Font Rage

kegler's picture
Si_Daniels's picture

>I've seen negativity about comic sans before, but this is extreme. Will Vincent Connare really become the Salman Rushdie of typography?

Probably not, the Typotaliban is all bark, and no bite.

William Berkson's picture

from the comment:

>Will Vincent Connare really become the Salman Rushdie of typography?

If so, I hope the Brits protect him as they did Rushdie, and perhaps as a consolation could send him the gorgeous Padma Lakshmi, who is available as she just left Rushdie.

Ok, he doesn't deserve knighthood for Comic Sans, but it is fine for limited uses. He's not responsible for its misuse and overuse.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

He’s not responsible for its misuse and overuse.

Or the fact that Microsoft ended up including it in the Windows operating system.

hrant's picture

Mature? He's a danm artsy pedant. Look at those eyebrows. Just because he can write well doesn't mean he's a good person (something we've seen in the font world too). Really, Padma should've seen right through the faux knight from the start. But then she did have that amazing scar of hers removed, which can't be a good sign as to the quality of what's inside, especially since she used to wear it with explicit pride.

BTW William, are you now moving away from wispy blondes or something?

hhp

Stephen Coles's picture

The Rushdie analogy is funny. The difference is that the work of Salman Rushdie is far more mature but he doesn't go around saying it's amazing stuff like Vince does with Comic Sans.

Si_Daniels's picture

>he doesn’t go around saying it’s amazing stuff

I've not seen a recent interview with Salman, but as I recall in the ones I have seen he did seem quite pleased with himself, and a bit smug. I think he does consider his work amazing, as do many of his readers and reviewers.

I think the similarity is that neither Salman or Vinnie are apologetic for the trouble they’ve caused. The difference is that Vinnie is not such a burden on the British tax payers.

Stephen Coles's picture

You're right, it's probably not the best analogy. Paris Hilton might be better. Famous for nothing.

hrant's picture

British taxpayers pay for their country's persistent imperialist dreams.
And if protecting a person and giving him knighthood help the slumber...

hhp

blank's picture

At least Rushdie did not deliberately go about creating something that would be offensive. I doubt that he ever expected that radical Islamists would put down their Korans long enough to read his book, much less be offended by it. But with a font, well, it should be assumed that people will get stuck looking at it.

William Berkson's picture

>BTW William, are you now moving away from wispy blondes or something?

Don't get me in trouble, Hrant. My wife of 37 years is Chinese. I swear that blond was only before we met :)

HaleyFiege's picture

"I’m going to go invent the Mussolini Hitler Bush font now."

haha.

Si_Daniels's picture

>But with a font, well,

With great power comes great responsibility. ;-)

I do however think it’s very interesting that with fonts, unlike any other visible human-interaction component of software, it’s relatively easy to put a name to the face. Maybe only a small percentage of people know that Matthew designed Tahoma, or Chuck made Lucida, but no-one knows who invented the other widgets, bits and bobs we interact with on a daily basis.

So unlike Paris, Vinnie didn’t go out looking for publicity – his comments have been purely defensive in response to the people who decided to use his name and image as part of their joke.

blank's picture

“I’m going to go invent the Mussolini Hitler Bush font now.”

According to Paula Scher the Haas foundry did so in 1957.

Stephen Coles's picture

> So unlike Paris, Vinnie didn’t go out looking for publicity – his comments have been purely defensive in response to the people who decided to use his name and image as part of their joke.

Exactly right. I don't much care for the way Ban Comic Sans and others attack Connare. It's Microsoft to blame for Comic Sans, Connare is just a pawn. But "defensive" is a key word here. There are better ways to handle celebrity.

Down10's picture

I don't see why they (Connare & Microsoft) can't just update the typeface to make it actually look nice and then just replace it across all their software. I'm pretty sure most users wouldn't notice or mind if their documents using Comic Sans suddenly looked a lot better.

Si_Daniels's picture

Jesse, I think you're missing the point. The complaint is over-use, especially in places where the font is unsuitable – funeral notices, government forms, TDC ads etc.,. The 'it's badly designed' claim is just an add-on. The talibanners would argue that an 'improved' Comic Sans would just lead to more use.

Rob O. Font's picture

"It’s Microsoft to blame for Comic Sans..."

I was wondering why, and Then I got this call from TTT WHQ:

"I don't understand, why MS is to blame for violence against TDs, but we [the TTT], have this Achewood guy's real name and he's going to be comic stripped and inked to the limits of the law in CA, which is pretty much "whatever..."

"Don't worry Vincent, if you eat curb, we'll curb his eats, like forever."

That's all they said, then they went to hang up, but they missed the red button so I heard the rattling of low resolution fraction bars in the background. This usually means a badly spaced tatoo is being prepared.

hrant's picture

William, blond? The plot thickens... ;-)

hhp

pattyfab's picture

I'd be more likely to compare Vince Connaire's Comic Sans to The Da Vinci Code or The Bridges of Madison County. Of dubious quality and way overexposed, but harmless. Not worthy of more than disdain.

I bought The Satanic Verses as a gesture of support for Rushdie and gave it a try, but ye gods it is pretentious and unreadable.

blank's picture

Not worthy of more than disdain.

Very true. So I guess the eternal question is, why do people get so angry about Comic Sans and not Papyrus or Zapfino or other incredibly overused fonts? Is it that they’re also people with irrational hatred for Microsoft, or is the quality of Comic Sans just offputting in some way?

paul d hunt's picture

or is the quality of Comic Sans just offputting in some way?

people don't like being talked down to, there's something of a condescending tone about Comic Sans.

Linda Cunningham's picture

Or maybe typoholics are just more sensitive to it.

