Leave Comic Sans Alone

Yes, you read that correctly. Shocking, I know, coming from a designer. Now, I’m not saying your next design should be set in Comic Sans, but I am saying that Comic Sans may have its place. I recently read an article about how Comic Sans might help people with dyslexia and is actually recommended by the British Dyslexia Association and the Dyslexia Association of Ireland. One of the main reasons it is thought to be more readable to people with reading difficulties is that it is disambiguous—meaning each letter has its own distinct characteristics. People with dyslexia often have trouble distinguishing between letterforms that are visually similar (many typefaces use mirrored or repeated shapes to make other letters), like a lowercase p and lowercase q. Comic Sans uses a combination of differently shaped letters, and letter heights to achieve its accessibility. A few different studies, including one from Princeton University, have tested whether long-term learning and information is improved when reading material is in easy (Arial, etc.) or hard-to-read (Comic Sans, etc) fonts. Findings were that students who review material in hard-to-read fonts did better on assessment tests than their counterparts reading the same material in the easier to read fonts. Some argue that quirky letterforms encourage people to focus more.

So while it may be a typographic eyesore to us designer types, Comic Sans does potentially have its own important place in the world helping conquer dyslexia.

Sources, and further reading:
https://www.thecut.com/2020/08/the-reason-comic-sans-is-a-public-good.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUCcObwIsOs&feature=youtu.be
https://medium.com/@jamescalmus/why-comic-sans-is-a-good-thing-db98d954bec4
https://www.princeton.edu/news/2010/10/28/font-focus-making-ideas-harder-read-may-make-them-easier-retain
https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/sad-but-true-comic-sans-might-just-be-the-best-font-for-dyslexics/

Taylor Design Blog

By Bria

Senior Designer