fuck all of the twentysomethings with cleancut haircuts and crisp button-down shirts and nicely-contrasting Alternate Gothic No. 1 fonts. Those fuckers are raping the idea of "good taste" so hard that it's become a bad taste all its own. Simply designing something inoffensive and nice-looking does not make you a fucking graphic designer if it's the only trick that you've got. I know so many young "designers" who do this over and over again and the first time it looks competent and the second time it looks boring and the third time it's official, just because you spent $120,000 on a college that taught you basic CSS/Photoshop tricks didn't help give you an imagination.

These nonraging fuckheads who're throwing away their youth. Who're spending their decade intended for fuckups and eurekas instead trying to learn how to be smugly well-groomed, how to be one of those assholes you notice for a split second on the street and think "well look at that tasteful asshole" before you go talk to the people you love. Who are so unhappy and alienated that their only means of communicating with the world of non-designers is to point and condescend. Not even properly sneer, because to sneer you need enough of a backbone to be okay with the occasional slap to the face. These are the people who make you feel bad about your lack of Design Degree because they care about you, anonymous Comic Sans Individual, and they don't like that you're embarrassing yourself, and here, step into my little cleancut world with no authentically fun colors and let me teach you something about straight lines and grid systems, my sterile kingdom.

Bugs the shit out of me. I'm twenty. I go to art school. Just this week I'm meeting with two fellow art school friends to launch a small graphic design business.* But there's such an appalling goddamn ratio of people with clever, creative ideas and innovative execution to people who seem to be incapable of having an idea that's not printed in the first fifty pages of whatever two-hundred-dollar textbook they got their sophomore year. It's like they're so nervous about criticism, so desperate for critical approval, that they never date stray beyond the lessons that their books teach them are inoffensive enough to turn into a business.

Look at this fucking web site. Bland semipastel colors that don't even have the balls to be properly cutesy. The design of the web site is a rip-off of the Contrast.ie design — now there're designers who manage to be interesting at the same time as they're tasteful. The fuckhead who made this web site, Matt Dempsey, linked at the bottom of the page, rips his design bit-by-bit from Happy Cog, probably the most famous web design company there is. No fucking imagination. Every graphic he touched ripped from a Photoshop tutorial that I read in high school. He's the equivalent of Dan Brown's writing: If you haven't got a clue about anything in the field, you'll enjoy it, and it's so content-free that you can click, click, click away to the ending and delude yourself into thinking that finishing it makes it good. But it's not. It's a xerox of a xerox and there's nothing there that wasn't done better ten years ago.

Smarm at those Comic Sans users who have lives too interesting to give a shit about your irritation. Condescend because you spend four years learning how to make a half-respectable wage out of ripping off fifties design. But know that most of us have realized that the only people who prefer snide put-downs are the people who haven't got enough of an intact soul or self-confidence to even actively rage about the things they are about. You are a wisp of a human being who brings nothing but mild irritation to the world around you, and when you die people will struggle to say interesting things at your funeral. Find joy before it's too late.

*And, hey, why not blatantly self-promote? Anybody looking for some passionate messy graphic designers who lack table manners and charge college-student rates? Pick us! Pick us!
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:35 AM on December 22, 2010 [35 favorites]


am impressed and appalled at how easily a thread about fonts got Godwin'ed
posted by liza at 7:38 AM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


The combo of Brush Script & Comic Sans on the back of the ambulance was utterly amazing. Just toss in a little remedy for the Trifecta of Suck.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:38 AM on December 22, 2010


I would be more sympathetic to your cause if you didn't have
THE URL PROMOTING YOUR WEB SITE
taking up 95% of the space on the stickers you're urging me to distribute.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:41 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is one of those threads where I can't tell when people are being serious or not and it's kind of scaring me.
posted by bondcliff at 7:43 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I'm wireframing a design for clients, I usually use Balsamiq, which creates great sketchy looking wireframes. The Balsamiq typeface is very close to Comic Sans. The fact that it looks hand drawn helps get the point across that the wireframe is not a final design.

So Comic Sans is to fonts as lorem ipsum is to content?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:43 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


So Comic Sans is to fonts as lorem ipsum is to content?

Unless the client really likes it, then you're stuck with it.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:45 AM on December 22, 2010


Oh and Rory:

He designs billboards for Mcdonalds and Apple. I seriously doubt he's going to push the envelope with anything. He works for coporate clients. That's what they want, so that's what he does. No need to tear him up for it.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:47 AM on December 22, 2010


This is one of those threads where I can't tell when people are being serious or not and it's kind of scaring me.

