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Comic Sans, Font of Ill Will

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the less-comic-more-sans-please dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 503

Kelson writes "The Wall Street Journal profiles Vincent Connare, designer of the web's most-hated font, Comic Sans. Not surprisingly, the font's origins go back to Microsoft Bob, where he saw a talking dog speaking in Times New Roman. Connare pulled out Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns for reference, and created the comic book-style font over the next week. 'Mr. Connare has looked on, alternately amused and mortified, as Comic Sans has spread from a software project at Microsoft Corp. 15 years ago to grade-school fliers and holiday newsletters, Disney ads and Beanie Baby tags, business emails, street signs, Bibles, porn sites, gravestones and hospital posters about bowel cancer. ... The jolly typeface has spawned the Ban Comic Sans movement, nearly a decade old but stronger now than ever, thanks to the Web."

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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627477)

eat my asshole you faggots!

Similar to Windows hate? (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627493)

Comic Sans itself isn't a bad font. It is easily readable, and more than anything else, that is the best measure of a font.

Just because it is so popular people hate it. It's like people hating on pop stars, Windows, and Kraft Parmesan cheese.

Popular doesn't mean bad. On the contrary, it means it fits the needs of many people.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (5, Funny)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627557)

It is easily readable

Yes. Compared to, say, Wingdings.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627691)

"B4|\| (0/\/\1( 54|\|5"

1 49R33 4|\|D 7|-|1|\|| 7|-|@ L337 5P34| 5|-|0ULD b3 7|-|3 r3PL4(3/\/\3|\|7.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (3, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628097)

1 49R33 4|\|D 7|-|1|\|| 7|-|@ L337 5P34| 5|-|0ULD b3 7|-|3 r3PL4(3/\/\3|\|7.

Does anyone use 1337 5p34k these days? It was quite common five years back, but it seems to have died out almost completely.

Having thought about it, I realised that it seemed to have disappeared shortly after all those articles appeared in newspapers explaining what all those strange characters your children were typing meant. Which probably isn't a coincidence; wasn't the whole point of 1337 its impenetrability?

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27628249)

The purpose of leetspeak was to evade search and censorship efforts. A filter looking for "fuck" doesn't find "fu<k". A similar maneuver is to use wild cards in place of letters, like "f**k", because many search interfaces will search for any words starting with a "w" and ending with a "k", not just 4 letter words, if you ask for "f**k".

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627577)

Comic Sans itself isn't a bad font. It is easily readable, and more than anything else, that is the best measure of a font.

Just because it is so popular people hate it. It's like people hating on pop stars, Windows, and Kraft Parmesan cheese.

I AGREE. PRO TIP: THE MOST EASILY READABLE SUBSET OF ANY FONT IS THE CAPITAL LETTERS. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS USE CAPS TO MAKE YOUR MESSAGES EASIER TO READ.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (5, Funny)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627623)

That was funny. And hard to read.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627677)

ROMANE, I DOMUM!

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (2, Interesting)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627771)

actually, this is incorrect. when designers were working on one of the first computer fonts, they had only enough storage for one set of letters. a study was conducted to determine which one was most legible, and lower case won. the reason they went on to use only capitals? apparently you can't write the name of the christian deity in all lowercase.
yes, folks, religion is why old terminals were all-caps only.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (5, Insightful)

johny42 (1087173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627871)

[citation needed]

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (5, Funny)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628003)

[citation needed]

That pretty much sums up religion in a nutshell.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (4, Informative)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628107)

What, you need a citation for the jargon file? Hand in your geek card, and go back to whatever pop culture meme site you came from.

Great Runes /n./

Uppercase-only text or display messages. Some archaic operating systems still emit these. See also runes, smash case, fold case.

Decades ago, back in the days when it was the sole supplier of long-distance hardcopy transmittal devices, the Teletype Corporation was faced with a major design choice. To shorten code lengths and cut complexity in the printing mechanism, it had been decided that teletypes would use a monocase font, either ALL UPPER or all lower. The Question Of The Day was therefore, which one to choose. A study was conducted on readability under various conditions of bad ribbon, worn print hammers, etc. Lowercase won; it is less dense and has more distinctive letterforms, and is thus much easier to read both under ideal conditions and when the letters are mangled or partly obscured. The results were filtered up through management. The chairman of Teletype killed the proposal because it failed one incredibly important criterion:

        "It would be impossible to spell the name of the Deity correctly."

