Can the Sans

If I didn’t do what I do for a living, I think I would be a graphic designer. Or an author. Or a counselor. Or a small business owner. Or a self-sustaining artist. Or a comedian. Or a PJ on YTV. But mostly a graphic designer.

I have no training, but I know the rule of thirds. I have taken no courses, but I can tell you if your ad looks like poo. I don’t know how to properly use Photoshop, but I know when it’s overdone. I’ve never designed something for print, but I’m a font snob.

I don’t like Papyrus. That’s  fruit. I don’t like Curlz. It hasn’t hit puberty yet. I don’t like Ariel. She’s a mermaid who steals stuff. I don’t like Bookman. He’s a mean man on that one Seinfeld episode. I don’t like any of these fonts. There is one font that I hate most of all. It makes me shudder. It makes me want to vomit. It makes me want to tear my eyeballs out of their sockets. It is a font I hate more than I hate Nickelback.

I hate Comic Sans.

Why Comic Sans is Terrible: A List

1. It does not look like it’s from a comic book. Do you even KNOW who Archie Andrews is? I am an expert when it comes to the freckled redhead. He’s the reason I know how to water ski. My parents used the Riverdale High gang as a bribery technique. Since my athleticism is nonexistent, I’ve got a large stack of these bad boys. I know for a fact there is no Comic Sans in those newsprint pages.

You're the man, Andrews.

2. It is not professional. There is nothing about this font that will make me take you seriously. There is no such thing as a legal document typed in this font. As soon as you slap this font on something, you lose all credibility. Kind of like when a white guy wears a doo-rag. Or when hunters wear camouflage as regular clothing. Or if a girl’s face is orange. It’s not a good look.

You had to add an extra 'e'? Really?

3. It is not fun. Poorly designed fonts will not make your science test appealing. It will not spice up a worksheet. It will not help to make learning more fun. It will only make the chance of bleeding retinas more likely. Likewise, plastering this font all over your classroom does not make for an inviting atmosphere. Try smiling instead.

The only thing I'm going to remember is to punch you in the face

4. It cannot be redeemed. Nothing will make this font acceptable again. There is no context in which it will look good. There is no situation where it is acceptable. There is no excuse for this font. If I find an extra apostrophe lying around, I can overlook it. Spell check doesn’t catch that junk. But using Comic Sans? You had to select all and choose it from a drop down menu. You chose it. Drop down menu CHOSE it. Inexcusable.

I wholeheartedly disagree

The next time you’re designing a poster, writing a test or sending out an office memo, please, for the sake of all that is good and beautiful in the world, remember to Can the Sans.

Thank you.

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22 thoughts on “Can the Sans

  1. It appears to be a rule that everyone who at all has any interest in graphic design must do a Comic Sans rant (or several). I wonder if this implies that the only people who actually don’t like comic sans are graphic designers, since the rant continues to be necessary? :>

  2. Just another reason our new best friendship is going to work. Today, I was assisting a coworker with layout of some name tags and I stopped her mid-sentence and said “I can’t hear anything you’re saying because the Comic Sans is too annoying. Please change it and then we’ll proceed.”

  3. Personally, I believe all really important documents should by typed in Wingdings. If we did this to the tax code, it would not make it significantly more difficult to understand than it already is. And you could have the coolest arguments with IRS agents. “But it says very clearly in subparagraph 17, and I quote, ‘airplane star of david thumbs up.’ So my vacation to Israel is tax deductible.”

    I haven’t personally worn camoflague since the last time I played paintball many years ago, but camoflague as normal clothing is perfectly acceptable in the rural areas of the US South.

  4. Comic Sans is the ideal choice for projects that involve absolutely no text. That’s when it really shines.

    Comic Sans is the Ke$ha of fonts: it’s popular, but nobody can explain why it’s popular.

  5. Wow. I had no idea you had all this passion for a font. But I wholeheartedly agree. My first year at the school I’m at, my mentor teacher had done every single stinkin test and worksheet with this font. She also happened to be my roommate. I spent that first year secretly annoyed with her and retyping every single stinking test and worksheet. I could not let my students think I’m the type of person to use Comic Sans. And you’re right- tests are not supposed to be fun and this awful font certainly doesn’t make them less hard- it just patronizes the poor suckers. “You’re too dumb to read regular ol’ Times New Roman? Here, you should be able to read these big bubbly letters.” I would be highly offended if my teacher ever used that font so I spent hours upon hours of retyping countless papers to get rid of its presence from my classroom.

    But I have a confession. I do throw in Papyrus every once in awhile. I know, I know, you think less of me now. But only for the occasional heading of a worksheet. I know it’s overused and as your friend Burrill pointed out, probably a bit like Kesha, but I just can’t help it. It’s like it has some kind of magnetic pull when I’m searching through that dropbox menu.

    I have another confession: I used to use Curlz. I don’t know why and I’m still really embarrassed about it but I loved those swirly s’s, gosh darn it. I’ve let up using it since Party Let came on the scene but I fear you might have some choice words for her too. Sometimes my headings need a little pizzazz though. I won’t patronize my kids with Comic Sans but I might try to peek their interest with some O’s that have stars in the middle. What’s not to like about that?

    Third confession: I kinda like Nickelback. Not in the “I’m going to buy your music” kind of way but enough so that I don’t change the station when they come on the radio. What can I say? I like to sing along in a raspy voice. In fact, my first year teaching, I completely lost my voice for 2 days because I had a competition with myself involving how long I could sing in my Nickelback voice. I lasted the entire song and then told my students I had some kind of bug when I could only whisper the next 2 days.

    Enough confessions. I could not agree more with your hatred for the unnecessary “E”, white guys in doo-rags and girls with orange faces. I just shook my head at my drug-dealing neighbor/land lord donning just such a doo-rag and at my sister who overdid it with the fake tan. I told her she looked like the grandma in “Something About Mary.”

    Okay one more confession. I lied. I’ve bought three of their songs. But just three, okay. I just can’t quit ’em.

    And thus ends one of the longest comments of all time. Too much good stuff to respond to!

    • I enjoy your blog length comments. Never apologize.

      Thanks for rewriting tests. My first “official” year of teaching, I likely will do the same. Right now I don’t have the authority to change stuff, but I can’t wait. I think I’ll have a “Comic Sans Free Zone” sign on my door.

      As I was reading this, my dog was barking and I may have yelled “KATIE!” instead of her name. So sorry. But you like Nickelback, so maybe I’m not really that sorry.

    • To clarify my own question, because you do have a bulleted list there:

      What is it about the font that makes it unprofessional and poorly designed? Is there some concrete explanation, or is it simply unprofessional because graphic designers decided they didn’t like the look of it?

      I don’t use Comic Sans, but that’s mostly because pretty much everything I do is in whatever font is the default on that particular program (usually Arial or Times New Roman). Unless there is some special thematic thing involved, like an illuminated font for a Renfest page, I have no real motivation to look through 7000 fonts to pick the perfect one. It’s words on a page. Can you read it? Then it’s a good font. ;)

  6. Pingback: Friday Mish Mash « Mandie Marie

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