copyright by Pooch the Dog, made available by Creative Commons license

After I wrote my previous post on a Font for Dyslexia, I became more and more curious about why Comic Sans has been the target of so much vitriol over the past few years.  Apparently, it was originally a font used for cartoon narration, and its attackers believe that it has been inappropriately used for serious messages that they insist should not be conveyed in a “comic book” font.

A cartoon on the website “Ban Comic Sans” calls it “everyone’s favourite stylistically awkward” font, which got me thinking….  Is it really the “comic book” character of the font that is so offensive?  Or is it, maybe, the very quality that makes it such an accessible font for readers with dyslexia that offends the … non-dyslexic eye?

Another Comic Sans “attack” site, Comic Sans Criminal, links to a list of other fonts for dyslexia at Dyslexia.com’s “Typefaces for Dyslexia” page.   Lots of interesting information there, but there is only one other free font, Lexia Regular, that has the characteristics that ease reading for those with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.  It was designed specifically to modify the comic book characteristics of Comic Sans while retaining the differentiation.

Not to get too … font-critical … but I find Lexia Regular’s method of differentiation visually messy – they keep the “b” open like a stencil and the cross-strokes go past the uprights.  The letters are vertical and much more regular than Comic Sans,  which takes me back to my original ponderings – is there a degree of snobbery in the web-wide disdain for Comic Sans?  Is it the very uniqueness and accessibility of Comic Sans that makes it such a target?  If you didn’t know its history, would it still be seen as such a wildly inappropriate font for messages?  Is it more important to have the “right font” or to have your message accessible to as many readers as possible?

I am no longer going to be swayed by the font police.  Power to the people.