If you want to make a designer cringe, there are a few fonts you can ask for in your project that will likely make them look at you cross-eyed. But by far the most egregious font, the one that designers wish never existed, is Comic Sans.
If you follow a designer on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen them pin jokes about just how awful Comic Sans is. Here are a few I’ve pinned in the past:
The other day, a friend sent me this video. (Fellow designers, fair warning — you may feel violent after watching this.)
After I told him that this induced extreme anxiety and made me want to wash my eyeballs, he asked me what exactly is so awful about Comic Sans. I just told him it’s terrible and to leave it at that, but it got me thinking — what IS so awful about Comic Sans?
And here’s the surprising answer very few designers will admit …
The truth is, nothing is inherently wrong with Comic Sans. Just like you can go to the museum and like a piece of art that your friend totally hates, Comic Sans is the same way. It’s art (cripes, that’s hard for me to say), and whether you love it or hate it is up to you.
But here’s why DESIGNERS hate Comic Sans (and Papyrus and Zapfino and Curlz MT): overuse.
See, back when your computer came with only a handful of fonts, Comic Sans was the only “fun” one. And so with limited options, it became overused. And then people didn’t know when to stop. It is used A LOT in MANY different places, most of which are nowhere near appropriate. There is not much worse in design world than something that’s supposed to be serious that uses Comic Sans. It just doesn’t compute. It’s inappropriate. As a journalist, I equate it to writing punny (yes, punny) headlines on stories about death and destruction. You just shouldn’t do it.
And so we’ve come to hate it. Because there are very few uses — although they do exist — in which Comic Sans is actually appropriate. If you’re not sure, better to just steer clear and use something more … normal.
Personally, I subscribe to this theory:
So that’s why designers hate Comic Sans. What do you think? Terrible font? Not so bad? Shocked that a designer has said it’s actually a legitimate font, albeit with few uses?