I’m Jenn Paterson, Haley Marketing Group’s new Senior Designer. I’ve been in design and advertising for more than 15 years and have developed a very specific philosophy about design. It has to be effective. Of course I am quite interested in esthetics and good design principles, but I have always viewed myself as a visual communicator, not just a designer for design’s sake. To me, I am a visual problem solver, and the measure of a design is the effectiveness of delivering a message, first and foremost. “Pretty” is secondary. Not that I am condoning “ugly” – because I am convinced that form is an essential element of function. But pretty design that misses the mark is ugly in its own way.
I state my philosophy for two reasons. One is by means of an introduction – to know a little bit about me and about how I am approaching your design projects. The second reason for my philosophy statement is so that you don’t think I am some sort of a design diva when I make the following statement:
STEP AWAY FROM COMIC SANS.
I won’t lie. The font, Comic Sans, offends my design sensibilities in every way, shape and form. Viewing this font anywhere, but particularly in a business setting, elicits an actual, negative physical reaction from me. I hate it. It is soooooooo ugly.
Great. I hate Comic Sans. But why should you? Here are my top three reasons why you should never, ever, EVER use the Comic Sans font, and why I recommend you delete it entirely off of every single device you ever use.
- It wasn’t meant for you. Comic Sans was developed for Microsoft in the early 1990s by Vincent Connare. It was created for a long-defunct user-friendly interface called Microsoft Bob, and the font was meant to convey the simple (i.e., childlike) navigational experience for inexperienced computer users. This interface never caught on, but somehow the font made its way into Windows world, rather than falling into obscurity with Microsoft Bob. <Sigh>
- In my opinion, and a heck of a lot of others on the Interwebs, it is not professional. The creator of the font has been credited with noting that the font was meant for children and novice computer users. The design style in mind when creating Comic Sans was that of comic book text (hence, the name). But there are countless examples of the font’s misuse, everything from the owner of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers using it to write his anti-Lebron James manifesto in 2010, to the Vatican typesetting Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation letter with Comic Sans. Each of these misuses has been subject to scorn and ridicule. Why set your own organization up for the same scrutiny?
- Know your fonts. Back to my original philosophy, good design needs to be effective. It needs to convey the message you want to communicate. Unless you are selling comic books, Comic Sans will not do that for you. You work so hard to build your brand, and your typeface is a reflection of that brand.
I’m picking on Comic Sans here, but my basic message is this: Be mindful and deliberate with the details of your brand. Fonts matter. On the web. On your printed materials. Even on the flyer you hang on the company fridge telling people not to eat other people’s stuff. Here in the creative group at Haley Marketing, we want to help you visually build your brand to be a reflection of who you are and who you want to be as an organization. We are experts in design and marketing, and are excited to use our expertise to help you achieve your goals.
So trust that I have your best interests in mind when I tell you to just say no to Comic Sans!