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America's Most Fonted: The 7 Worst Fonts


Ugly fonts, cutesy fonts, unreadable fonts, bad fonts . . . they have terrorized us for far too long, infiltrating our homes via e-mail, IM, and low-rent ValPak ads. Here, LMNOP presents the seven worst fonts--and the people who use them.

1. Comic Sans MS
Comicsans_1 This is indeed the AOL of fonts; the very accessibility that made it popular and novel in the 1990s became its downfall.  These days, just like an e-mail from an "@ aol.com" address has a distinct lack of credibility, an e-mail written in this font makes the sender seem ridiculous and out of touch. 
Common abusers: Clueless execs who think it makes their e-mail signature seem fun (because nothing bridges the six-figure salary gap between boss and worker bee like a good typeface); kids who identify with its kiddie-ness and thus apply it to their IMs, e-mails, and even school papers; homemade advertisements for DAYCARE PROVIDER'S or PARTY PLANNER'S (Comic Sans people tend to be apostrophe abusers as well)
Probable famous user: Elizabeth Hasselbeck

2. Bradley Hand ITC
Bradleyhand Who is Bradley, and why hath his hand wrought such abuse?  This is one of many script fonts that are supposed to approximate a cursive-y, handwritten look and have lost their charm after years of abuse at the hands of adolescent females.
Common abusers: Sorority girls.  Sorry to any sensible sisters out there who know how to use fonts properly, but you have to admit that Bradley Hand ITC makes its way into far too many college girls' IM profiles, and a good chunk of them are of the Greek persuasion.  In fact, if I had a dollar for every time I have seen a Dave Matthews/John Mayer lyric wistfully inserted into a profile (just below the "Alpha Delta Whatever, love my big," etc., and above the cut-and-pasted Windings heart/flower offset in pink), I would have me some serious dollars.
Probable famous user: Lauren Conrad from the O.C.
See also: Lucida Handwriting

3. Curlz MT
Curlz Curlz MT picks up where Comic Sans left off in terms of forced casualness and raises you a big sack of illegibility.  Even before this font was so totally overused, it was really only good in small doses.  Anyone who uses this font today for e-mail or IM is just totally nuts, because you are basically saying that the actual content and readability of your e-mail is secondary to the real message you want to get across, i.e., "LOOK AT ME!  AREN'T I WHIMSICAL?  DON'T YOU LOVE HOW EVEN A BORING E-MAIL ABOUT CARPOOLING TO SOCCER PRACTICE CAN BE MADE FUN AND FANCIFUL WHEN YOU PUT CURLY SERIFS ON THE WORDS?"  Curlz MT is not a font; it's a cry for help.
Common abusers: Middle-aged ex-cheerleaders trying to hold on to the magic of the good old days; women who have woken up at the age of 40 and realized they never did the fun things they wanted to do
Probable famous user: Britney Spears
See also: Gigi

4. Papyrus
Papyruus Papyrus is all over the place; I've seen it in the IM profiles of many kinds of people, usually guys.  I think the goal with Papyrus is to look kind of scholarly, but let's be honest: you're not using AIM to network with other Nobel winners. 
Common abusers: College-aged guys who want a font that's not boring but also not, you know, all gay and cursive and shit.
Probable famous user: Brad Pitt

5. Vivaldi
Vivaldi Why do people get so carried away with fonts that mimic real handwriting? It drives me insane when people use really heavy script fonts to add a "personal touch" to their e-mail signatures--like, "Look!  It's like I really signed it!  Even though it's on a computer!"  Hey, wow.  You're pretty clever. 
Common abusers: Old people; people who think they are classy.
Probable famous user: Martha Stewart
See also: French Script MT

6. Kristen ITC
Kristenitc This is another "fun" font like Comic Sans or Curlz, but it of course has its own unique twist on things.  Kristen ITC fans are usually elementary school teachers, childcare professionals, and other people with kid-centric jobs.  These people love to employ quotes like, "We don't stop playing because we grow old--we grow old because we stop playing," and they really like to use a font that serves as a constant reminder that THEY HAVE NOT STOPPED PLAYING, DAMMIT!  DON'T YOU SEE HOW PLAYFUL THESE LETTERS LOOK?  YOU ARE TALKING TO SOMEONE WHO IS YOUNG INSIDE!
Common abusers: The same people who buy adult-sized jean jumpers
Probable famous user: Jessica Simpson

