Continuing with our theme of words having some serious power, let’s take a look at one of the most hated fonts among designers: Comic Sans. We found this great website the other day and, although brief, it does a good job of explaining the hate. Comic Sans was built for a specific use (the words in conversation bubbles in comics) and has sadly morphed to wider usage—much to the chagrin of the design world.
As we’ve often said, good design is intentional and deliberate. Nothing is simply put somewhere “just ‘cause.” Randomness is exactly not designed…unless, of course, it is; but I digress. Comic Sans has been used (inappropriately) for so many things it shouldn’t be used for. If one uses CS for anything other than a kid’s party invitation or kindergarten chore list, they’re making a mistake. If, as the site points out, it’s used for something important, it’s like telling someone their mom died with emojis.
Oh yeah! I feel the power of self-righteous indignation coursing through my body and I’m just about to really get sassy when I read this line “Comic Sans is known for being easy to read for Dyslexics.” Oh hell. That is a buzzkill. I wanted to rant and feel awesome but, now…it just doesn’t feel right. That said, how interesting is it that this font, by dint of its design(!!), is easier to read for dyslexic people. My disappointment at not being able to feel superior is only slightly mitigated by this cool news that proves the power of design.
I’m not saying that CS was designed for those suffering from dyslexia, but the fact that it works for them is actually a really cool—though unintended—consequence. As any parent can attest, it’s not always what you say but how you say it (my 7-year-old can make “Just a second” sound like “I like mama way more than you, idiot”) The same is true of typed text. It’s not just what you write but how you write it. Look at your email and see if there’s a font that better matches your personality. Maybe you’d like Garamond or Trebuchet MS or even Courier New. Anything you like…except, of course, Comic Sans.