In this way (or so, at least, hacker folklore has it) superstition triumphed over utility. Teletypes were the major input devices on most early computers, and terminal manufacturers looking for corners to cut naturally followed suit until well into the 1970s. Thus, that one bad call stuck us with Great Runes for thirty years.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (3, Funny)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628149)

Didn't they even have space for an extra upper-case 'G'?

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628259)

Didn't they even have space for an extra upper-case 'G'?

No, they already used it for Ctrl-G to ring the bell.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (4, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628267)

You'd need an upper-case 'Y', 'H' and 'W' for YHWH.

Interestingly, whilst this is often pronounced "Yahweh" or "Jehovah", written Hebrew doesn't actually supply any indication of what vowels should be inserted between the consonants. This means that the Abrahamic deity might actually have been called "Yahoo Wahoo" by His parents (or, seeing as this is a tech site - "Yahoo! Wahoo!").

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

Geirzinho (1068316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628253)

Notice that even the jargon file adds the disclaimer

or so, at least, hacker folklore has it,

which has stood for at least 20 years. Even the writers of the jargon file apparently felt that a citation was needed here.

Telegrams were typically transcribed in all-caps, so this practice dates back way longer than the teletype.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628183)

I'd imagine it's because no capital letters have descenders. They all fit nicely into boxes. That would make them easier to display than lower case letters.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628221)

the reason they went on to use only capitals? apparently you can't write the name of the christian deity in all lowercase.

Yes you can. It's not like he's going to strike you down with lighting bolts or something.

god

See, nothing ha

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627845)

If that's the main complaint, the problem is that most comics are all caps that I've seen. The Far Side is the lone exception that I've found in my collection, and on my city's newspaper, The Family Circus plus a more obscure Ballard Street are the exceptions, everything else is all caps.

Not only that, the name of the font tells us it's a comic typeface. The designer should know what they're doing if they stray too far out of the stated intent of a design element, and as such, the problem is most likely a misuse of the typeface, and not the actual typeface itself.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627985)

Capitals are actually more difficult for the brain to process than lower case.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (5, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627603)

It's not a bad font, but people use it in completely wrong contexts.

If it stuck to speech balloons and the occasional kids' item, nobody would be against it.

The reason to hate it is that it's the Universal "Specialty" font. If you don't want a serif font, or a plain font like Arial, the first tool of choice is Comic Sans.

It's like when people use ketchup to make spaghetti sauce. It sort of works, but it's just wrong.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627741)

Arial??

You mean this cheapo sana font with no proper kerning/ligatures.

nobody wants that....

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627789)

I said like arial. And boring was my whole point. No, I don't expect the people I was talking about to know what kerning is. They end up using Comic Sans.

What font do you expect me to name that most people, on hearing it, would know what I'm talking about? I know that Arial's a lousy excuse for a font. So am I supposed to be more cryptic just to be an 1337 f0nt g33k?

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628017)

I was fine with the Arial example, but perhaps Helvetica would be a better choice. Still boring enough for income tax forms and I think still commonly installed on systems.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (5, Insightful)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627781)

The reason to hate it is that it's the Universal "Specialty" font. If you don't want a serif font, or a plain font like Arial, the first tool of choice is Comic Sans.

That's because it's the only web safe font [ampsoft.net] that comes close to looking like hand writing.

There are very limited choices when it comes to choosing fonts for the web. You can't blame comic sans, but more the lack of choice.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627919)

Except it is widely used in bitmaps where the font is rendered by the imaging software, not by a browser. I guess you could modify your reason a little bit, it is widely available and looks like handwriting.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

mianne (965568) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627891)

Actually, I think the most overused font (though it fits mostly into the plain sans-serif category) is Century Gothic. I'm also just as guilty of overusing this one. But never if it'd become necessary to use its wonky question mark symbol.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627897)

It's like when people use ketchup to make spaghetti sauce. It sort of works, but it's just wrong.