7. Viner Hand ITC
Vinerhand Don't ask me why, but  Viner Hand seems to have become the go-to font for angsty pre-teens and would-be goths.  Well, I hate to be the one to break it to the Linkin Park fan contingent, but calligraphy is to angst what scones are to rave parties. 
Common abusers: Eighth graders writing poems about how nobody understands them
Probable famous user: Fred Durst

Any others you want to add to the list?

UPDATE 10/12: Many thanks to the commenter who pointed out that I had mixed up "Bradley Hand" and "Viner Hand" in my America's Most Fonted graphic.  It has now been fixed to showcase the appropriate ugly 'Hand' font.


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You forgot Arial.


Worst Font Ever:

Brush Script.....in ALL CAPS.


what about IMPACT!!!??
man i hate impact.


I'm shocked at all the places where I see Papyrus. I've even seen it cut into metal and used as a condo complex sign.


Josie Xie

My teachers are always using Comic Sans MS, and its my friends' favorite font. I HAT it, and yesterday, I was surprised to have found someone who dislike it also. My favorite fonts are tahoma, trebushet ms, and georgia. I also hate Times New Roman, so when my parents tell me to read something for them, I always secretly change the font to Georgia. They never know.


The worst use of Papyrus I've seen to date is from the movie Serenity.

Yes, they used it for the title of the movie. There's also a shot in the film where they are hand painting "Serenity" on the side of the ship...in Papyrus.


A few of these fonts aren't bad, but it's their overuse that really makes them painful to see.

But I agreed with Lauren McMahon: where the hell is Brush Script?


As a graphic designer who has spent the past 25 years designing ads for magazines and newspapers, I completely agree with your post (hilarious, Lauren!) and most of the comments. It's always interested me how fonts come and go in trends, like Copperplate did about 10 years ago. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who gets a migraine when someone uses Old English all in UPPERCASE. That comes under the category of "For the Love of God, Make It Stop". Head, wall, bang, bang.


Down with comic sans


I found the article hilaious...very hilarious...

I'm shocked there's some who are offended at it...I'm blown away that there are enough people who care enough about typefaces, display faces and/or fonts to argue the merits of Algerian vs. Sand, and pt sizes to boot...and websites about fonts, saving, banning, loving...I have tread in a part of cyberspace that scares me, I feel like I've been in a basement for a week, just reading this...I must go wash of the musty smell now...

P.S. I use Tahoma for all emails...it's less boring than Arial, and better flowing than Verdana...should I look for it to be banned anytime soon?


To be quite honest I thought you were kind of a loser for posting this, until I saw all the people pissed off about you ripping on their awful fonts.

Also, a fucking attorney keeps emailing me in spreadsheets in COMIC SANS. Please kill me. To the children's hospital worker, I'm so, so sorry.


" . . . keeps emailing me spreadsheets in COMIC SANS."

Sorry, that was driving me nuts. I also forgot to mention that he doesn't wrap the fucking text in the cells.


Hah. I read your list, and immediately thought "what about that 'edgy' looking ugly Mac font that shows up on every bar drink special and open stage flyer?" I didn't even know the name of it, but it's everywhere, it's the new "Geneva."

And then, lo and behold, half the comments in here mention "Sand," I looked that up, and sure enough, that's it!

Extremely overused.


Well I did do my logo using Papyrus, and everything was great, until I read it sucked :( - should I change it lol


nobody should every use fonts, they suck!


you speak such truth. the font lovers of the world thank you.

for further reading on the Comic Sans menace:

Spitting Llama

If I were to use font tags and expressly request a face of Comic Sans. And if your site allows comments with html tags in it. I wonder how many readers would see it rendered in Comic Sans?

Great list, man!


I don't think you call it a font but it is so obvious when someone uses WordArt. Especially the blue wavy one that looks like water. When I first discovered it I thought it was cool but using it now is so 1990's.

