In my research for a larger article about comics and typography, I stumbled upon an article that talked about how and why the font “Comic Sans” came into existence. Published via The Guardian, Vincent Connare, Comic Sans’ typographer commented,
”One program was called Microsoft Bob, which was designed to make computers more accessible to children. I booted it up and out walked this cartoon dog, talking with a speech bubble in Times New Roman. Dogs don’t talk in Times New Roman! Conceptually, it made no sense.”
There was a clear need for a typeface that could be used by Microsoft products that was less formal, particularly with resources such as Encarta being used by children.
Connare goes on to describe how he broke many typographical rules, such as the “p” and “q” not being direct reflections of themselves. Taking inspiration from the hand drawn lettering in comic books such as Watchmen and the Dark Knight Returns he mentions, “I looked at various letters and tried to mimic them on screen. There were no sketches or studies – it was just me drawing with a mouse, deleting whatever was wrong."
By the time Comic Sans was completed, it was too late to include it in Microsoft Bob, however, this did not prevent the staff of Microsoft to continue using it in their emails, particularly when speaking about cheerful subjects such as birthdays or work events. It proved to be so popular that it was eventually included into the release of Windows 95.
Despite the backlash over is overuse, Connare remarked, ”Type should do exactly what it’s intended to do. That’s why I’m proud of Comic Sans. It was for novice computer users and it succeeded with that market."
The article goes into more depth and it is well worth the read. Click here to go read it now.
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Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Dec. 13, 2019
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