I never knew there were so many opinionated designers out there until I joined the internet.
posted by Think_Long at 7:49 AM on December 22, 2010


Also, any MeFi thread about Comic Sans is incomplete without a link to the story of the Garius' Mum Memorial Trophy.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:49 AM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


He designs billboards for Mcdonalds and Apple.

Actually, it's even worse than that: It looks like he just designed the web site for the company that designed billboards for McDonalds and Apple. A design they don't use any more.

But now I'm making myself feel bad by reading his site, because even his copywriting and his clever cutesy footer text is plagiarized from better copywriters. Yerk.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:52 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


So Comic Sans is to fonts as lorem ipsum is to content?

That's more Helvetica/Arial's job in the wider world. The hand-lettered look of Balsamiq was a considered choice rather than an attempt to be generic.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:52 AM on December 22, 2010


I don't know that this is necessarily as much of a rant against Comic Sans as it is a rant against epicly bad typeface choices.

You wouldn't scrawl "AMBULANCE" in orange spraypaint on the back of an ambulance. Why would you do it in a typeface that even the most design-agnostic person would describe as "playful and whimsical?"

There are plenty of subtle reasons why Comic Sans, Arial, and Times New Roman suck that designers and artists should know about. However, it's perfectly forgivable for a kindergarten teacher to use it to make a handout, or even for it to be used on a homemade Christmas Card.

The decision to use it on a sign for a sex offender's registry is tonedeaf at a fairly extreme level. The medium needs to at least attempt to match the message. You wouldn't write the same sign in crayon, right?
posted by schmod at 7:55 AM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


I hope this doesn't affect my application for membership to your club, where we compare typeface misuse to genocide.

Wooooosh.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:58 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, it's even worse than that: It looks like he just designed the web site for the company that designed billboards for McDonalds and Apple. A design they don't use any more.

Awww. Poor guy.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 7:59 AM on December 22, 2010


No one cares who matters. I mean, I care. But I don't matter.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:04 AM on December 22, 2010


My monitor is going to look like shit after I sticker all those offending emails and websites.
posted by mazola at 8:10 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I made a comment a while back in another thread about the dangers of comic sans, and i think it still stands one of the worst usages ever.
posted by Mach5 at 8:11 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mach5: It was probably meant to distract people from the terrible news. Instead of dwelling on the horror of the events, everyone was up-in-arms about Comic Sans.
posted by mazola at 8:18 AM on December 22, 2010


No one matters who cares.
posted by marxchivist at 8:19 AM on December 22, 2010


So would this work on Papyrus?

How about Tempus Sans? Nothing sincere is ever written in that font. I have renamed it "Bullshit Sans."
posted by louche mustachio at 8:23 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have renamed it "Bullshit Sans."

Try some Metamuserif; it'll clean those extra strokes right out.
posted by griphus at 8:29 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hating comic sans has become as pretentiously trendy as the worship of all things made of or containing, bacon. Both drive me nuts.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:30 AM on December 22, 2010


Here you go, blaneyphoto.



baconrolled!
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:43 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Hayyyy you got Holocaust in my Comic Sans!"
"Well you got Comic Sans in my Holocaust!"
Both turn to camera and wink.
Screen fades to black.

Comic Sans sucks. Whining about it, though, doesn't suck as much as whining about whining about it.

Lolocaust.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:54 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Wow, some people really get worked up by the style choices of other people."

I could notify you of a death in your family by sending a happy clown singing telegram, to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle". With balloons.

Hey, what you all worked up about my style choice?

"I don't really understand the vitriol that is aimed at this font.

For whatever reason, designers tend to be arrogant and convinced their opinions are fact. They have taste and other people don't and that's that. In their daily jobs, they have to stifle that a lot because the client is always right. So they take it out on random people.
"

This is why we have designers. Because there are people who simply don't understand basic elements of balance, form, mass, space, color, texture, depth, figure-ground. They don't understand that they don't know. They think it's arcane double-speak. It's not. It's actually really simple. But it's like music. It's irrational. It takes practice. But it can be learned, it can be taught. It's the basis of art. The state of art education is a topic for another post...

