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Comic Book Normal Font For Essays

It seems like every designer out there has an opinion about the Comic Sans font, and it seems the overwhelming majority of those opinions are negative. How has a single font become the focus of so much ire? And what, exactly, is behind all the hate?

A Brief History of Comic Sans

Comic Sans was created by Vincent Connare in for Microsoft. It was originally designed to be used with Microsoft Bob, but it was completed too late to be included in the program.

The font was based on lettering from comic books Connare had in his office, specifically Watchmen (lettered by Dave Gibbons) and The Dark Knight Returns (lettered by John Costanza).

On the left: Watchmen characters. On the right: The Dark Knight Returns cover

According to statements from Connare, he never intended the font to be released for general use, and only designed it to be used in comic-book-style speech bubbles within MS Bob.

Vincent Connare presenting in

The Life of Comic Sans in Microsoft Applications

The font ended up being included in Microsoft 3D Movie Maker, which used it in its pop-up windows and help sections. Later it was included with Windows 95 Plus! Pack and then became a standard font for the OEM version of Windows Eventually it was included as a default font for Microsoft Publisher and Internet Explorer.

Some Well-Known Uses of Comic Sans

Comic Sans has been used on a number of well-known products. Beanie Babies have used the font on their tags since the late &#;s. The Canada Day cent collector coin also used the font. The Sims video game uses it as well.

The Origin of the Comic Sans Hate

One of the main reasons Comic Sans became the target of such hatred was its widespread usage, particularly when dealing with serious or formal subjects.

While Comic Sans was perfectly adequate in designs for children or designs related to comic books or cartoons, it had no place in business or professional work usage. It&#;s also ill-suited in content body text &#; it&#;s best used as a headline/heading font or short quote (such as in a comic book). But nevertheless, Comic Sans has cropped up all over the place.

The &#;Ban Comic Sans&#; Movement

The &#;Ban Comic Sans&#; movement started in It was reportedly started by Dave and Holly Crumbs, graphic designers from Indianapolis, after an employer insisted they use Comic Sans in a children&#;s museum exhibit.

While the group is a bit tongue-in-cheek, they do point out one of the biggest problems in amateur graphic design: disregard for appropriate typography choices. Where a professional designer will (usually) consider the impact their font and typography choices have on the overall tone of a project, an amateur will often just pick a font they like, disregarding the font&#;s impact on the final design.  If your paying for website design, the designer should definitely keep an appropriate font in mind.  Font is a huge part of web design which is extremely important for user experience.

Inappropriate Uses of Comic Sans

The single biggest complaint against Comic Sans is that Comic Sans portrays a very definite tone and feeling when it&#;s used; mainly, an immature, informal, childish mood.

A recent Flickr discussion in the Ban Comic Sans group talked about inappropriate uses in the wild.

Some of the uses shared were:

  • Sign for swimming pool rules at a summer camp
  • A grave marker
  • Writing on a commemorative bench
  • Sign for a bone marrow transplant clinic
  • Government job applications
  • Teacher reviews for an art/graphic design department

A Showcase of Improper Usage of Comic Sans

Here are real-world examples of when you shouldn&#;t use Comic Sans.

By Aimee Daniells

By ocacsms

By Aimee Daniells

By Simon Clayson

By Justin Henry

By Tom Magliery

By Liz Hall

By Esther Simpson

By Marc Moss

By Marc Moss

By Raltaran

Technical and Aesthetic Drawbacks

While many who hate Comic Sans do so just because of its omnipresence, others hate it because of aesthetic and technical drawbacks. Both the kerning and weighting of the font are inconsistent, leading to a haphazard appearance in large swathes of text (or even small ones).

Todd Klein did an analysis of why Comic Sans isn&#;t even appropriate for comic books in his post, &#;Comic Sans Font Examined&#;. It&#;s an interesting read, and points out some further shortcomings of the font.

Generally, industry has a huge role in choosing a font.  You wouldn&#;t want to put Comic Sans on a for sale sign for your house, or you realty website because it doesn&#;t just doesn&#;t fit the theme for the business.

Some Alternatives to Comic Sans

If you&#;re looking for a font that gives the same impression and feeling as Comic Sans but doesn&#;t come with all the negativity, give the following fonts a try.

Lexia Readable

P22 Kaz Pro

JM Doodle Medium

FF Friday Regular

Sharktooth Regular

Comic Strip

Ban Comic Sans has a list of Comic Sans alternatives available on their website.