My god. What kind of sick freaks do this?!

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (2, Funny)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627929)

The same people that use Comic Sans.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (4, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628013)

Is there a type of alphabet soup that comes in comic sans? I would have a wonderfully horrible idea of making GP post first die, and then turn in his grave:
1. Comic Sans alphabet noodles.
2. Ketchup.
3. Kraft parmesan.
4. OH TEH HORRORS. ^^

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628203)

You're right, but I have to say that I've observed "Papyrus" making sneak inroads. Watch for it at an indie crafts website near you...

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627667)

I consider Apple's Chalkboard a much better typeface design. Anyway, I noticed (at least in my neighbourhood) that whenever a Windows user wants to be original with fonts, he or she uses Comic Sans in about 80 % of all cases. I've even seen all-Comic-Sans text in a menu of an otherwise fancy restaurant.

But as even the most read newspaper in my country still hasn't learn that " are no proper double quotes in our language and that a hyphen is not the same thing as an en-dash, perhaps it should not suprise me that people here like Comic Sans. To me, the whole situation is rather Sans Comic.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627689)

OK, "learned". Typos happen. :}

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627837)

Ah, yes. Chalkboard.
It did sound familiar, so I went to check. And lo! -- it is the font I use in Adium.

It could be better, though; it lacks Croatian diacritic marks, which OS X then borrows from other fonts.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (2, Insightful)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627883)

Maybe the most read newspaper is trying to teach you something.

Language moves on and no amount of kicking and screaming by amateur (or professional) linguists will change that ;)

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (3, Interesting)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628103)

Maybe the most read newspaper is trying to teach you something.

What it's teaching me is that the most read newspaper is ignorant. The only reason that there exists a single character for quotation marks is because the ASCII code only has one space for it. It has no place in the print medium. Even the cheapest in word processing software these days will convert these automatically.

Online it's a different story. Some casual experimenting reveals that only the New York Times uses different characters for opening and closing quotation marks, where the WSJ, The Register, The Washington Times, and Ars do not.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628145)

What does this have to do with language?

Font != language!

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627693)

Just because it is so popular people hate it. It's like people hating on pop stars, Windows, and Kraft Parmesan cheese.

I agreed with you until you said this. But hate for MS Windows and Kraft Parmesan is well-founded, unlike the hate for Comic Sans. And it's interesting you chose those two particular examples, as they actually have much in common.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (3, Insightful)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627935)

... unlike the hate for Comic Sans.

And Vegemite [wikipedia.org] too. This strong-tasting food paste is good for plain porridge only and nothing else. When a tiny teaspoonful is added, the porridge is absolutely delicious. When misused on other foods (especially bread), it is torture.

I think Comic Sans is a brilliantly designed but greatly misused and misunderstood product. I sympathize with the creator.

If there's an easier way of obtaining more fonts via the Internet, and including them in the documents distributed, users will be happy to try other fonts.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628099)

Well, at least IE has a functionality for server-side fonts, and I heard that Mozilla was is planning on implementing one some years ago.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628045)

But when I sprinkle a crushed Microsoft Windows CD on my spaghetti, it's a little cruncher than Kraft parmesan cheese.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628223)

You're doing it wrong!
You're supposed to shred the CD, then sprinkle Kraft Parmesan cheese topping over it. Best if you put it in the broiler til the top browns, of course.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? NOPE (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627733)

It is not related to be easy to read or not, or because it is widely used or not.

I just hate when someone delivers a report written in comic sans ms OR even WORSE, submits a paper written in that font.

It's like going to a job interview with sandals and bathsuit.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? NOPE (4, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628073)

Hey, it was a job as a beach lifeguard, you insensitive clod!