Granted, a lot of designers come across as arrogant, pretentious pricks. That's not designers. That's people. I know mathematicians and engineers who are arrogant, pretentious pricks. Designers can be jaded. Engineers can point to the numbers and say "That's why". Designers don't have that luxury. Trying to explain design and 50,000 years of human art development in a 15 minute meeting to someone who absolutely is not interested ain't going to happen. That's why designers throw up their hands and just say "Because I say so." They are frustrated.

Let's be clear about something - the vitriol is not directed at the font itself. The font is just a tool. A style choice. It's a thing.

There are a number of ways we could articulate what it is about Comic Sans that makes it an inappropriate font for certain applications. But all that would do is restate the form of the font verbally. To understand it, you have to see it. Look at it. It's a "happy" font. It's informal. Very informal.

Comic Sans is itself an expression. You wouldn't write a death notification like this, even in Times New Roman - "You dudes, yo' mama died like a bad ham in da sun!". It's inappropriate. It may be factually correct. Mother died in the summer and was not found for several days - but YOU DON"T FUCKING SAY IT AND CERTAINLY NOT LIKE THAT.

Use Comic Sans. It's a great font - for comics. It says it right there in the name.
posted by Xoebe at 8:56 AM on December 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


The Fortune 500 pic made my wince in pain. I dread those long, horrific power point presentations my superiors produce with nary a thought as to how it makes me tremble when visualizing not only the misuse of the word 'insure' and 'ensure', but to blister my eyeballs when formatted in ComicSans. Oh, the humanity!
posted by ~Sushma~ at 8:57 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Comic Sans is the best handwriting font ever made, that works at low point sizes. If you add the constraint "works without anti-aliasing filters like Cleartype", it's the only one that even remotely works.

Go ahead. Try the competition.

And, of course, it's generally the only handwriting-ish choice available to most people.
posted by effugas at 9:02 AM on December 22, 2010


"Good design" is for people who have some talent at artfulness but lack soul.
posted by koeselitz at 9:06 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait wait. What do mean by "dress shoes" exactly?
This.


To be fair, those square-toed monstrosities are preposterously, hideously fucking awful regardless of what they're worn with. A nice pair of brogues can look just fine paired with some slim-fitting, darker-colored jeans.
posted by dersins at 9:07 AM on December 22, 2010


Screen fades to black.

"Well, Hans, I really like the work you've put into the 'Arbeit Macht Frei' sign, but if I could just make one teensy suggestion..."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:10 AM on December 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


I don't know that this is necessarily as much of a rant against Comic Sans as it is a rant against epicly bad typeface choices.

You're in the wrong thread to be reasonable and thoughtful, pardner.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:16 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


People are geniuses at making themselves unhappy. Who gives a shit about a fucking type face?
posted by mrhappy at 9:16 AM on December 22, 2010


I will kick your teeth in with my dirty Chuck Taylors.

Stay in brooklyn you!
posted by Ad hominem at 9:19 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, you. Not you specifically, but I don't think anybody can pull that look off. Either make the space in your bags, or wear office clothes everywhere. You look silly with those shoes combined with ill-fitting jeans and a big polo shirt tucked into 'em.

Question! Does this apply only to DRESS SHOES dress shoes, or does this apply to any kind of seminice nonsneaker? I've got a pair of Dockers that look something like this and I occasionally wear it with either a nice pair of jeans or chinos. Is that a no-no? Should I be doing it differently? oh god I know nothing
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:21 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Reading this entire thread in comic sans makes the experience a whole lot more of a chuckle.
posted by blucevalo at 9:21 AM on December 22, 2010


My handwriting is so terrible that any and every and all fonts, styles, by hand or by computer or by typewriter seem elegant simply because they are readable. I am a bit of an old-fashioned guy, so I still am more concerned with what is said, how it is said, than I am with the font by which it is said. There.
posted by Postroad at 9:24 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


It only applies to people who take unsolicited fashion tips from strangers on the Internet, Rory. Both I and Eugene Hutz have absolutely no problem pulling off dress shoes and jeans.

...as long as you're not wearing them with white tube socks. If you are, you must cut your feet off in penance.
posted by griphus at 9:24 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I recently had to sign a four page medical consent form for my daughter to enter an experimental treatment related to chemotherapy. Naturally, this is a pretty serious document, including a full page of all the things which could remotely go wrong.

Yes, the entire document was set in comic sans.
posted by Rumple at 9:25 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


To be fair, those square-toed monstrosities are preposterously, hideously fucking awful regardless of what they're worn with. A nice pair of brogues can look just fine paired with some slim-fitting, darker-colored jeans.

Agreed, those aren't "dress shoes" by any stretch stretch of the imagination.