CA Moon

I think that this article is excellent....I like using unusual (but not bad) fonts just to throw people off. It does not hurt to make things blue instead of black from time to time.
I had a friend who used Lucida Sans Unicode at work a lot. Then the friend left my company. I still use the font on occaision in her honor.


I am so happy to be finally vindicated in my one man guerilla war against Papyrus.


I love Comic Sans, but I don't like when I see it plastered everywhere. Comic Sans is the only font I read in. Obviously this is a very legible font, otherwise people wouldn't use it for everyday spreadsheets and messaging. Sure you study typographic, but you don't understand aesthetics. Normal fonts usually have lines so thin you can hardly make out where one letter ends and where other letter starts. Also, it's not so rigid and prude, which appropriately describe all you Comic haters. On the other hand, it can use a lot of ink, so it's not the best for hard copies.


Comic sans has been proven to be the most readable font for children with learning difficulties (apparently).


The Mac font Gadget is the worst font ever.


I could only come up with one reason why you wouldn't include Serif Gothic on your list -- that it blessedly has become so rare that it has drifted into insignificance.

Its pointy little beaks posing as serifs, its disjointed B's K's and R's ... how emblematic of the 60s/70s, when I admit, I used it once on a college project, press-typing it letter by letter until I thought I'd puke.

Now it's right up there with tequilla sunrises as something that induces an immediate gag reflex.

Ralph Hitchens

God, what kind of fool am I? I've always LOVED Comic Sans MS.


I immediately thought "Comic Sans!" when I clicked the link to this page...of course, the person who sent it to me is one of Comic Sans' biggest haters and owns a bancomicsans.com t-shirt - "This is not a font".

I once worked for a so-called graphic design company whose admin person (and source of ALL its correspondence) insisted on using Comic Sans for her email font...as if that's not atrocious enough, the font was also on the company invoices, letterhead, files, you name it. I took it upon myself to redesign everything I could before I quit. I felt like I worked in a f*cking daycare. *shudder*


Ew - I just stopped to read a couple of comments up and have to say to y4 - we don't understand aesthetics? Chances are that most of us are designers, given that we actually clicked onto this page, and since you "love" Comic Sans and won't read anything else (guess you didn't read most of this page, then), clearly you are 4 years old and/or visually challenged. And if you're printing lots of it, probably mentally challenged as well.


I dunno. I use Comic Sans Bold for IMs. I use Time, not New Roman, but the less readable one, for papers and stuff like that. Or at least try to.

When I was working on the school paper I used New Century Schoolbook for text and a different font for heads each year.

I've used Sand for flyers. I've used 6 fonts on one page.

I read Arial/Geneva whenever i go to a non-artsy website. Helvetica Extended was my friend at one point.

All fonts have their uses. (Not all, true. But I like my Beast Wars font...) But the majority of them are useful. Curls is awesome for invites to kiddie parties (having done a bunch for a karate studio).

Awesome post though. The sorority thing is still making me giggle.


BAN Comic Sans, delete it! Every new OS install even before updating I delete the font from my machine, it gets replaced by next font inline, so you can still tell who uses it.. and SLAP THEM!

Comic Sans is for a 12 year old writing about her pony!
Beyond 14yo no Comic Sans..

To many examples of wrong usage, like the new Office manager in place tries announce her/his presents in Comic Sans.. Aargh!
I even got a resume in Comic Sans.. Aargh..
The extreme fierce online gaming Clan the eXterminators *Cough*, has the line "Your Destiny is written in Blood" ... I wish it was in his blood who wrote it as it was tadaa... Comic ****** Sans..!
Business cards.. Pizza place sign .. written in Comic Sans..

Next time you start your windows computer go ASAP to the folders [WINDOWS]->[FONTS] and delete Comic Sans !

This got me all fired up again.. pardon me..

Dances WIth Cats

Oh, the bad fonts I've seen...

My favorite eye-bleedingly ugly font usage is calligraphy fonts (like Vivaldi or Zapf Chancery) in ALL CAPS.

Ow, ow, owwwwww....

I second Souvenir and Hobo as honorable mention World's Ugliest Fonts.


