All right, as an art and design blogger, I think it’s probably obligatory that I discuss the biggest controversy in design news this week: the redesign of Comic Sans.
Comic Neue is the work of Craig Rozynski, an Australian digital designer. It’s inspired by Comic Sans, arguably the most-hated font of the Internet.
The pushback is derived from how childish the font is. I tend to think of sans serifs as a little more serious because they lack the loopy feet that give serifs a sense of whimsy. But Comic Sans, with its round, bold lines, is anything but formal. It does a good job mimicking the look of comic books, but how often do you think, “You know what this headline really needs? A touch of Spider-Man.”
Comic Sans has gotten a terrible reputation among both font devotees who spend hours debating whether using Helvetica is too mainstream and casual redditors alike. Putting text in the font is essentially the online kiss of death, ensuring your words will be giggled at, regardless of their quality.
After scrolling through the rather fun Comic Neue website, I think Rozynski does a great job fixing its predecessors flaws.
It’s definitely still a casual text, not meant for government documents or controversial propositions. But it’s a little more refined than the original. The letters, while still rounded, are less silly. They’re simpler and more contained, without the almost serif-like curves that sit on Comic Sans’ a’s, h’s and n’s. There’s also an angular version with sharp instead of rounded edges.
I’m not sure if I’d use it myself, but then again, I tend to prefer my fonts thin and narrow. I can see it working well online because the font is so easy to read. I notice that even with fonts I like, scrolling through page after page can end up leaving my eyes burning. Scrolling through the Comic Neue website is quite pleasant. The kerning is wide — though not as wide as Comic Sans — and the letters clean. It would be a great option for a webpage with a lot of text and a good sense of humor.
Now, as far as Comic Sans, I have to admit I might just be jumping on the hater bandwagon. I can’t remember back to the time before the Internet poisoned Comic Sans for me. I have no idea whether I liked it at some point in the past. Anything’s possible. But, I think we can all agree: Sometimes, you just need a little upgrade.
Much update. So font. Wow.