Comic sans is like Steely Dan, people have just become trained to hate on them.

Wake up sheeple! Steely Dan is awesome. Comic sans is alright I guess.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:26 AM on December 22, 2010


For anyone who has ever tried to choose a font, Smashing Magazine recently posted THE BEST ARTICLE ON CHOOSING FONTS. It also serves as a handy cheat sheet for "what font to use."

Very cool stuff, plainspoken and light on the technical talk, and not a bit snide.
posted by ErikaB at 9:28 AM on December 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


You're in the wrong thread to be reasonable and thoughtful, pardner.

Fair enough. I should stick to the cyclist vs. motorist flamewars.

That said, the website was smug, condescending, and actually kind of poorly designed in and of itself. As has been mentioned here, his use of typefaces isn't exactly going to win him any awards. (I did like his selective use of bold text, although that's about it. It was pretty hard to read, and I absolutely despise internet slideshows.)

However, the examples he gave were all indeed extreme cases. Those signs are meant to convey a message, which a great many of them are failing to do thanks to their colossally-bad typeface choices.

I don't care that the signs are ugly. I care that they're failing to communicate a series of rather important messages. "Looking good" is rarely the primary purpose of any sort of "design." Sometimes, objects need to look good in order to achieve their primary function (ie. advertising,) although even then, it's still not the primary objective. If the design muddles or diminishes the function or the message, it is a bad design. You shouldn't need to be a designer to know that.

Hell, over the past century, we've even removed "Looking good" from our definition of "art." The design trolls are missing the forest for the tastefully-kerned trees.
posted by schmod at 9:29 AM on December 22, 2010


a handy cheat sheet for "what font to use."

I got yer cheat sheet right here.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:47 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


sans preview, here's an strong antidote: Comic Sans Destroyer.
posted by progosk at 9:50 AM on December 22, 2010


Here are some websites I'd like them to see:

all caps as body text criminal .com

template text overlapping with main text criminal .com

overuse of the word criminal criminal.com
posted by John Cohen at 9:56 AM on December 22, 2010


You are a wisp of a human being who brings nothing but mild irritation to the world around you, and when you die people will struggle to say interesting things at your funeral. Find joy before it's too late.
I am copying this to Evernote for use in the future.
posted by DWRoelands at 10:10 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


But congratulations anyway, pompelmo, for successfully trolling so many of us. Well played!
posted by jfuller at 10:21 AM on December 22, 2010


but I gotta say: This right here? This really very good sub-$20 Spanish red? Every time I buy it, which is fairly often, I think how much more of it I would buy if it weren't for that doofus label design making me think just a little that no winemaker who'd dare slap such a sloppy label on a bottle could actually make a half-decent wine.

This is actually a brilliant use of Comic Sans, no kidding. Think of how clichéd and overused the whole "sophisticated and elegant" typeface aesthetic is for wine bottles. Now you have to find a way to stand out among the hundreds of other bottles on the shelf. You also want to convey the message that the wine you make is local, unpretentious, not too commercial, made in small batches.

Yeah, I want to salute the designers here.
posted by naju at 10:32 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is it too early to use Comic sans ironically?
posted by Tashtego at 10:37 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]



Comic sans is like Steely Dan, people have just become trained to hate on them.


Wait a sec... People hate Steely Dan?
posted by freakazoid at 10:53 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wake up sheeple! Steely Dan is awesome.

Damn straight!
posted by 26.2 at 10:54 AM on December 22, 2010


This is a great rant, Rory, although I do feel a little sorry for the designer who's bearing the brunt of all of our frustrations. I design and produce web and print work to support my non-commercial art habit, and although I'm a fan of good, non-derivative, innovative design I also find the condescending attitude of the subset of very vocal design snobs repellent.

You nail the issue, which is that this group is more interested in being right (which means following good, solid, established design standards to the letter- standards that were accepted into the cannon years ago by designers far more intelligent and creative than themselves) and distinguishing themselves as having more cultural capital than non-designers, than by being innovative themselves and solving actual real-life design challenges.

It's classist in the same way that publicly ridiculing anyone else's style choices is, particularly when that style choice has to do with access to designer goods. Those well-designed fonts aren't free, and the only reason I can afford them is because they pay for themselves through the work I do. This takedown is "People of Walmart" level shit, and I really can't stand it.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:59 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I despise on principle any band whose fans regularly replace the first part of the name with 'The'. Except for Steely Dan. In their case I just loathe people who call them 'The Dan'.

