A Campaign After My Own Heart

I’ve just come across a campaign after my own heart, trying to ban the use of the Comic Sans font.

The website is fairly light hearted, but the underlying campaign is quite serious. My bugbear is that the font is often misused. The site highlights it’s use in college exams and medical information. I too have come across a selection of weird and inappropriate uses in all sorts of official documents and websites. Perhaps one of the most inappropriate use I have found is a church that decided to write their entire Parish Profile in the font.

Whilst in the main I just find it’s use annoying, I have some sympathy with professional typography specialists who object because the font is actually pretty badly designed, in particular with regards to the font kerning. So when a series of characters in the font are printed, the spacing between each letter is incorrect. Whilst this may sound a bit petty, it becomes more of a problem when a document has to be professionally printed and typeset. As an aside, it is worth bearing in mind when producing a document for professional printing that the Word default fonts of Times New Roman and Arial, which are TrueType copies of the established Type 1 fonts, created by Microsoft rather than spend the money to licence the actual fonts from Adobe, are also unpopular with professional typographers, precisely because they are not totally accurate copies of the Times Roman and Helvicta fonts.

Going back to Comic Sans, it is significant that the designer of the font, Vincent Connare defends the font by pointing out that it was never designed to be used as a typeface at all. It was designed as a solution to the problem of finding a font suitable for childrens software. He has also been quoted as saying that even he is amazed when he goes to a restaurant and discovers the menu printed in Comic Sans!

As an alternative, the campaign website offers a large selection of properly designed typeface fonts that can be used as alternatives, and that won’t annoy profesionals who are trying to typeset your document. They also include a selection of propoganda including a flyer explaining the campaign, and some cartoons to get the message across too!

Ban Comic Sans

One thought on “A Campaign After My Own Heart”

  1. Dear Richard and Beth … am at work right now … so do not have your email address with me. I am writing to let you know that I will not be online at all until the fall. My sister and I are buying my parents house from them and are in the process of renovating the two apartments within. Most of what I own is in storage.
    I am also going to be travelling through western canada this summer with a friend of mine. We are going from July 25 to August 14 … give or take a couple of days. If possible I would love to get together for a tea if you are making your annual trip to Canada. Please contact me via phone … or snail mail.

    Melissa Grant
    8188 Lexington Court
    Niagara Falls, Ontario
    L2H 1W4

    I am hoping you still have the phone number …. hope to hear from you soon … much love Meli

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