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (3, Insightful)

drDugan (219551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627735)

actually meeting ones need is very different than being the best choice in a poor
set of proffered options. equating popularity with applicability is a weak link
at best in the real world, or simply a naive troll attempt.

typically things are "popular" because they are promoted heavily, people are
creatures of habit, and most are highly susceptible to marketing methods

Regarding your opinion, I disagree: Comic Sans is a bad font. Typeface designers,
graphic designers, and most people with good taste and a trained eye for design
all agree (go talk to a bunch of RISD graduates or typeface designers). In this
case CS was not marketed - it has just been chosen often by untrained people who
don't really understand the effect of their choice.

As for your other examples, they are bad too: unskilled music, unhealthy food, and
insecure operating system combined with predatory monopolistic business practices
resulting in lack of choice. Everyone has an opinion, perhaps we'll just disagree.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (0, Troll)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627973)

Blame MS for this because Comic Sans is the default font for Outlook Express and Outlook through 2003 and 85+ percent of the people don't know how or care to change the damn setting.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627753)

Type out a paragraph and read it in Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, Verdana and Comic Sans. Comic Sans is undoubtedly the least readable. It's only easily readable when you're comparing it to other bad fonts.

You're a Windows user though so it's not surprising that you have no taste. I bet you use Windows XP with the fisher price colours enabled and Comic Sans as your preferred font. You probably even have a green and blue Dell to match.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627777)

The only reason it's so popular compared to other fonts of similar style is because MS ships it with everything.

And no, it's not very readable, either. There are much more readable fonts -- ones that are designed to be readable.

Ketchup is very popular, but surely you would understand why chefs may want to ban ketchup as a joke. Or are you one of those people who like to use ketchup on everything?

I asked a professional graphic artist . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627815)

. . . my girlfriend, if she knew the font. She said she knew the name but not the font, and pulled it up on her Mac (of course). Her response:

"Schrecklich (frightful)!" She then added, "I have never used it, and never will."

Of course, that's just her opinion, but it's definitely not:

Just because it is so popular people hate it.

She just thinks that it is butt-ugly.

Re:I asked a professional graphic artist . . . (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627867)

Of course, she's going out with you... So there's no accounting for taste.

Re:I asked a professional graphic artist . . . (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628069)

His girlfriend and him frequently use the words einparken, einen Harten haben, Scheide, Fotze, geil and sexuell together.

We on the other hand interact with virtual characters.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627835)

I wonder why there's the hatred for Comic Sans but there is only a small movement against Arial, the Helvetica ripoff.

Oh, that's right, cause people in general are dumb.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627889)

I have a double opinion on Comic Sans. On an Apple system, it looks great. Happy, friendly, cheerful, etc. It makes me feel good.

On Windows, it looks like a business font (unless cleartype hasn't been turned on, then it looks like someone puked on the monitor [ampsoft.net] ). A business font trying to be fun. Of course that's going to look bad, it's a bad mix.

The problem these guys have isn't that Comic Sans looks bad, it's that it is used in places it shouldn't be. The reason it is used in places it shouldn't be is because there isn't much choice in fonts. There are really only 15 safe web fonts, which isn't much to choose from. Comic Sans is really your only choice if you are looking for something casual, informal.

On Ubuntu, the fonts look good. They are smooth and clearly drawn. BUT THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME [ampsoft.net] . Seriously, look at that list: I think Comic Sans, Lucidia Console, and MS Sans Serif are ALL THE SAME FONT. I believe this can be remedied by downloading extra font packs, I don't know if this easily possible on Ubuntu.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628065)

Are you sure you are looking at Comic Sans on an Apple system and not Chalkboard? The two fonts are similar, but Chalkboard has nicer-looking letter shapes. The kerning may be slightly different between OS X and Windows, and OS X will place the font glyphs correctly and antialias, while Windows will round the locations off to the nearest pixel, which can cause Windows displays to appear to have incorrect kerning (it's a trade - Windows gives you better-looking characters in exchange for worse-looking words, OS X is the opposite way around).

On Ubuntu, you are seeing font substitution. A half-decent font rendering system will substitute a 'similar' font (where the value of 'similar' varies based on who wrote the substitution algorithm) when the requested font is not found. It seems that you do not have several of the fonts you are attempting to display installed, and so their outlines are being provided by a completely different font. This is a configuration issue.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627951)

Just because it is so popular people hate it. It's like people hating on pop stars, Windows, and Kraft Parmesan cheese.