And to tie things up nicely, here's a Steely Dan fan site with Comic Sans on it.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:03 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


People are geniuses at making themselves unhappy. Who gives a shit about a fucking type face?

People whose job is to give a shit about a fucking typeface?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:04 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Our monthly notifications of our credit reporting dispute response rate is in Comic Sans.

My ex was once given a reference letter from her company's comptroller. It was on letterhead with green serif type. It was set in purple Comic Sans.
posted by [citation needed] at 11:29 AM on December 22, 2010


Is that a no-no? Should I be doing it differently?

Those are just shoes, not dress shoes, so you're OK. The panic you're experiencing comes with the slow death of The Formal that's been going on for the past hundred-odd years. Kind-of like how this used to be called "writing" as opposed to this which is "printing." *

*Since the invention of the typewriter and (especially) the computer, writing has changed to mean not typing, and that other "old-fashioned" stuff is now the subset cursive. What's strange to me is that "cursive" handwriting was originally created as a way to write faster, so you think it would have beat-out printing. It's probably just because we teach children the letter forms first, embellishment second and schools decided you might as well skip step two and go straight to the home keys. Which is sad.

Hitler may have also had a hand in the death of cursive.

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:33 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like how Mefites instantly disagree with whatever is posted on Metafilter. If it's a defense of Comic Sans, then Comic Sans is the most horrible thing ever. If it's anti-Comic Sans, then people who care about fonts are stupid. Whatever the poster says, let's just go against it because hey that guy's a dick.
posted by Lobster Garden at 11:43 AM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like how Mefites instantly disagree with whatever is posted on Metafilter.

I take it you have somehow scrolled right past every single Calvin & Hobbes, Roger Ebert, David Foster Wallace, Futurama, and MUPPETS YAY AMIRITE thread.
posted by Gator at 11:47 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's strange to me is that "cursive" handwriting was originally created as a way to write faster, so you think it would have beat-out printing.

Not necessarily: The cost of learning to produce readable cursive may offset the benefit of being able to write faster - either because people do not have access to good training or because it's just plain hard. Kind of how not everybody is an olympic weightlifter, even though it's nice to be able to carry a piano single-handedly now and then.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:48 AM on December 22, 2010


I appreciate Comic Sans because it is a useful identifier for the user. That is, when someone sends me a Comic Sans email, I instantly know all I need to about them.

It's the font equivalent of a swastika armband NASCAR jacket.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:53 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The furor over fonts, particularly Comic Sans, always baffles me. Why do badly-chosen fonts upset (some) people so much? More than, say, badly-chosen color schemes or background patterns, etc? Sure, in some cases a bad choice makes the thing unreadable or unusable, but I'm talking about cases where the failure is only esthetic. What is it about fonts?

That said, I'm not very visual and a lot of typographic finesse is lost on me. But even I can see the basic "feel" of a font - classic, high-tech, playful, whatever. And I can see the mismatch between a playful/childish font like Comic Sans and the serious message of a hospital consent form. So why do the authors of these documents choose it? I'd really like to know what they were thinking. Are some people "font-blind"? A new disorder: fontopagnosia! Somebody call the DSM!
posted by Quietgal at 12:05 PM on December 22, 2010


mildly amusing site, nicely done. But, really, get over yourselves. People use Comic Sans. They like it. Enjoy your condescension as you would enjoy revenge, coolly and quietly.
posted by theora55 at 12:13 PM on December 22, 2010


There is not an army of designers out there blogging about Comic Sans usage. Frankly I'm curious who these designers are that actually have time to blog about anything. Designers are not arrogant dicks for blacklisting Comic Sans. Where do people get this notion that any dumbshit can be a designer, and therefore are qualified to take designers to task? Fucking Betty Crocker won't let me use margarine instead of butter in German pancakes. But wait, since I've actually cooked something before, I'm a goddamn cooking expert!
posted by Brocktoon at 12:14 PM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Lobster Garden: “I like how Mefites instantly disagree with whatever is posted on Metafilter. If it's a defense of Comic Sans, then Comic Sans is the most horrible thing ever. If it's anti-Comic Sans, then people who care about fonts are stupid. Whatever the poster says, let's just go against it because hey that guy's a dick.”

Well, let's be fair. Anybody who's been on the internet for five minutes has had dozens upon dozens of people whinge and cry at them and wring their hands and moan about how awful comic sans is, and how they should never use it. Every time I turn around somebody's complaining about this. Here on metafilter, we've averaged about one post abjuring people not to use comic sans every year since 2002.

