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Comic Sans in its natural habitat | by Nick Sherman
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Comic Sans in its natural habitat

Vincent Connare’s oft-maligned typeface in the environment for which it was originally intended: small sizes without font smoothing.


I am very, very, far from being a fan of Comic Sans. Even when I see it in the context of informal or child-friendly designs, it still makes me cringe. However, the technical limitations of its original implementation are worth considering before one should damn it as a horrid creation.


Note how the gross distortions in each letterform which make it such a hated design in today’s high-resolution environments are much more subdued when the resolution and bit-depth are as limited as they were originally. In fact, without such exaggerated wonkiness, the typeface would end up looking mostly like a plain old sans-serif design when the canvas for each glyph is only a handful of pure black-or-white pixels. It’s hard to imagine a casual comic-style typeface that is significantly more successful than Comic Sans when rendered at 9px without anti-aliasing.


Having said all that, I would still avoid Comic Sans like the plague in modern contexts.

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Uploaded on February 13, 2013