You Will Never Look At Comic Sans The Same Again
Comic Sans is the easy target of the typography world. None of the letters are uniform, it has a notably “fun” vibe and you have distinct memories of it being your font of choice as a preschooler.
Comic Sans has been universally condemned as being the childish joke of the Microsoft family. And because the internet is cruel and people love nothing more than to jump on a hatred bandwagon, it has been stowed away into a dark corner with Nickelback and the word “moist” as something it’s cool to hate.
Well, you may want to think again. Passionately hating Comic Sans is actually kind of offensive.
Writing for The Establishment, Lauren Hudgins argues that making fun of Comic Sans is in fact ableist behaviour – in other words, discrimination against people with disability. She explains that comic sans is one of the few fonts in the world that is accessible for people with dyslexia. She would know, because her sister has dyslexia and was only able to complete her degree by writing and reading exclusively in Comic Sans.
The Comic Sans font uses irregular shapes to make up letters, making it easier for people with dyslexia to focus on certain parts of the word. It was introduced in 1994 by designer Vincent Connare as the antithesis to the traditionally formal Times New Roman font, not as an intended typeface but one that could communicate a more light hearted, conversational kind of message to readers.
It has since taken on a life of it’s own, and whether that life is positive or negative depends on who you speak to. For Hudgins’ sister, it has been markedly positive. She explained, “For me, being able to use Comic Sans is similar to a mobility aid, or a visual aid, or a hearing aid.” It is even recommended by the British Dyslexia Association. There are other fonts that can be downloaded and used but Comic Sans is the most accessible for the majority of people as it comes pre downloaded in the widely used Microsoft products. It’s also available to use in Gmail.
Hudgins’ sister said that she has been told using the font is “juvenile”, “unprofessional” and “stupid”, even though she quite literally can’t read unless it’s written in that font.
It’s time to rethink the irrational hatred of a font. And a band. And a word describing a slight sensation of wetness. After all, it’s only a font. It’s only a band. It’s only a word.
Start actively liking things instead. It’s much more fun.
Josephine is a writer from western Sydney who likes to blatantly lie on her bios. She played the youngest sister in 80s sitcom Family Ties and looks fantastic running with a backpack on.