I once had to cure some folks of using it on their PowerPoint presentations -- it was the default font of the kiddy crayon template they were using. They, and their audience, didn't think it was "condescending" at all.

(Of course, they were economists, and they were making presentations to the Mayor and City Council with it, but none of them noticed or cared....)

dezcom's picture

"none of them noticed or cared"

That's about the size of it.

ChrisL

shawkash's picture

At least Sean Connery didn't be knighted because of acting such lifestyle like James Bond. Rusdhi didn't get it for insulting The messenger Mo7ammad too. Did Vince make comics sans to be like how is it now, or It was just to write a small text in a cartoon. As I remember?

A.

hrant's picture

> why do people get so angry about Comic Sans and not Papyrus or Zapfino

1) Comic Sans is on a whole other level of over-use. I've seen funeral wreaths of dignitaries using it. And the reason over-use is generally frustrating is that it highlights the ignorance of the populace, and perhaps hence ourselves (in matters we don't happen to be skilled in).

2) The outlines in Comic Sans are of decidedly lower quality than most any other over-used font. Just look at the "R".

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

>At least Sean Connery didn’t be knighted...

As a US Citizen I don't think Vinnie can't be knighted. Maybe Hillary will see to it that his services are recognized, or at the very least perhaps GW will issue a pardon. ;-)

Cheers, Si

blank's picture

We should so push for him to get a Presidential design award for Comic Sans, on the basis for it being a font so versatile it can be in everything from kids books to the funeral wreaths. Those morons in the White House might just fall for it!

Then again, I work for someone who won a Presidential design award, so maybe I should just leave well enough alone.

Si_Daniels's picture

>I work for someone who won a Presidential design award

Cool, did they do this one?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/kids/presidentsday/color/43.html

shawkash's picture

As you show us that, I have something to show as well. Did you read this from Vincent Connare's site:
"Comic Sans was shown with other fonts to Program Managers at Microsoft and was then included in the Windows 95 Plus Pack that was a supplemental product to Windows 95. Later a Project Manager decided to include Comic Sans into the list of system fonts for the OEM versions of Windows 95. This was after I included basic support for Greek and Cyrillic. Finally it was added with Trebuchet, Webdings and Verdana as additional fonts to the Windows System fonts for the original Internet Explorer.

Now it is part of the Microsoft Windows system fonts.

Why?

Because it's sometimes better than Times New Roman, that's why.

Or at least Apple thinks so. Comic Sans is the default font in Apple's iCards on the web when it was first released."

Source: http://www.connare.com/comic.htm

:D

Si_Daniels's picture

>Why?

I've given various talks on how fonts end up in products. In this case the "Web fonts" got merged into Windows. Originally Internet Explorer was a separate download and included the font, but it, and its fonts became part of the product - hence Verdana, Georgia etc., The font's inclusion in Mac OS has the same basis - Internet Explorer.

Cheer, Si

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

There are better ways to handle celebrity.

Or is it notoriety, in this case? ;-)

HaleyFiege's picture

I don't see bikini photos of him on dlisted so he's definatly not a celebrity.

blank's picture

Wow, not many typographers have to justify their own fonts like that. I kind of feel bad for him...

pattyfab's picture

I don't feel sorry for him. He's probably laughing all the way to the bank. He didn't exactly donate the font to Microsoft.

kris's picture

I am totally over this Comic Sans hate. In all honesty, who really cares? People use it, they like it, let it be. Surely there are greater things to fuss over.

—K

fontplayer's picture

It is very readable at small sizes, which is more than you can say about many fonts. And I love the way it looks on my 60x60 to the left.
Scientific studies have shown that 9 out of 10 dopeyheads like Comic Sans.

Stephen Coles's picture

kris - Exactly. That's why it's Paris Hilton.

TBiddy's picture

I just wonder when offering unsolicited criticism online day after day gets old.

Nick Shinn's picture

Hey wouldn't it be funny if someone did a cartoon about some guy who created a crappy cartoon getting beaten up.

Kellie Strøm's picture

I find some of the comments here and elsewhere truly bizarre - the stuff along the lines of “the trouble they’ve caused” and the “burden on taxpayers” business.

Nobody is forced to read the book, or use the typeface. And when people threaten violence and murder, be it religious or state leaders, or cartoonists, blaming the victims lends support to those threatening violence.

ebensorkin's picture

Nick, there are 1000's of those. Probably the cartoonist was just sharing the love...

hrant's picture

Kellie, true tolerance is not what you've been taught.

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

>blaming the victims lends support to those threatening violence.

What was I thinking? You're absolutely right, the UK government should protect Vinnie from badly drawn animals.

Sadly your leader prefers Arial http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/01/nrbrown3...

fontplayer's picture

It would seem to indicate that Arial is preferred by people who are blind in one eye.

Ehague's picture

>> It would seem to indicate that Arial is preferred by people who are blind in one eye.

As Comic Sans is by those blind in both.

hrant's picture

He's blind in one eye. How convenient. He can better turn a blind eye to
what's really happening. The biological evolution of the western leader.
The next step must be gills instead of ears.

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

The Arial Brown story is interesting as it dispels the myth that Serif fonts are easier to read, but on the down-side it supports the myth that sans are easier to read.

fontplayer's picture

> As Comic Sans is by those blind in both.

So, what other font that is installed on almost every computer has casual hand-written feel? If there is one, somehow it slips my mind right now. This is probably the real problem. I would much prefer any number of casual fonts.

> He can better turn a blind eye to what’s really happening.

What's really happening? Is anyone, anywhere, effectively dealing with what is really happening? (or are you still talking about fonts?)

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