Why Designers Hate Comic Sans

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After discussing design details with a client last week, I was asked randomly, “So… What is it exactly that designers hate about Comic Sans? I happen to like it.” While the thought of her liking it made it hard to swallow, the question posed a serious thought for me – What exactly do I dislike about Comic Sans? I mean, come on, it’s just a font, right?!

The question not only caught me off guard, but also made it clear to me that I had no exact answer; Well at least not with a well prepared, thought-out one anyways. After leaving the meeting, I went home and the question lingered with me some more. Poor little font… What is it that I dislike about you?

To ease my pain, I decided to hop on Twitter and ask other designers the same question. Here’s what they had to say.

Why do you dislike Comic Sans?

  • @6bdesign – I don’t like because I think it’s ugly. Plus I’ve never found a need to use it for anything
  • @jsondy – Comic Sans = amateurish (abused font in Powerpoint); over-used
  • @keylimecreative – it’s ugly – [me: Why's it ugly?] … because unfortunately it’s easy to read and and shipped with every PC
  • @sofaemployed – overuse and abuse [...] looks like Bart’s chalkboard handwriting on The Simpson’s opening
  • @chrisong – Never found it suitable for anything other than comics or other humorous material
  • @athenaemily – Font isn’t bad in its own right but since it’s over used by kids and students, it looks stupid when applied to professional design
  • @mccambridge – I like Comic Sans in the right context… which usually is NOT business. I’d never use it for screen copy. Too hard to read
  • @MCGSTUDIO – I totally agree with @athenaemily. It ends up looking cheap and unprofessional.
  • @mtnmissy – It’s appropriate type for comics, but that’s about it. There’s an appropriate place for certain fonts.
  • @mayhemstudios – usually I don’t find comic sans fit for any real projects, unless it was a parody or for a comic.
  • @ommacreative – it’s because anyone can use it, so it looks so unprofessional. It’s a web font now for goodness sake!
  • @LogoMotives – Comic Sans: too available, overused; most often used by individuals with no design skills.
  • @sonaliagrawal – It’s outdated. I designed my own first website using that font, but no I find it cute and childish.
  • @visualrhetor – Comic Sans = Budweiser. MS Paint. Kia. Nickelback. Walmart. Etc…
  • @jlsellers – probably the same reason they don’t like Papyrus — overuse, too common.
  • @sarahtelldown – so over-used
  • @StephenTiano – Perhaps I think it’s because it’s so ubiquitous and a font that untrained people used incorrectly.

In response to why clients like Comic Sans

  • @tomcarmony – I think there are a lot of other well crafted typefaces out there that fit the same “fun” motif. They like the informal feel…
  • @Meroko – because there’s not a lot of options for non-designers in terms of fonts when you don’t know/want to pay
  • @athenaemily – they like it because it looks “fun”, it’s a very stylish font in its own right so they might think they designed something by applying it.
  • @ommacreative – it’s because anyone can use it, so it looks so unprofessional. It’s a web font now for goodness sake!
  • @dragonlady23 – because to non-designers anything that doesn’t look like Arial or Times is cool/unique
  • @stevethegreat – I think it’s because it was so heavily used in the early web days to convey that ‘human feel’

Hmmm… but isn’t Helvetica overused?

With “overused” being used over in many of the above responses, I was wondering if you feel Helvetica is overused, and if so, why do you still like it? — I know I’m asking for trouble with this question!

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