It seems like wherever you are, there is always going to be some form of the printed word within your field of view. With so many words floating around, designers take great care to make their words stand out from the crowd through stylistic fonts. But then we have the Comic Sansusers. For some reason, people still insist on placing this overused font on the most peculiar text displays in the most inappropriate places. However, there are a number of people out there willing to fight the good fight and put an end to Comic Sans misusage. You can be one of them by taking a look at these three sites!
Right here, we have the site that started it all – Ban Comic Sans. Started by Dave and Holly Combs (both prolific designers), the pair set out in 2002 in an effort to “put the sans back in Comic Sans.” At first glance, the site has a semi-dedicated blog devoted entirely to the removal of Comic Sans from all text displays everywhere, and to prove a point, the Combs couple has even installed a section of their site providing several instances of Comic Sans misusage. In addition to this Flickr photo presentation of the font in everyday life, the site provides the following short 8-minute documentary (featuring Comic Sansified versions of common logos and brands) about the font as well as a firm typography manifesto. Besides the content that the site provides, the Combs also sell various shirts, stickers, and even coffee mugs (by Zazzle, CafePress, and Spreadshirt) featuring artwork highlighting the campaign against Comic Sans. However, if you don’t feel like dropping too much money, they also have free propaganda flyers to print out as well as DIY stickers that you can simply make at home using the proper paper (Avery 8164 to be exact). Also, if you still feel the need to use comic-fueled fonts, you should check out their wide assortment of Comic Sans alternatives.
This is more of a one-shot kind of site in that it really serves no other purpose other than what it already is, but even so, Comic Sans Criminal has the potential to be the gift that keeps on giving. Basically, the site is devoted to evangelizing the truth about Comic Sans misusage to those that take part in it. Upon arrival to the site, users are welcomed by a page that simply states, “You’re a Comic Sans Criminal, but we’re here to help you.” So if you see someone using the dreaded font, you should quickly send them the link, notifying them of their criminal state. After clicking through to the next screen of the site, they will be treated to an in-browser slideshow highlighting the negative effects of Comic Sans. However, the site does make note that there are a few reasons that using Comic Sans could be quite reasonable. Besides usage for an audience that is under 11-years-old and for comics themselves, the site makes aware that many dyslexics would find the font easier to read than anything else. As a matter of fact, for more dyslexic information, the website provides a link to Dyslexic.org. Everything about Comic Sans Criminal is highly tongue-in-cheek, but it does provide a few legitimate points. For instance, items such as defibrillators should never be labeled in Comic Sans, so I guess you could say that proper use of the font (or lack thereof) could save a life.
Blambot is certainly not an anti-Comic Sans site, but it provides several free alternatives to comic-styled fonts. The site has a little something for everyone, keeping in mind the fact that comics often need different lettering for different purposes (no, Comic Sans can’t be used for everything). The site has three classifications – limited edition paid fonts, paid fonts, and thankfully, an excellent selection of free fonts. I know it may be surprising, but there are a lot of other comic-related fonts to choose from besides Comic Sans. As a matter of fact, Blambot has a different font for every purpose whether it be for dialogue, sound effects, basic design, or even crazy symbols. Blambot was founded by Nate Piekos, an artist who is proficient in comic font design and lettering. In addition to Blambot’s basic available fonts, Piekos also provides services for custom comic font creation and design.
Comic Sans isn’t all that bad, but it certainly can misused or overused. Fortunately, the three sites above provide insight on correct usage of the font as well as plenty of healthy alternatives. Granted, if you are feeling angsty and full of hardcore font-rebellion, you could take a look at Kill Comic Sans, a frustrating arcade-shooter with an emphasis on the incapacitation of the light-hearted (but evil) font. What instances have you ever seen Comic Sans misused? What are some of your favorite fonts?
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