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First thoughts: I like it, it will be interesting to see what the typography community has to say. Slightly off topic, but it's funny how Comic Sans, a font, has become so widely hated and mocked even among non-tech savvy people. There seems to be a tipping point where something becomes cool to hate. It's absolutely impossible nowadays to use Comic Sans, even if it's completely appropriate for the situation, without being mocked by people who have never used anything else but Times New Roman.



> without being mocked by people who have never used anything else but Helvetica.

ftfy. I find that unquestioning love for Helvetica and hate for Comic Sans go hand in hand.


I really should get that T-shirt I have been thinking about, with "Helvetica!" written on it in Comic Sans.


I made one with Helvetica written in arial. I always find it interesting to see who picks up on it, but I haven't quite worked out if that makes me like them more or less.


Can someone tell me why people scoff at the use of Arial or Verdana or whatever? Helvetica and Arial look extremely similar, what's the problem?


Preferring Helvetica over Arial is commonly just pure snobbery. There are couple of reasons behind that: Helvetica is associated with Macs while Arial is associated with Microsoft. Helvetica can be argued to be "more original" than Arial. The Arial we usually see (Microsofts version) is heavily optimized for low-res screen display at body text sizes, which some might say compromise it for high-res/print use. Helvetica is also available in significantly more variants than the Bold/Italic MS Arial.


When I was a kid writing essays in school on Microsoft Word, I used Arial for awhile, but I started to hate it, even though I didn't know squat about typography. It was just ugly. Ugly on the screen, ugly on paper. So I switched largely to Verdana, though I did go through a Trebuchet phase. To this day, I loathe the look of Arial. When I was first introduced to Helvetica, still knowing nothing about type, I thought it was really pretty.

There's more to it than snobbery.


Okay, how? They're pretty much exactly the same typeface, except for some minor angles in some letters.


Well, to be fair, I didn't have Helvetica available at the time I developed my hatred of Arial to compare. And when I look at blown-up / high res versions of Arial text now on my spiffy MacBook screen, they don't look so bad. But looking at old screenshots of Win3.1 still draws my ire. Verdana would have made Windows look so much better had they made that the main OS sans-serif. Arial's just so... pedestrian.

It may have had much more to do with the fact that Win 3.11 had shitty text display than with any real problem with Arial. But Arial really did look horrendous to my eyes compared to Verdana, on the same machine. I do think that had I had access to Helvetica back then I would have liked it more. But without a time machine it's impossible to tell.

I also grew up with computers and started looking at text on screens from the fourth grade. I'd had a long time to develop my eye for type by the time I was writing papers in high school. I could look at a page of printed text and tell which (Microsoft) font it was using, I doubt many kids back then could. I do think I'd have been able to tell Arial from Helvetica. There are quite a few differences between the two. Enough that my practiced eye would be able to tell the difference. Not that my programming day job affords me much practice in that regard.


Okay, I just popped up two TextEdit windows with the same text in Helvetica and Arial. After staring at them for about ten minutes, I can definitely say I like Helvetica better.

Arial just looks clunky compared to it. Helvetica's loops are more rounded, they stand out more boldly from the staffs than Arial's. It's a much more confident typeface. Arial's 'e' looks squashed, it reminds me of a trollface. Its 's' has the same problem, though not as pronounced. Helvetica's versions are much more elegant. Helvetica's numerals are far nicer than Arial's, in particular the '1' and the '2'. The tails of the '6' and '9' daringly overhang the loop slightly in Helvetica, no such eccentricities in Arial, except for the 'f', whose top pokes out past the cross. It would ordinarily be a fine quirk, but in Arial it just looks out-of-place.


Arial is a sloppy-looking knockoff of Helvetica. It's the typographical equivalent of fake designer clothes.

There's nothing inherently wrong with using Verdana as a screen font.


> It's the typographical equivalent of fake designer clothes.

So... perfectly fine for most people?


I see, thanks. I didn't know Arial was much newer than Helvetica.


I have one of those too. It's quite rare that anyone comments on it.



There is some potential to create the weirdest partner look.


Please don't use the "fixed this for you" meme. It's needlessly snarky. Just explain how you disagree.


I find the qualification of "appropriate for the situation" somewhat disturbing in the example of comic sans. Just like wearing a clown costume to a job interview is hardly ever appropriate (except when you are applying for a job as a clown, then it could bear bonus points for bringing your own).


On the other hand, wearing a clown costume when working as one might be a good idea. Not all documents that contain text are "job interviews".


In my opinion there is just no good use for Comic Sans, except for speech bubbles in a comic (and even for that there are better fonts).

Important memo or note at a pediatric ward of a hospital? Well, you are still communicating with adults, so you don't need to use a "childish" font. Funeral? Nope. Childs Birthday? Nope.


I don't understand the emotional baggage that comes with Comic Sans. Its a font, not a statement. The message is in how the letters are arranged. I'm not even sure I can recognize Comic Sans if I saw it.

Moral? SO there are people like me, who don't give a leap what font you use. Its fine to communicate with us with Comic Sans or Dingbats or whatever. Ignore the people with their banners crusading for better communications through clever framing of the ink.


I think people hate Comic Sans because of how many people used it inappropriately.


In my experience it is a certain class of 'designers' that mock Comic Sans. These 'designers' exist a plenty in the wild even though they are not really 'designers':

1) Have Apple branded computer - check.

2) Do not know how to add content to a CMS - check.

3) Incapable of making the smallest tweak to CSS - check.

4) Move files around with a DropBox type gadget and have to get a 'developer' to 'FTP' that PDF to a server - check.

5) Only 'design' for Mac screens with a minimum resolution of Full HD even though the iphone has been out for a while - check.

6) Take inspiration from the latest site-du-jour in a me-too copy-and-paste way, bringing no blue sky thinking to the table - check.

7) Think in terms of CMYK and DPI at all times - check.

8) Never use client content in mock ups, go for Lorem Ipsum when shapes on a page are needed - check.

9) Throw a tantrum if a developer or client makes the slightest change from the cast in stone design mockups for a good reason such as usability - check.

10) Mock 'Comic Sans' - wow I am a real designer now!!!


One out of ten for me - I loathe Comic Sans, but item 1-9 don't fit me at all.




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