Not at all. My dislike of Kraft "Parmesan" cheese has nothing to do with its popularity.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27628215)

Actually, its really commonly used in scientific seminars, and its THE BEST font for that. Its soft and readable.

Just because something is overused, doesn't mean its bad. You could say the same about Beethoven's 9th.

Re:Similar to Windows hate? (2, Interesting)

mlscdi (1046868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628219)

It is easily readable

Surely any font that isn't easily readable is unfit for purpose? Apart from a select few, obviously (Wingdings, and those "Math" fonts, etc) At the end of the day it is just everywhere, and that makes people hate it. It's overused, simple as. But how can we have an argument over weather it is a good or bad font? It is a matter of personal opinion. As you rightly said, it is readable, but weather it is good or not is down to the individual. But I still hate it.

He got something right... (0, Troll)

Sulix (1154971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627521)

Well, at least he got something right -- the name.
Microsoft Bob is certainly comical -- It's one of the biggest jokes around.

Except perhaps ME and Vista.

Re:He got something right... (2, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627633)

Pretty sure Microsoft Bob is the bigger joke. It's the Star Wars Holiday Special of the Microsoft world. They just pretend it never happened whenever possible.

But what about Verdana? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627527)

It was made to be tiny text, yet people to continue to use it for normal and large sized text! That's it. Screw them all. I'm switching my websites to Wing Dings.

Font-Snob (3, Funny)

thehickcoder (620326) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627547)

New phrase: "font-snob"

Copyright thehickcoder 2009

Re:Font-Snob (2, Funny)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627595)

That would be me.
There is only one set of fonts for grownups: the Computer modern series from TeX. Everything else is for the computer barely-literate.

Re:Font-Snob (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628167)

Oh, I don't know. I like Computer Modern myself, especially in educational books. It instinctively makes me feel the author is a competent, professional fellow.

But a guy at my office, he hates Computer Modern. He tells us about how happy everyone were when they could finally use postscript fonts in TeX, etc.

I'd say he's the font snob, not you.

Re:Font-Snob (1)

memorycardfull (1187485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627619)

That should be a font name.

Re:Font-Snob (3, Insightful)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627737)

New phrase: "font-snob"

Call them what you will, but industrial design and attention to detail is often grossly overlooked. It's why Mac is converting hordes of longtime PC users and why Ubuntu is the most popular linux distro. It's why Adobe is a multi-billion dollar company and why black Myriad [wikipedia.org] text on a white background is instantly recognizable as an Apple ad. It's why I can no longer look at non anti-aliased fonts outside the terminal.

As a user who upgraded to Fedora 7 from Fedora Core 6 after the Liberation fonts [wikipedia.org] switchover, I can say that the impact must be experienced to be believed.

Re:Font-Snob (0, Troll)

future assassin (639396) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627997)

Are we talking about fonts here social sheep?

Re:Font-Snob (4, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628093)

Design is a lot like software development in this respect.

If something is poorly designed, and you aren't a designer, you may not notice it at first, just as if something is poorly coded and you're not a developer, you may not immediately sense just how unoptimized the software is.

But as you use it more, the deficiencies manifest themselves in your own frustration. Poor design makes things hard to follow and taxing to use, just as poor software development makes things sluggish and unstable. The work of a skilled designer will always be more enjoyable to use over time, just as the work of a skilled developer shows through in a solid and stable product.

I may be a font snob, but I'm also a stability snob, a performance snob, a usability snob, and a number of other snobberies.

Re:Font-Snob (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628125)

It's why I can no longer look at non anti-aliased fonts outside the terminal.

The reason you make an exception for the terminal is likely due to bitmap fonts being used in the terminal. In most situations, an unscaled bitmap font will look better than a vector font. They were used a lot in early X apps, but are now discouraged because they lack resolution-independence (or, rather, look hideous when you scale them to compensate for a different resolution).