Additional Resources about the Comic Sans Controversy

Image Sources:

Related Content

How to Make an Essay Look Longer

It&#;s somewhat difficult to make demands on essays for students &#; demanding that they have words, for example, leads to really, really, very, extremely superfluous lists of adjectives and describing words like this sentence to up the word count. Other teachers use the page count as a metric of completion. But what happens when you have 4 and a half pages done of your five page essay? There are plenty of writing techniques to flesh ideas out and make it longer, but I&#;m assuming that your essay is perfect as it is and you want a more technological answer. Here are a few techniques that have served me well. I use them all the time.

Note: This tutorial is for Microsoft Word as a part of Office , although many of the same techniques can be used in previous or subsequent versions of Word.

Font Choice and Font Size

First, font or font size is a fairly easy way to make an essay longer. Some teachers demand that Times New Roman size 12 be used. However, when they forget to add that to the rules, you can change it to whatever you want (assuming there&#;s no blanket statement about it on the syllabus). You want to choose a font that maximizes height. Obviously you don&#;t want to choose a font that&#;s too difficult to read, as it may annoy the person grading it. Below is a picture of the word &#;Hello&#; printed four times, each at size The fonts, from left to right, are &#;Angsana New&#;, &#;Calibri&#;, &#;Times New Roman&#;, and &#;Algerian&#;.

Font size can also make a big impact on your paper. Going with a size 72 font will undoubtedly make your paper surpass the required page count, but isn&#;t the best idea. Just changing the font size from 12 to 13 can add a few lines to your paper. Below is a picture of identical text in two columns, both in Times New Roman, but size 12 on the left and size 13 on the right.

Even if your teacher demands size 12 Times New Roman, you might be tempted to change it anyway. Slight changes are fairly hard to measure in a printout, however, it is possible. For instance, if a teacher were to print out the word &#;the&#; in Times New Roman size 12 on a piece of transparency paper, they could then hold it over a word &#;the&#; in your essay and confirm whether or not it&#;s identical. Probably not going to happen, but it actually has happened to me before.

Space Between lines

The spacing between lines is very difficult to measure because although in most fonts the top and bottom edges vary significantly. In some fonts, there is a common edge except for letters that hang above or below the line, but in fonts that are meant to look more like handwriting, there is not. In any case, even with common edges, it&#;s not likely that your teacher will whip out a ruler and measure. Too large a gap may arouse suspicion, but changing an essay from double spaced to spacing may actually make a large difference. The thing to remember is that the longer the base essay, the more they amplify the length. So for instance, if your essay is 10 lines with double spacing, and you change the spacing to , you get an extra of a line for every line you&#;ve written, and &#;10 = 1. So, for every ten lines you actually write, you get the effect of having written eleven instead. For an essay that&#;s pages, this tiny change can easily bring you over the 5 page mark and is virtually undetectable. Below is two paragraphs, the left with single spacing and the right is spacing. This really demonstrates the potential of the small change.

To change the spacing between lines, you&#;ll need to access the &#;Paragraph&#; menu (I believe that in older versions of Word this could be done by going to Format -> Paragraph). In Word , it can be accessed by going to the &#;Page Layout&#; tab of the ribbon and clicking on the pop-out button of the Paragraph rectangle.

From there, under Line Spacing, choose &#;Multiple&#;, and under At, choose a number close to something normal, like or You can increase this difference at the risk of the teacher noticing.

Margins

Changing the margins of a page is another great way to change the length of your paper. By decreasing the amount of space the words can take up per page, you increase the number of pages required to fit your existing content. Changing the left margin is a bit risky since most papers are left-justified, meaning that the left edge will be relatively the same for all papers. The right margin, however, can be changed to your heart&#;s content, since the length of words, number of letters, and number of spaces greatly affect each line&#;s right edge. You can also increase the amount of space taken up by the header and footer of a document.

Lengthen Header Content

One final way you can make a paper appear longer is by adding more lines to the header of your document. If you make it too long, be sure to have it on only the first page and not every page, as this would be incredibly obvious.

Other Notes

If your teacher demands that an essay be 5 pages long and no longer, but your paper is slightly longer, you can use these same techniques in reverse to make your paper look shorter. For instance, you can change double spacing to spacing, or increase the margins.

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