Culture

Blame Batman and the Watchmen for Comic Sans

Find out how superhero comics helped influence the font everyone loves to hate.

Whether you love or hate Comic Sans, the font has an entertaining origin story.

The video "Comic Sans: The Man Behind the World's Most Contentious Font" reveals the backstory of the off-kilter font that came preprogrammed on '90s versions of Microsoft Word.

Microsoft typographic engineer Vincent Connare was asked to make a playful font for a software program called Microsoft Bob, and found himself inspired by popular comic books at the time.

"I looked at Batman and the Watchmen, and pretty much tried to draw on the computer something that looked similar to that but not copying it," Connare says in the video posted Thursday.

Though Connare's bosses at Microsoft didn't like the font originally -- they wanted it to be more typographic -- he fought to keep it weird.

In the end, the font wasn't used on Microsoft Bob, but it was preinstalled on every Macintosh computer in 1996.

Connare then started to see his Comic Sans font used on everything from neon signs to beach towels to war memorials. On the flip side, the overuse of the unusual font made many designers spurn it and even go so far as to create an anti-Comic Sans movement.

Regardless of how people may mock use of the font, Connare remains proud of his quirky creation.

"Comic Sans is not one of the better pieces of art," he says, "but conceptually it's one of the best things I've ever done."

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