By Andrew Wong, Chan Xing Yun, Evangeline Ng and Jeremy Sim
For our presentation on Comic Sans, we decided to explore the typeface’s history, inherent qualities and characteristics and its use through a short skit. Each of us took on different roles as various typefaces and presented ourselves as a “Typeface Anonymous” self-help group, taking turns to introduce ourselves. Comic Sans became the butt of most of the jokes that the other typefaces made while they critiqued him and in turn he was given a chance to defend himself.
Throughout the few weeks which we prepared our presentation, we came across very interesting sources related to Comic Sans and its use.
One example was a really cool and informative video by Michael from Vsauce:
After which we visited the website that he made reference to which was http://designforhackers.com/blog/comic-sans-hate/
This website was very useful as it provided useful images to compare Comic Sans with other typefaces and it helped with our analysis of Comic Sans as a typeface using typographic fundamentals which we felt was important in our understanding of why people view Comic Sans the way that they do.
Through this we realised Comic Sans was more common than we expected and we started being sensitive to its uses around us.
We also realised that it played a role in helping dyslexic people read better as it was one the few fonts that helped to create OpenDyslexic, a typeface made specifically for dyslexic people to recognise words easier.
This project has taught us a lot about comic sans, not just basic details like its history, but also technical information like stroke widths and aliasing which affects it’s perception. We also now appreciate comic sans for providing clarity to people with dyslexia and realised that it is not that the font that is bad, but rather people use it casually because they have easy access to it. There is a saying that it is impossible to hate anyone after hearing their backstory, and after learning more about comic sans we feel a little bad for it as society has demonised to the extent that all we hear about it is that it’s a bad font, but very little people bother to actually understand why. Comic Sans could be said to be the most hated font because upon comparison to other fonts such as Helvetica, it may seem that it is very poorly constructed, while Helvetica is well thought of and structured. However it has had places to shine too.