I can practically feel you rolling your eyes at me right now. “Another pretentious snot who gets all shitty about a stupid cute font,” you’re probably thinking. And, well, you’re right. I’m pretentious, I’m a snot, and I fucking hate Comic Sans. I don’t want you to feel like I’m a pretentious snot for no reason, though, so I’m going to attempt to explain why that one font can get me so enraged. We’re talking, “Flames, flames on the side of my face” angry. Now, I’m not a designer. I’ve never studied typography. I just like words, and I have eyes, and those two things qualify me to hate Comic Sans.
Let me put this as simply as possible: Comic Sans is the Sarah Palin of fonts. It’s offensive, it hurts my eyes, it’s never appropriate, and it’s inexplicably popular and annoyingly omnipresent. Every time I think people have learned their lesson, I turn around, and there it is again. Stalking me. Antagonizing me. Making me suddenly aware of my rising blood pressure.
Let’s start with: it’s fucking ugly. It looks cheap, which it is. (Well, free is cheap, right?) It looks childish and stupid, which I guess isn’t so bad if you’re using it for its original intended purpose: text bubbles, like the kind you see in comic books. Honestly, though, when was the last time you saw Comic Sans in a comic?
Then there’s the fact that it’s all over the fucking place. It’s inescapable. It’s on inter-office memos. It’s on restaurant menus. It’s on signs for businesses. What. The. Fuck? Why would anyone think that using a font that looks like a toddler who’s a little bit on the simple side created it is a good idea in any kind of professional environment?
Plus, it’s so easily recognized. It’s played out. It’s overexposed. It’s lazy. It’s Boone’s Farm, unironically. It’s Ed Hardy. It’s goddamned Nickleback. It’s just fucking awful.
Pretty much anyone who knows me has seen at least one total freakout at seeing Comic Sans in the wild. I stammer. I point. My eye starts twitching. I call out to the skies, “WHYYYYYYY? WHO WOULD BE SO AWFUL? WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE HATE ME?” OK, I’m a little dramatic. I don’t deny that, but I do have a legitimate complaint. Comic Sans is the refuge of the unimaginative, the font of the sheep. It treats the world at large as a kindergarten class.
“But what am I supposed to use? I like Comic Sans. It’s cute.” The first step is admitting you have a problem. Step away from the ugly font. And don’t you go eyeballing Papyrus, either. It’s just as bad. Ban Comic Sans has plenty of alternatives. If you’re really dead set on using a preinstalled font from your word processing program, look for one you don’t notice. Really. The best fonts are clear, easy to read, and inoffensive. You notice the words, not the ugly-ass looking font.
I’m putting you on notice, world. Keep using Comic Sans, and I will find a way to uninstall it from each and every computer in existence. Don’t believe me? Try to find it on one of my work computers. Not there? Hmm. I wonder what happened.
(Check this out for a more mature examination of the evolution of one person’s taste for fonts over time: My Evolution of Type Taste from Grade School to Present)
This post originally appeared on Nice Girls Don’t Swear, where I make perfectly clear that I’m not a nice girl.
(Author’s note: I originally had a brilliant manifesto planned on how to properly use quotation marks and punctuation together in harmony. Unfortunately, I’m in the process of moving for the first time in a decade, and everything is going wrong. Next week, I promise we’ll have our quotation mark extravaganza, and it will be glorious.)