There’s something to be said about the aesthetics of type — the clean curves of Arial, the classic feel of Georgia, the MLA-research-paper-ness of Times New Roman, 12-point font.
And oh, can we say something about the pure sensation of Comic Sans.
The helter-skelter typeface evokes all the emotions, even from the most stoic of Swedes. The emotion most commonly felt by viewers? Intense infuriation.
Outrage roared again this spring as the one in five students who voted saw Comic Sans on the North Dakota State student body elections ballot.
For whatever reason, people see Comic Sans and sheer hatred blinds their rational thought. The type’s (perceived) imperfections fire up the “fight” mode of usually reasonable individuals.
“It’s hideous,” the apparently un-hideous human said.
“I could write better with my left hand,” the amputee said.
“It looks like The Sims game,” the student said. “The student body elections ballot shouldn’t look like The Sims.”
Prithee, oh wise sages, why not?
The student court has a thankless job; the justices deserve to cut loose every once in a while.
Lord knows they need it. These outstanding student-citizens stay sharp on their rulebooks, including the Student Body Constitution and Student Government Code. Riveting reads, I’m sure.
Lay off the justices, especially Chief Justice Mathew Warsocki. He’s fragile.
Furthermore, the egregious claims that Comic Sans “sucks” and is “unprofessional” are value-based arguments. And, with any value argument, it’s dependent on your insignificant opinion.
Next time you prepare to taint the world with spouting as hackneyed as font-hate, consider: Nothing matters, especially your taste in typefaces.
Your subjective hatred toward this fun font is based on your feelings, not fact. If you clamor for data, chew on this: a 2010 Princeton University study suggested “ugly” fonts like Comic Sans led to better retention of content when compared to “cleaner” typefaces. More anecdotally, some people with dyslexia claim fonts like Comic Sans to be easier to read.
There is nothing inherently awful about Comic Sans. The typeface was made with the most altruistic of intentions.
Released in 1994 to mimic the style of comic books, Comic Sans was going to be a hit with the kids. This unassuming font went 20th-century viral, though, and became a hit with everyone. People of all ages found joy with its casual, anything-goes style.
Design puritans, with the copious amounts of free time they have, denounced the font. To be a cool and informed like these “professional” type prescriptivists, the general public began hating on the type, too.
These Helvetica hellions shamed Comic Sans fans into silence, ridiculing the fun font’s use in any situation.
“When my children want to use a ‘fun font,’ at the very worst I’ll let them use Garamond,” one graphic designer sneered. “I have better tastes than all of you.”
Enough. Taste is relative. Comic Sans, like any font, is merely a presentation of language. It’s as superficial as you can get. Judging a text based on its visual performance is simply asinine.
So instead of getting into a huff about the election ballot’s font, perhaps our attention would be better directed at the fact that 80 percent of the student body did not vote this year.