HOLY SHIT. I'm your friend, and apparently I don't read your blog nearly as much as all of these people. meanwhile, I used bradley hand for my bat mitzvah invitations in 1996 and they were awesome.


OMG This was great. I hate Comic Sans and Curlz (I thought Curlz was great the first time I saw it, but it has VERY limited usage--my daughter's soccer team Mom uses Curlz for the entire body of her player's list, contact sheets, information sheets etc . . . very unreadable).

If Comic Sans and Kristen and Bradley's hand and all the others hadn't been used to death, they would be nice fonts.


Algerian. Seriously, it's EVERYWHERE now. It doesn't look old-timey, it looks ridiculous.

The Serenity logo was mint! and so was the movie - twas more Star Wars than Star Wars as the reviews have said - so stop picking on Papyrus!


Oh man..the worst two offenders in my mind...Matisse ITC (I see it all over the place) and all of the Exocet clones (You know, the Doom and Diablo font)...

Nicole Dornsife

The thing that gets me about Comic Sans is that people use it in their online comics thinking that is THE comic font to use.


If anything CCWildWords and its versions are the more typical fonts. NOT Comic Sans. Just because it has "Comic" in the title doesn't mean it belongs there. You're not being professional, you're being unobservant.


you forgot courier new, the page-earner for loadie college fools who can't write and grin from ear to ear when they change their TNR 2-page essay into a 4-pager with Courier New. It's classic, but stupid.

Joseph Robertson

Hit all the nails on their tiny heads. I've been saying this for years, but in a much more ranty way that wasn't nearly as funny.

Would you be interested in letting us print this in our soon-to-be first issue of LAB magazine?


TO Sarah: Resorting to personal attacks? Now who's acting like a 12 year old? Yea all these professionals who prefer Comics must all be retards.


As for not reading the rest of this page, I use the best browswer in the world, Opera, which lets me use my own CSS to change every font to Comic. So, I can read just fine. Perhaps you're the ones that need some Composition 101 and learn about tone and style in your writing.


what, no copperplate? that has to be one of the MOST overused fonts. Not to mention Sand (especially during halloween)


IMHO there's no ugly fonts, but the inappropriate use of them. We live in time where everyone with a computer became a "designer" and that's the point. Leave the design to the real designers and there will be no abuse/misuse of fonts. Designing a font is a hard work, some like the font, some not.


Who Cares. Fonts are fonts. There here to enjoy I use what I like. You use what you like.
And if you don't like it get your self old typewriter and use it. No font selection there................


Absolutely lovely. It's only made better by the knowledge that when I first discovered the internet as a barely-teen, I too abused comic sans... and now I am reformed. I sleep the sleep of the just.


There's much to agree with, disagree with, put into context, rant about, or qualify here, but I'll limit myself to one observation:

Reading the comments here has made me Oh So Very Glad that I read my email in plain text (in whatever font my telnet or xterm window is set to[*]) instead of HTML! There's still print and the web for poor font choices to annoy me in, but at least I'm spared a few of the horrors described here.

([*] It varies from computer to computer depending on the installed fonts to choose from, the screen resolution, and whether the monitor is old and dim.)


I was surprised Helvetica Narrow was not listed. This is a remnant of the early Macs and has dogged my everywhere I go.


Chiller. Used in every halloween everything for miles and miles and miles and miles every October and for nothing else.

I also want to shoot apostrope abuser's. *Snrrrrk*

Do we know each other from another board? Its a unique name. Hop over to my LJ and say howdeee, Alex sez Hi.


Uuugh. Thank you so much. Papyrus has long been my biggest font pet peeve. I love it as a decorative font, but it has been brutally over- and mis-used. I see red whenever I catch sight a campus poster advertising a dorm fridge FOR CHEAP set entirely in Papyrus. Because of this kind of abuse, a once-beautiful font has lost whatever usefulness it could have claimed.


I am a daily user of Bradley Hand; I have it set to be my font in mIRC, and really I associate it with that only, so I never use it elsewhere, unless I have a really good reason.