And, yes, I'm sorry, there's something pretentious about the constant focus on what typeface other people use. Why do people care so much? Sincerely, I meant what I said above – sometimes I think the preponderance of a focus upon good design is destroying what actual aesthetic sense we have left. There is a difference, it should be noted; in the same way that there's a difference between "pleasant sounds" and "beautiful music." There are some people who want the world laid out like it's an ad from the New York Times magazine, with a unifying theme and nice design choices throughout, etc. But we're worth more than a cheap advertisement. And maybe the jarring character of Comic Sans can be something artful sometimes. At the very least, people ought to learn to look past the font to see the quality of what they're actually reading.
posted by koeselitz at 12:22 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brocktoon: “There is not an army of designers out there blogging about Comic Sans usage. Frankly I'm curious who these designers are that actually have time to blog about anything. Designers are not arrogant dicks for blacklisting Comic Sans. Where do people get this notion that any dumbshit can be a designer, and therefore are qualified to take designers to task? Fucking Betty Crocker won't let me use margarine instead of butter in German pancakes. But wait, since I've actually cooked something before, I'm a goddamn cooking expert!”

Well, this is something interesting to discuss, I guess. The problem in my mind is that I don't know how much we can say that design and artfulness are the same thing. It seems to me that design is a sort of artfulness that's bent to the service of making money. And I think that excludes a whole lot of artful things. Maybe using comic sans is a revolutionary act.
posted by koeselitz at 12:29 PM on December 22, 2010


Rory Marinich: These nonraging fuckheads who're throwing away their youth. Who're spending their decade intended for fuckups and eurekas instead trying to learn how to be smugly well-groomed, how to be one of those assholes you notice for a split second on the street and think "well look at that tasteful asshole" before you go talk to the people you love. Who are so unhappy and alienated that their only means of communicating with the world of non-designers is to point and condescend. Not even properly sneer, because to sneer you need enough of a backbone to be okay with the occasional slap to the face. These are the people who make you feel bad about your lack of Design Degree because they care about you, anonymous Comic Sans Individual, and they don't like that you're embarrassing yourself, and here, step into my little cleancut world with no authentically fun colors and let me teach you something about straight lines and grid systems, my sterile kingdom.

This and the rest of your post is the greatest thing I've read all month. Thank you for putting into words what I couldn't about so many fucking people I know.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:30 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Frankly I'm curious who these designers are that actually have time to blog about anything.

The unemployed ones?
posted by smackfu at 12:31 PM on December 22, 2010


Possible way of explaining why people feel this way:
Comic Sans is the homeopathy of typefaces.

But hey, it doesn't really matter does it?
posted by i_cola at 12:37 PM on December 22, 2010




I have received e-mails in microsoft outlook with a comic sans font, (the e-mail writers use this as a default) on the subject of deaths, terminal illnesses, funerals, firings, layoffs, reprimands, project cancellations, and on and on and on. The cliche for this is "adding insult to injury".

I would never mention this to any of these people in real life. But on the internet is where I can bitch it about it. Most people just cannot be bothered to think about things like this.

I like to read metafilter in Courier.
posted by bukvich at 1:04 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wake up sheeple! Steely Dan is awesome.

The yacht rock revival is back that way. *points to 2005*

On Topic: Keep the Web beautiful.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:19 PM on December 22, 2010


I think that the backlash against Comic Sans is not so much about the font but more about valuing design. When graphic design moved from the drafting table to the computer, suddenly everybody iwas equipped with the tools to do graphic design but not equipped with either the ability to do it well or understand that they are doing a poor job. I often feel like I am constantly fending off attacks on one side from non-professionals who want something just like they mocked up in Word and attacks from the other side from other designers who seek to justify their feelings of superiority by putting my work down. It's a rough environment that encourages graphic designers to pick each other apart.

So, is this guy an asshole for making a big fuss over Comic Sans? About as much as you are for calling him a hack and about as much as I am for feeling smug about taking the high road.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:56 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Granted, a lot of designers come across as arrogant, pretentious pricks. That's not designers. That's people. I know mathematicians and engineers who are arrogant, pretentious pricks."
A good 70% of the designers I know are arrogant pretentious pricks, and only about 5% of all the people I know are.