Re:Font-Snob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27628071)

Want to know what's really hilarious? Hearing American font-snobs pronounce "Comic Sans" like "Comic Sense" with a long "e". Sans is French. It means "without", and in the case of fonts it means without serifs, the little "feet" at the end of the strokes. Listen. [wikimedia.org]

Re:Font-Snob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27628077)

Actually the term is "font-nazi", and it wasn't new when I heard it in '98.

Typical usage: "Oh my God. I'm becoming a font-nazi." I haven't shaved off the little beard since.

Re:Font-Snob (2, Informative)

jackcullen (1535605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628117)

That's not a word, it's a compound noun/adjective

Fontsnob WOULD be a word.

Fontsnob, Copyright 2009 Jack Cullen
http://jackcullen.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] :-P

Re:Font-Snob (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628119)

sudo apt-get install font-snob...

sorry, i've been trying to get latex2html working all night, now everything looks like a package name to me.

btw, resurrect the witch hunts, BURN comic sans USERS!

Oblig. Achewood (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627571)

MOD PARENT UP (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627905)

I was going to post that but the AC beat me to it

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628127)

That's two of us. First thing I thought of.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

sagematt (1251956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628209)

+1 Redundant, same thing here.

God, I leave the internet for 15 minutes and someone steals my "frist oblig". I should, like, code something that posts "Oblig. X" on Slashdot depending on the summary's title

(And promptly get banned for it when someone talks about goatse)

Bob's True Mission (1)

doktaru (1527945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627601)

Whoever said that Microsoft Bob never had any effect on the world?

Direct link to website (0, Offtopic)

British (51765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627629)

Again, failure in the article summary. Direct link: http://bancomicsans.com/ [bancomicsans.com] We don't need news sites to tell us around something when we can just directly go to it.

Re:Direct link to website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627745)

or maybe they didn't direct-link that site because it can't stand up to a slashdotting while the news site can.

way to think things through

Re:Direct link to website (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627901)

The best is the video [vimeo.com] on that site. Here is the reaction to the facebook logo in comic sans:

"Well of course this is... Who cares?"

Anyone who's thinking, "Why does this matter?" needs to see this video and the Absolut vodka logo in comic sans.

And why was this moderated off topic? Seeing how the article on WSJ was %50 about bancomicsans, this is extremely relevent.

A lot of people must like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627635)

Because so many of them use it.

Achewood touched on this a couple years ago (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627637)

http://achewood.com/index.php?date=07052007 [achewood.com]

Oh, if only.

Not only e-mails (5, Funny)

adamjaskie (310474) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627641)

I've gotten change requests and requirements specs in Comic Sans.

Re:Not only e-mails (1)

dogzilla (83896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628139)

In all fairness to his clients, he did send his quote in Park Avenue Script.

awesome font! (5, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627675)

I'm going to start using it at work, often. it fits. I hope it infuriates many.

Taste the curb (5, Informative)

megabulk3000 (305530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627681)

From the WSJ article: "An online comic strip shows a gang kicking and swearing at Mr. Connare." That would be this. [achewood.com]

this is a font for kids (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627803)

see this study: http://www.surl.org/usabilitynews/81/PersonalityofFonts.asp [surl.org]

and this one proves (even with a tiny sample) that kids love this font: http://psychology.wichita.edu/mbernard/articles/UPAfontchildrenpaper.pdf [wichita.edu]

Yeah, it's (somewhat) easy to read, but it's only suitable for kids books. The problem is that it's been used in all the places the summary mentions, and the person who chose to use it obviously had zero knowledge about fonts. Some fonts are used for content, some for presentation, others are easier to read on computer screens and others are suited for print.

Learn your goddamn fonts or stick to the defaults in MS Office. Arial is a sans-serif font, easier to read on computers (so it's used in Outlook & Excel). Times New Roman is used in Word because serifs help guide the eye along the line in large blocks of text. These fonts are overused and boring, but at least they don't distract the reader from the message.

Great Movie about Comic Sans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27627913)

http://www.vimeo.com/274428

Darn kids! (3, Interesting)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627931)

How can you have Comic Sans in an email - email is a plain text medium! Pica was good enough from my daddy, it's good enough for me! And what's this business with "!" amd "=="? The proper syntax is .NOT. and .EQ.