It's just, ever since I found Bradley Hand five years ago on my brand new computer with its brand new windows XP, I haven't been able to give it up, and now it's burned into my mind as my IRC channel font.


Wingdings. Worst font ever. You can barely read it.

B. Durbin

I love Papyrus, and I refuse to use it because of its ubiquity. It's all over the cafés, new development signs (carved into concrete, no less), anything even remotely herbal... I tell people that the most overused font is Papyrus, they say, "I don't know what that is," and I say, If I showed it to you, you would know.

One of my favorite fonts is a vaguely Asian-calligraphy font called President. I've actually seen it turn up in a few locations, such as the sign for San Jose's Christmas in the Park. My husband's had to get used to me playing "spot the font." I'm getting a little too good at it.

The rules for fonts are simple: Fit the font to its proper use. Sans-serifs are easier to read on screens while serifs are easier in print. (Ah, Footlight MT Light, how I love you for old-fashioned legibility.) KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) always applies, and there should be no more than three fonts per page, if the logo font or fonts counts as one. And for the love of all that is holy, keep it legible!

Incidentally, I use Papyrus as my default browser font, because that make it REALLY easy to see who has been slacking on the web design. Sometimes I'll see a page where one paragraph is in Arial, then two or three in Papyrus, then another in Helvetica in a different size... just a hint, there's this command called "select all" that is very useful when changing things such as font style. And since I have it at a large size, those pages that do come up in Papyrus are at least easy to read.


I couldn't agree more with you ! Comic Sans is just awful - very very 'kiddish'.
I have a friend who uses it all the time for all her correspondence, official and otherwise and it is plain misery to even set your eyes on them.

Have i tried to reason with her - that's almost like trying to scrape your way out of a stone tunnel.

I haven't given up all hope though to restore her to sanity - we need it more than she does !


someone who is indifferent to fonts

jeez I had no idea how many people out there harbored a hatred towards font. it's just a type setting, people. out of curiosity, though, what is the best font?

Samuel John Klein

someone who is indifferent to fonts said:

jeez I had no idea how many people out there harbored a hatred towards font. it's just a type setting, people. out of curiosity, though, what is the best font?

I know. I feel kinda the same way sometimes, and I'm a soi-disant typophile.

The best font in any situation is a font which fits the context. Fonts, you see, have communicative power in the very way they are designed.

Think about it; Times New Roman is a readable, sober, serious font, but doesn't it just seem to suggest that the person using it is happy with defaults.

Similarly, that and fonts such as Helvetica have become so ubiquitous that thier communicatevie power as a design in and of themselves has been frittered away. When one looks at them, one may very well be lulled into a sort of subconcious ennui by the very ordinariness of thier appeal...or what appeal they have left.

Now, you don't have to be a typeophile to choose a font that adds punch to your message. Next time you're composing a document in MSWord, take a good honest look at the font you're using. Does it appeal to you visually? If it does, does it support the message you're sending? Maybe that Algerian you're using isn't appropriate for that serious email you're sending...as an example, of course.

Personally, I prefere a Garamond or a Palatino for my emails, because, hey, you can't go wrong with the real classics.

Hope this helps.

Gene Goddard

Personally I think the majority of you suffer from a misplaced superiority complex. But then again, I wouldn't know a soi-disant typophile it they bit me on the nose. So I'll just keep to my ignorant self out here in the hinterland and continue using comic sans because I find it very readable.

Now you can turn on that pent up frustration on me and leave the poor defenseless fonts alone.


THis was pretty entertaining. All of you who are offended because you like using interesting fonts, i would advise against seeing BORAT in theaters. It would be an offensive overload. I however, thought both this blog and that movie hilarious. so thanks for the laugh.

Shadow Lombardi

I happen to used to love Comic Sans. Hell, I used to use all of the fonts at one point. I don't think they're bad, they're just misused. My high school did everything in Comic Sans...in purple nonetheless. Of course, I was young, so I thought it was cool. But now I'll look at it and say what the hell were they thinking.

Times New Roman should be up there for misused fonts. It's not a bad font, it's just that some people use it in graphics and stuff where it doesn't work. I found a way to make TNR a decent looking type, but a lot of people haven't found that yet.

