Geek Trivia

Which Much Maligned Font Was Never Intended For Widespread Use?

Comic Sans
Iconic Children's Toy Play-Doh Got Its Start As?

Answer: Comic Sans

Comic Sans is, by far, one of the most maligned and disliked fonts in the world and not without just cause. Designed in 1994 by Microsoft designer Vincent Connare, it was originally intended to be included with Microsoft BOB for use in the comic-style speech bubbles within the application. The project was completed too late for inclusion with Microsoft BOB and Comic Sans ended up in Microsoft 3D Movie Maker.

The font was later included in the Windows 95 Plus! pack and was eventually rolled into Windows 95 releases as a standard font. Eventually Comic Sans ended up as the default font for Microsoft Publisher and Internet Explorer. It was here Comic Sans went from a cute but seldom used font appropriate for children and comic book bubbles to a font that hundreds of thousands of people used just because it was the default font in Microsoft Publisher.

As a result of that inclusion, Comic Sans pops up all over the place (often inappropriately). Entire web sites are devoted to explaining why Comic Sans is a poor choice–such as Comic Sans Criminal–while others catalog poor uses of the font.

What does the designer, Vincent Connare, have to say about it? From his personal web site:

Comic Sans was NOT designed as a typeface but as a solution to a problem with the often overlooked part of a computer program’s interface, the typeface used to communicate the message.

There was no intention to include the font in other applications other than those designed for children when I designed Comic Sans. The inspiration came at the shock of seeing Times New Roman used in an inappropriate way.