        Seriously, however, it Comic Sans really that common? I have to admit to being an old fart but I do a lot of document work, and I had to go look up what Comic Sans looked like. I had seen it before and yes, it's goofy, but is it really an issue?

          Brett

   

Dyslexic friendly (1)

petaflop (682818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627945)

Comic sans may have its detractors, but it is more readable for dyslexics than many, see for example dyslexic.com [dyslexic.com] , British Dyslexia Association [bdadyslexia.org.uk] , Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

Hypocrites (2, Informative)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27627993)

I'm not a fan of Comic Sans but they want it banned while at the same time using some thing equally lame, myspace. http://www.myspace.com/bancomicsans [myspace.com]

I wouldn't take advice on good taste from them.

Re:Hypocrites (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628137)

I wackyparsed that as "I wouldn't take advice on good paste from them", and I wondered why, since presumably they eat a lot of it?

The typeface isn't the problem (3, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628023)

The typeface isn't the problem. In fact, I rather like it. It is a well-designed typeface, very readable, and appropriate for playful images - projects like children's books, comic books, children's toys and clothing, and the like. You know. its intended purpose.

The problem is, the typeface (a "typeface" is an outline/shape - it's not a "font" until it has size and weight, kerning, etc. attributed to it) has become used for things where it is completely inappropriate: the main text in "professional"[sic] web sites, books, official documents, advertisements, and so forth.

I use the typeface on occasion - but only where it's appropriate. In nearly every case where I see Comic Sans used, Helvetica or Arial or even Verdana would be far more appropriate. I won't stop using the Comic Sans typeface where it is appropriate (dialog for comic/clip art/line art images/strips, for example) but I have never nor would I ever plaster it all over the place.

No one typeface is intended to be used for all circumstances. The type of user who would use Comic Sans in a professional document is the same kind of "designer"[sic] who would mix typefaces from four or five (or more) different font families in a single document; you know, as if they were creating examples of how NOT to use typefaces.

Just as with guns, the problem isn't fonts; the problem is people.

Oh, and you're curious about my nit-picking about "font" vs. "typeface?" I'm not in the wrong here. See:

http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/fonts.asp [webopedia.com]
http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/theyre-not-fonts [aiga.org]
http://desktoppub.about.com/b/2005/05/02/2-minute-tutorial-font-vs-typeface.htm [about.com]
http://www.publish.com/c/a/Graphics-Tools/Font-vs-typeface/ [publish.com]
http://fontfeed.com/archives/font-or-typeface/ [fontfeed.com]

Extensive "Type Specimen" at Comic Sans Cafe (1)

pg--az (650777) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628025)

Not being familiar with this font, I searched around and found the official "Type Specimen" page showing what it looks like in the different HTML sizes etc -- http://www.microsoft.com/typography/web/fonts/comicsns/default.htm [microsoft.com]

Remember when HTML had fonts? (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628165)

In early versions of Netscape, you could link to a remote font of your own choosing. [webdeveloper.com] The font-copyright people were up in arms about this, Microsoft didn't implement it in IE, and it was taken out of Netscape. That's why fonts on the web suck so much. You're either stuck with the lowest common denominator of fonts (Times Roman, Arial, Courier, or Comic Sans MS), or you can put a font into an image, which is silly but standard practice.

That's how we got into this mess.

Here's an example of a page that uses downloadable fonts. [unh.edu] Unless you have a very old browser, it will look ugly. There's a more recent attempt to work around the problem with Flash. [mikeindustries.com] Wrong answer.

So what do you use instead? (2)

thethibs (882667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628229)

It's easy to bitch about Comic Sans, harder to find a replacement. What have you got that's informal, open, and legible down to six-point?

None of the linked sites has anything to offer beyond whining about Microsoft's monopoly on font choices. I suspect it would be more acceptable if Apple took it, changed a few bits and called it "Different Sans".

A much worse example (5, Funny)

whereverjustice (955731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27628255)

Last year I visited the museum at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada (the representative of the Queen). They had a copy there of the royal letter formally appointing the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. It was set in Comic Sans. I am completely serious.
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