That said, designers are overrepresented in the "people I know" group and other arrogant pretentious prick professions may be underrepresented.
posted by dickasso at 2:01 PM on December 22, 2010


Weird, I just get a generic customer site not found on their server error now. I guess it was too popular, too fast?
posted by mathowie at 2:47 PM on December 22, 2010


So. Comic Sans is good, Steely Dan is bad & anyone with any aesthetic sense is an arrogant prick. WFT -- is this MetaFilter backwards day?
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:49 PM on December 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


mathowie: "Weird, I just get a generic customer site not found on their server error now. I guess it was too popular, too fast"

Was just coming in here to say this, yeah. 404'd.

That and URW Gothic WL Book is king.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:20 PM on December 22, 2010


Next up on Metafilter Backwards Day, everyone's going to be rushing to defend Precious Moments figurines and the works of Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light™ against Those Mean Old Snobs What Hate Pretty Things.
posted by ErikaB at 3:22 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can I just say, as a Typographically Challenged person, that I object to the continual mocking of my disability?

A thread on the evils of Comic Sans comes up at least once a month, and although a number of folks have patiently explained to me its flaws (for which I sincerely thank them), I still just... don't... see it. I wouldn't recommend it for "serious" communication, as it has a light-hearted carefree feel to it, but for cards, signs, lolcat captions, or what-have you, it just looks friendly. A way to say "If you steal my lunch again I will rip off your arms and make you eat them for dessert", while keeping the tone from getting too dark.
posted by pla at 3:32 PM on December 22, 2010


That's exactly why it's so popular in the corporate world.

Personally, I think I'm desensitized to it or something, because I just can't care enough.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:35 PM on December 22, 2010


The City of Seattle sends out press releases in Comic Sans. I am not kidding.

And, yes, sometimes the press releases are not really suited to a whimsical, childlike font. I have no idea what they are thinking.
posted by litlnemo at 4:18 PM on December 22, 2010


I seriously do not get why people get so worked up about this. At least it's a READABLE font. It's not freaking Wingdings or so cursive-y you can't read it. Chill out, people.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:42 PM on December 22, 2010


I had to give a presentation with a colleague and his powerpoint was done in Comic Sans. In all seriousness, I said to him "Did you know that people on the internet think people who use Comic Sans are asshats?". He looked confused. I explained that it was very uncool to use Comic Sans in a presentation, and he demanded to know *why*. I then realized that my colleague was wearing a bow tie, and I gave up.
posted by acrasis at 5:05 PM on December 22, 2010


It's not freaking Wingdings or so cursive-y you can't read it.

Yo, don't be dissin' the Wingdings. And his cuz? Webdings? Shit is tight.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:07 PM on December 22, 2010


I seriously do not get why people get so worked up about this. At least it's a READABLE font. It's not freaking Wingdings or so cursive-y you can't read it. Chill out, people.


It's more readable than pretty much any script font. I wouldn't necessarily call it READABLE though. Whatevs though, if it dyslexic-freindly, it's cool in my book.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:19 PM on December 22, 2010


Is this the most inappropriate use of Comic Sans imaginable? I actually quite like it ...
posted by iotic at 12:20 AM on December 23, 2010


I had to give a presentation with a colleague and his powerpoint was done in Comic Sans. In all seriousness, I said to him "Did you know that people on the internet think people who use Comic Sans are asshats?". He looked confused.

Comic Sans is very popular in the universe I work in. It's the standard font for making scientific presentations for instance. Comic Sans stands out as the one design element that non-designer people love. This font talks to them in a way that gazillions of other fonts don't. The opinions of "people on the internet" are as relevant to them as much as the prescriptive rulings of the Académie Française are to actual French speakers. What's a good font? What's an appropriate font? The fact that Comic Sans happens to be so universally successful should make designers (at least the Comic Sans haters among them) question and rethink their traditional answers to these questions. Is using it for a sex offender registry "tonedeaf"? Well, the folks who are running this registry may have valid reasons that designers on the internet are unable to figure out because they're not running a sex offender registry. To be clear: I'm all for good and well-thought design and not particularly fond of Comic Sans myself. But I also think that design is communication and can't be entirely prescriptive. There are things that work when they shouldn't and Comic Sans is one of them.
posted by elgilito at 6:26 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


