We here at Tattoodo are huge typography nerds. We spend countless hours of every work day arguing over the font choices people employ in their tattoos. While we often violently disagree on this subject, there is one point of unity in this office when it comes to typefaces – Comic Sans is dog shit. (Editor’s Note: Papyrus is actually worse.)
Comic Sans is probably the world’s most hated font. But how did this come to be the case? As BanComicsSans.com tells us, “Type is a voice; its very qualities and characteristics communicate to readers a meaning beyond mere syntax… Comic Sans as a voice conveys silliness, childish naivete, irreverence, and is far too casual...”
Comic Sans was developed in the 1990’s by Microsoft designer Vincent Connare for use in helpful speech bubbles in programs like MS Word. He took cues from the lettering of comic illustrator John Costanza’s work in The Dark Knight Returns in its creation. Microsoft of course eventually included this monstrosity in their font packages and the world of the typed word was quickly plunged into a very dark era.
Thanks to its fun and childish appearance, Comic Sans quickly became popular amongst children and saw a good deal of use in early education programs. But then it somehow escaped from this controlled environment. Sightings were reported in professional office settings, and the people who care about typography started to sweat.
The silliest of fonts was soon conveying the most serious of messages to the world. And some people lost their shit. The ban Comic Sans movement began in earnest, and thus began the font wars. Most of the fighting has taken place on the internet, with people feverishly posting their opinions on the matter in every possible forum. Far from us to give a journalistic spotlight to message board arguments, let us instead just tell you shit got heated.
However, Comic Sans is not without actual benefits. Many with dyslexia find Comic Sans to be much easier to read than other fonts. And let’s not forget that kids love it. Perhaps our collective dislike for this font is related to our crippling adulthood. If we could only see the world again through the eyes of a child, perhaps we would feel differently.
While the battle rages on, we thought we’d take a look at some tattoos that employ Comic Sans. Now, as these are tattoos and not professional business documents, we can’t fault these people for the use of the font because “our bodies, our choice” trumps our individual notions of what is good typographic design and what is not. A lot of these tattoos seem to be tongue-in-cheek in their choice of Comic Sans, and we’d hate to look like we don’t get a joke.
So, whether you have hate, love, or indifference for this font, you have to admit these tattoos are fun. Now, if you’ll excuse us, one of the editors here just made a disparaging remark about Garamond and we need to beat him to an inch of his life and take his wallet.