Monday, April 20, 2009

comic sans

The font, a casual script designed to look like comic-book lettering, is the bane of graphic designers, other aesthetes and Internet geeks. It is a punch line: "Comic Sans walks into a bar, bartender says, 'We don't serve your type.'" On social-messaging site Twitter, complaints about the font pop up every minute or two. An online comic strip shows a gang kicking and swearing at Mr. Connare.

The jolly typeface has spawned the Ban Comic Sans movement, nearly a decade old but stronger now than ever, thanks to the Web. The mission: "to eradicate this font" and the "evil of typographical ignorance."

"If you love it, you don't know much about typography," Mr. Connare says. But, he adds, "if you hate it, you really don't know much about typography, either, and you should get another hobby."

Typefaces convey meaning, typographers say. Helvetica is an industry standard, plain and reliable. Times New Roman is classic. Depending on your point of view, Comic Sans is fun, breezy, silly or vulgar and lazy. It can be "analogous to showing up for a black-tie event in a clown costume," warns the Ban Comic Sans movement's manifesto. The font's original name was Comic Book, but Mr. Connare thought that didn't sound like a font name. He used Sans (short for sans-serif) because most of the lettering, except for the uppercase I, doesn't have serifs, the small features at the end of strokes.

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