I'm in a program and in the newsletter, they're using very...WTF fonts. I think one of them was Monotype Corsiva. That was for an article. Heh, you'd be better off using Comic Sans if that's the case.


the only reason i like kristen itc is because that's my name and it makes me feel special


I see Comic Sans waaaaay too much.
So much in fact, that I always feel the urge to walk up to whoever used it and cut their hands off.
And I'm not talking internet nerds (like myself) here, I'm talking about big time business executives and... *gasp!* ...Videogame designers.
I can't really remember off-hand all the games that I've seen it in, but I can at least tell ya one.
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life by Natsume.
Tell me that isn't Comic Sans and I'll cut your head off. <.<
Check out http://www.bancomicsans.com/>Ban Comic Sans.
It's good for a few laughs.



First used by AOL-ers who got their first printers. (make-your-own greeting cards, family holiday calendars, scrapbookers before scrapbooking was "cool")

(every new machine I get I go straight to the font directory and delete ugly fonts. yuck.)


those fonts are pretty gruesome but my goodness, why waste your time blogging about them?


I think it's fair to say that Comic Sans is the blink tag of the font world.


Let's not forget "Sand", my personal favorite, but what do I know.

For more discussion on Papyrus uses and abuses, please visit and comment:



wtf are you going on about? The problem's not with the fonts (which have their limited uses) but with people using them in the wrong places.


Well said chris, font's aren't bad it's people that use then badly are bad. And this message is brought to you by the font Trebuchet by Vincent Connare too bad it isn't in Comic Sans.


Actually, I've managed to use Comic Sans appropriately. I used it as the title/headline font (not body text) in the publications for an event who's theme was "Comics On and Off the Page". The body font was a nice, simple, and readable Times New Roman.

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the horror that is Arial, or Helvetica. Talk about overused, faux trendy fonts that are difficult to read blocks of text in... Oh, wait, this blog is in a "hip" sans-serif font, isn't it?


I came across this by chance. It's so funny because I had never even heard of Comic until recently (I lead a very sheltered life). I took over editing a newsletter for a local organization to which I belong. The newsletter had been done in Comic, so I continued it. Combination of laziness on my part and also because I think it looks good!

I avoid Ariel. If someone emails me in Ariel and I respond I make a point to change my response font - to Times New Roman, which, apparently, does not go over too big around here either. I like the readability of TNR.

I agree that the font should fit the text. I think sometimes people use a certain font out of laziness or habit. I use TNR for business correspondence (I'm a CPA). When I do more social or fun emails, I still use TNR out of sheer habit.

The actual font doesn't bother me as much as when it's too big or too small, too cursive, all caps, or that stupid caps and lower case within words (who started that!!!). I don't mind readable cursive, but most of what is used isn't. I hate reading a newsletter, flyer, etc. that has numerous fonts, or isn't consistent with its use of font sizes, bolds, etc.

BTW, what do you consider appropriate fonts for business, for newsletters (civic or social groups), for social correspondence? Also if you don't use the fonts that come with WIndows, what do you use? Thanks!


I was brought onto a military e-learning project as Lead Artist where the font and screen layout of the course ware had already been decided by the project manager, and allegedly approved by the customer. The font of choice? Comic Sans. Believe it.

Never have so many visual and technical recommendations by programmers and designers been squashed by so few. It was a sideshow.


I've used some of these years longer than they've been "bad". I've made custom logo's in some of these; years ago, before there were even blogs.

Now I'm supposed to go back and change them? cool; I have too much time on my hands anyway, hundreds of new fonts everyday, and this bit of "webfashion" is just the thing...


Wow, Maxnort sounds like a real loser who is feeling regret for having used a bunch of lame fonts before the internet had matured enough to preempt his use with criticism.


Well I am innocent of all of the above. Never used any of the 7 fonts. I am more of a Helvetica person, thought on Windows the only choice is Arial.

Back in Uni days, the required font is Times New Roman which is not eye friendly.

Check out "The Scourge of Arial"


I'm just here to throw in another vote for Copperplate. That font was the bane of my existence in its heyday. I would see it everywhere. On a daily basis, I could be heard shouting "NOT THAT FONT AGAIN!"