OK let's get some perspective here. Mr. Joe Business Owner needs a poster/flyer/mailer/sign/menu designed. He calls up a graphic designer and is SHOCKED that the designer won't do the job for $25 plus a free car wash. So Mr. Joe fires up Word, and gets to work! He employs Comic Sans, Impact, Chapparal, and a really funny piece of clip art depicting Santa Claus' pants falling down. 15 minutes later, he sits back, and says to himself, "That wasn't so hard!" These are the same people that allow US car makers to pump out some of the ugliest cars ever conceived year after year. SO, you will excuse us if we get a little bitter. Comic Sans is the poster boy for cheapskate dbag business owners.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:53 AM on December 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


If Comic Sans were used on all sex offender registries, perhaps it would become so associated with rapists and the like that it would cease to be used for anything else. So I'm all for using Comic Sans on sex offender registries.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:02 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


silly of the graphic designer who did that page and chose quite nice fonts not to tell the 'offending party' which fonts they were presently reading. instead all they get when clicking on 'comic sans alternatives' is a link to the front page of fonts.com . your audience might be a comic sans criminal but you're a web development felon.

also: comic sans is just a nuisance. the real problem is serpentine.
posted by krautland at 11:58 AM on December 23, 2010


In my experience people who rage on Comic Sans are rarely designers (but would often like to think they are).

Also, in this instance, Clueless Boy gives himself away by his thick comment on typefaces used in comics.
posted by panboi at 2:42 PM on December 23, 2010


Comic Sans is the poster boy for cheapskate dbag business owners.

That and generally disagreeable people transparently angling for approval by pretending to be "fun" or "friendly"; from passive-aggressive coworkers and petty tyrants trying half-heartedly to humanise their bullying (extra points for smileys and MS Office clip-art) to serial joke chain-email forwarders to the aforementioned low-rent hucksters angling for the less discerning end of the customer bell curve.

The kinds of people who think Comic Sans is a "fun" typeface with "personality" are the kinds who think that Garfield comics are funny.
posted by acb at 5:19 PM on December 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


The kinds of people who really hate Comic sans are generally the same annoying people who tell you how they were totally into that really popular band before they were popular, and yet they never seem to really do anything that isn't that popular or hyper trending. They are the ones that tell you what they think of every person in the office, except what they think about you until you step out of the room. Comic-sans haters are the passive aggressive twerps that generally are no fun to be around. They also seem to have big problem with Garfield and the Paintings of Thomas Kincaid. Despite the fact that the works of these artists hold prominent places in the living room of almost ever grandmother in America.

In summary Comic Sans is the font of childhood, letters to santa, Grandmothers, the PTA, the state fair, cake walks, fresh pie at the local diner, the church bulletin and the letter your mom sends out to all the relatives with the updates on what everyone did in the last year. It is readable, unassuming, and pleasant to be around. I love comic sans.
posted by humanfont at 6:16 PM on December 23, 2010


eponyst...

wait... was that some sort of trap?
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:14 PM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hate Comic Sans, but only in certain contexts. I don't mind it so much in emails and webpages, or, say, a sign that somebody typed up in Word and printed out of the office laser printer. The problem, to me, is when there's a larger imbalance in the amount of effort and expense involved. It just baffles and irritates me when a business actually hires someone to construct a sign for them, with raised lettering — the cost of which is, at the very least, nontrivial — and doesn't even put in the minimal effort involved in using a font that didn't come with their computer.

I'm sure if I was enough of a type geek to tell Times New Roman apart from other similar fonts, it would annoy me just as much in that context. More so, in fact, being as it's Word's default font.
posted by Kalthare at 8:40 PM on December 23, 2010


The kinds of people who really hate Comic sans are generally the same annoying people who tell you how they were totally into that really popular band before they were popular, and yet they never seem to really do anything that isn't that popular or hyper trending. They are the ones that tell you what they think of every person in the office, except what they think about you until you step out of the room. Comic-sans haters are the passive aggressive twerps that generally are no fun to be around. They also seem to have big problem with Garfield and the Paintings of Thomas Kincaid. Despite the fact that the works of these artists hold prominent places in the living room of almost ever grandmother in America.
"The intellectual is not one of us. We are ordinary folks, he is a member of an elite. We gravitate around right wing ideas, he's left-leaning. We're family people, he screws men, women and children. We farm, he stays in the city, with his intellectual elite, or on campus, corrupting the minds of our youth. We're religious, but the intellectual is an unbeliever. We run to fat, he stays thin. We're patriots, he's a cosmopolitan, equally at home with foreigners as with his own kind. He puts loyalty to ideas before loyalty to his people. We have the church, he has the liberal media."
posted by acb at 6:34 AM on December 24, 2010


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