As a graphic designer, I find it extremely annoying that I am shunned whenever I use Comic Sans MS. Why is this? It's a casual, fun, and readable font and it's easy to use. My goal is to try to move from the "hate that you love it" spectrum to just simply "love it." Since Comic Sans seems to be so hated (there's even a movement to ban it), I did some research on it, and hope to provide some answers (rebuttals) to why some people really hate Comic Sans.
1) Comic Sans is used everywhere; it's too cliché.
-For those who do not know (or care) much about typography, this is the answer that I usually get. But why does that matter? If it's used by so many, then there must be something right about it. As a graphic designer, I know that it usually fits most images without the need of going through the 100+ fonts on your computer. Also, it's pleasing to the eye for the many who use it. Hating based on hype is present everywhere (see The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-ON, Aya Hirano), and as usual, it makes absolutely no sense.
2) Comic Sans as a voice conveys silliness, childish naivete, irreverence, and is far too casual. It is analogous to to showing up for a black tie event in a clown costume.
-Now this I can understand. Certainly, Comic Sans is too casual to use on a business card, museum brochure, or work handouts. But for some reason, the hate extended to banning all instances of Comic Sans, which is ridiculous. In fan-based anime graphics, when is it too serious to use Comic Sans? All of the signatures, member cards, and banners I make are casual, playful, and a hobby that I do in my spare time. However, I do discourage using such font in an official poster or promotional video.
3) If you're just using Comic Sans for everything, then you're lazy. There are better fonts out there (that fits more with what you're doing), so why not do a little bit of searching?
-Once again, I understand. But like the complaint above, this is borderline with the professional area of work. Casual graphic designers may not have that much time on their hands to go through thousands of font combination, because they are not paid to do so. If you need something simple, quick, and casual, then there's nothing wrong with using Comic Sans.
4) Comic Sans was originally created to use in comic books (hence the name), so why are we using it for everything?
-Well, we often to find multiple purposes to things we have, don't we? How many of you have stacked books for another purpose besides reading them? Of course, we shouldn't use Comic Sans for everything, but that doesn't mean we should only be using it in comic books.
5) I don't know why I hate it but other people seems to hate it so they must be right.
-You don't have to succumb to peer pressure. If you like the font, then you should join this club. It all comes down to taste in the end: "Depending on your point of view, Comic Sans is fun, breezy, silly or vulgar and lazy." Being critical doesn't always mean being right.
So in short, Comic Sans is definitely a casual font that shouldn't be used in official-looking artwork. But unless you are doing a project for work or school, most of graphic designing is not serious where the use of Comic Sans is acceptable. I don't encourage that you always use this font, because having variety in your work is always a good thing. If I could use Comic Sans freely without elitists breathing down my neck, I would probably only use it in 10% of my work tops. But the point is that I should be able to do so, because it is a good font.
Do you agree with the ideas above? If so, then please join this club!
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Created: Sep 21, 2009
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