The only valid item to the list is #1, which has been done to death, the rest of this list is filler.


I don't know how Sand and Exotic didn't make it on here, but I was very glad that someone could finally compile a list of such aweful typefaces to inform the masses.

Inactive account

Lauren must surely support this movement: http://earz-mag.com/2007/March/Why_Ban_Comic_Sans.html


There are satiate a http://the-best-hostings.info/>reseller hosting alarm
waterfront pension is capable of doing that for you.
If you are late on pledges, you village riping slapped with penalties.


Comic Sans MS was origonally used in comic books. Try looking at it in 8 or 10 point, italicised, all caps. Maybe bold if you don't see it yet. And yes, people need to stop abusing it. I usually saw it used by english/social science teachers on handouts :(

Harry Roberts

Sad but true. I have a business teacher who writes EVERYTHING in Comic Sans, then lectures us about how to lay out a business report in Arial, 12pt, 1.5 line spacing like shes a typographer! It's atrocious! Oh well...

Paul D

May I suggest "Cooper" and all its derivatives and look-alikes, as a strong runner-up to your fine list? Oh, and Arial ;)

nick b

"What about Sand? A font that looks like it was shat into existence. Seriously - it looks like poo." Yes.

Great article - witty and spot on (though I would add COPPERPLATE to my list). Glad to know that I'm not alone in my hatred of these visual equivalents of a pop song rhyming the words 'love' and 'above,' or 'girl' and 'world.'

Wholeheartedly agree w/ Ben that these fonts have lost their value with overuse, much like the word "awesome" (I was thinking of "amazing" myself).

The silver lining? Well, the fact is that every font communicates, and these fonts communicate something, too. Even if it's subconscious to most people, these fonts suggest amateur-hour, and that puts designers like myself on the payroll. Which isn't to say that a Comic Sans pamphlet on my new health insurance plan doesn't make me want to stab someone in the neck with a screwdriver...


Interesting and hilarious. To the person who said that tables were a misuse of HTML, at one time they were the ONLY thing that gave a web page structure so, yes, now they would be overused. I would say the same for ComicSans and Sand; at one time the choice was, er, limited so that's what anyone who wanted something more whimsical used. Thankfully (or maybe not so much), we now have a bevy of bad, pixellated, "ooh my handwriting is a FONT" fonts. Oh, and I happen to LIKE Papyrus, not for a term paper or a resume or a business document but, sure, for a title, done tastefully, absolutely. Don't even get me started on bad web design; just go look at MySpace for a vague peek.


I'm also an admitted self-taught designer (what happens when you work the charity circuit...they want you to design an ad so you just plain learn) and an educator. So, GUILTY when it comes to ComicSans (and Copperplate, hehehe) although ComicSans only for the primary crowd and my garage sale ad that I taped to a post. I am, however, NOT GUILTY of poor grammar, completely inexcusable typos, horrible color combos and really bad image masking that I've seen in the work of some BIG pro ads and newspapers. I think a pro should be paid for an ad that balances good font choices and design with limited use of quasi-words like "wordz", "rulz" and "imho".

That Guy

(1)It's true that seriously criticizing someone's aesthetic preferences as inferior, or decrying the "abuse" of words nowadays, etc., is snobbish, conceptually confused, and (if an artist) disrespectful of your audience.

(2)That doesn't seem to be what this hilarious post is doing. It's having fun using a kernel of truth to draw comically broad stereotypes. That's a staple of humor, and I love it here!

(3)As far as my personal tastes go, I love Palatino (and knockoffs) and Helvetica (and close knockoffs--not Arial!). I also like (God help me) Monotype Modern; I guess it has a Mom's apple pie familiarity from its ubiquity in math pdfs.

(4)The Ban Comic Sans campaign, like others of its kind, is also pretty fun, but only for those who do keep it fun and in perspective. As CS's designer points out, he'd observed back in the computer game stone age that programmers were putting text font in talk bubbles, etc... Yes, it's bizarre that CS is being used all over the place as a text font. Yes, it's bizarre that so many static graphics (eg webcomics) have taken to using it. Yes, it's a shame that even for its appropriate uses CS should have such dominance. But that's obviously not anything to hold against the font itself, and I hope the poor designer dude doesn't lose any sleep over the opinions of anyone who truly thinks otherwise.

