For many, Comic Sans not a pretty face

The light-hearted font has become a lightning rod for criticism. But a decade of backlash of the Microsoft-created typeface hasn't wiped it out.

Comic Sans began 15 years ago as a project by Microsoft to add a note of informality for its ill-fated computer companion Bob.

But while Bob was euthanized years ago, Comic Sans has remained a staple of faux informality in the computer age, despite a decade-long effort to press the delete key on the comic book-style font. There's even a Ban Comic Sans Web site.

But as many people as hate it, more still use the font, only fueling the anger of its detractors.

The Wall Street Journal has a Page One story on Friday tracing the typeface, its astronomic popularity, and the backlash it has engendered.

It tracks down the font's creator, Vincent Connare, who now works at a London type house. Connare expresses some amusement at the strong opinions on both sides of the debate

"If you love it, you don't know much about typography," he told the Journal. "If you hate it, you really don't know much about typography, either, and you should get another hobby."

Even in our newsroom, Comic Sans has proved to be quite divisive. While it made a list of things that my colleague Caroline McCarthy hates the most , it also has some fans. "It's fun," insists editor Michelle Meyers. "Not for everyday use, but for things like invitations..."

I can't resist passing along the following one-liner, taken from the Journal article.

"Comic sans walks into a bar, bartender says, 'we don't serve your type.'"

And, for more font funnies, check out this video from College Humor.

 

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