19 July 2012

Comic CERN

I get you, CERN.

You think it should be all about the content, right? The discovery of the Higgs boson is the important thing.

But instead, you get these:

Sure, you have supporters. Brian Cox backs you up. Some people are petitioning to change the name of Comic Sans to Comic CERN.

Still, you had to know what you were in for on July 4th, since you did the same thing, and got the same reaction, back in December of 2011. So I have to ask, CERN, did you use Comic Sans to get a reaction, or are you being stubborn?

Because I get that.

I wear a tie for no one. I wear T-shirts and jeans most of the time. And I can’t be bothered to cut my hair very often. And it’s partly to get a reaction and mainly because I’m stubborn. These are no doubt deep flaws in my character. But it is a conscious decision I’ve made.

Now, I’ve made my feelings about Comic Sans known on this blog and elsewhere several times. I think you can do better, CERN. You should look at articles like this one by David Kadavy on why Comic Sans gets so much flak.

If you deliberately chose to use Comics Sans, fine. I disagree, but no matter. A big message of this blog is that design is all about making conscious decisions. If you choose to use Comic Sans, that’s okay... as long as you understand the price you’ll be paying.

External links

Higgs in Comic Sans: the right font for physics?
Higgs boson researchers mocked for using Comic Sans font
Why you hate Comic Sans


Cecilia said...

Curious question...what is your opinion on calibri, which is seeing a great increase in use?

Zen Faulkes said...

I like Calibri. Although I am no expert, the reading I have done suggests that many full on type nerds  of them think it's a reasonably well designed typeface. (I don't think Microsoft has gotten enough credit for its advances in this area recently.) One advantage it has is that it is somewhat more compact than other common sans serif fonts. This means you can fit in more text into a space than Arial, for example.

Calibri is getting overused, entirely because it is now the default font in Microsoft Office. Using it can make you look lazy, as if you couldn't be bothered to pull down a single drop down menu and even look at your other options.

I believe Verdana used to suffer from the same sort of overuse that Calibri is experiencing now. But that seems to have passed, and I think it will for Calibri, too.