(5)That said, CS really does look pretty ugly to me in its own right! There's so much you can legitimately say against it...To take just one huge example: It leaves the most glaringly "artificial"-looking spacing I've ever seen--and this from a typeface that's supposed to be evocative of handwriting. (The designer says after using "Comic Book" as a working font name he'd spent some time brainstorming its permanent moniker. I'd have suggested "Comic Courier.")

(6)Finally...Back to the "everything in its place" thing: It's just my personal taste, remember, but I kind of don't go with that whole "overuse" thing for Helvetica (where sansserif is appropriate), Palatino, Times Roman, etc. I think these are something like simple modern classics, sort of polo shirt and chino fonts (damn well-cut ones at that). When in doubt, you'll always look elegant and in good taste by going there--and that's pretty stylin' in and of itself. One of the common themes of our half tongue-in-cheek complaining is that people are out there looking for an easy way to add "personality," etc., to their messages, and they do so in a way that ends up appearing to a lot of people as trite, silly, or both. Believe me, I don't lack for love of lettering or love of variety, but if these "font abusers" had instead chosen--when in doubt--to keep things simple, we wouldn't be here poking gentle fun at them for adopting the textual version of a junior-high kid's wardrobe.


Man, this post has staying power.


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Oh my god....I think I'm in love with you. This is one of the most hilarious posts I've read in a long time. True on all fronts. Pure genius.


8. Marker Felt.

9. Forte.
Forte in bold makes Comic Sans look personal and stylish.


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FUCKYOU,Who writen this shit?


As a practising calligrapher, I have to say, any attempt at making a calligraphic font is doomed to failure.

What makes calligraphy is it's intimate relationship to the subject it is concerning and the letters surrounding it. It cannot be strictly formalized in the way that font files enforce.

That and the fact that calligraphic fonts are typically used by untrained teenagers and grandmas should make all font designers quit attempting the impossible.

I Love Copperplate Gothic Bold

Whew good thing you all didn't list copperplate gothic bold, that holds the title of the best font ever. Down with Comic Sans.


This comment's, what, a year late? Screw it, I'm posting it, anyway.

The only one of those I'm guilty of using in the past 15 years is Vivaldi (I probably used Comic Sans for something back in school). Then, I saw your little quote next to it, "Becuase everything you write should look like a wedding invitation." Actually, it was my wedding invitation I used it for, so I guess it wasn't too bad.


This post was pretty hilarious, even given the easy targets; the illiterate, easily offended commenters elevate this post to classic status


Zapfino...my design colleague uses it 80% of his designs. After I noticed this, I started noticing that this freaking font is used EVERYWHERE!


@Roque: That message sure makes you look very educated and tolerant indeed.

I have no problems with the original post/blog. It was pretty funny and done with good taste. What fumes the posters here are hateful, derogatory comments like yours.

Comic Sans is vastly preferred by kids and elderly and to people like me who have poor eyesight. I can't tell when skinny fonts like Arial hide the letters like i and l, not to mention when other fonts don't show the difference between 1,l,i,I,|, unless you have a legible font at all font sizes, such as Comics. When it comes down to it, Comic's widespread use is more a result of good, aesthetic design that is very legible for every purpose (someone mentioned math contests.)

Julian the Apostate

The first thing I did when I got my new computer back from my tech-gurus was
to rip Comic Sans out. I laughed as I did it.

I rather like Papyrus though.

I have a good friend in Finland who is a professional graphics designer for a forestry magazine...so I'd know to ask him for advice if I ever needed to do any
pamphlets or what-have-you.

My pet peeve is the use of the Battlestar Galactica-style font by the FDA, which I usually see on Google News.

Ohh boy does it screw with my sense of aesthetics.


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Grizzly Dad

No votes for Chili Pepper? The font of choice for scrapbookers everywhere?


Spain have a "grunge" font invasion, Comic Sans resists.

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