Dirt: Comic stans
A perfectly imperfect font.
Tyler Bainbridge on misunderstood typeface, Comic Sans.
The things we like and dislike say a lot about us, and in some cases, everything about us.
For instance, if you feel your blood pressure rise when you see Comic Sans or think it's hilarious to crack jokes about the typeface, perhaps you think making fun of Nickelback (hint: they rock) is the funniest thing in the world or you call yourself an aesthete and proudly display a carefully curated selection of untouched books on typography.
Comic Sans tragically became a meme in the aughts and was increasingly difficult to find outside of school rooms, flyers in coffee shops, strip mall signs, or diner menus, aka the best resources for design inspiration, but that’s a post for another day. According to an extremely scientific Twitter poll I found, 44% of teachers still use the typeface in their teaching materials. If only that trick worked in college, I probably wouldn’t have dropped out.
In 2020, Instagram may have accidentally kicked off the typeface's second wind when Comic Sans esq font was added to their "stories" feature. Millennial designers everywhere wept. However, it's since become the go-to choice for "online" & y2k-presenting young people on the app. The “wired headphones” of fonts, if you will.
Of course Comic Sans is a bit goofy, and there are real problems with its design, but I can’t help that I love it! The typeface's fun look and history of being taken a bit too seriously by squares even made it the ideal choice for my newsletter, Perfectly Imperfect.
This wasn't really by design, but that decision became a powerful litmus test. Comic Sans is a protective shield against people who don't "get it" and clearly communicates that above all, our newsletter is imperfect. And for everyone else, there are plenty of other “serious” recommendation sources with cool branding.
The Dirt: Make the internet fun again. Embrace cringe and camp. Use Comic Sans!
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