Extra: Guilty Pleasure: Comic Sans

The widely loathed font serves a noble purpose.

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About the Show

Studio 360 is a smart and surprising guide to what’s happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt introduces the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy—so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life. Produced in association with Slate.

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Episode Notes

The childlike, cartoonish typeface Comic Sans is the most hated font in the world. Twenty-five years after its release, it’s become notorious for showing up in seemingly inappropriate contexts, from office memos to newspapers and government documents.

But librarian and technology educator Jessamyn West argues that hating on Comic Sans is elitist. Looking at the font’s history, she commends Microsoft designer Vincent Connare for absolutely nailing his assignment to create a fun, casual typeface.

“Comic Sans is completely appropriate for your goofy Christmas letter that talks about the things that have gone on in your family,” West says, “and you could probably put it in red and green typeface.” And if the font’s informality helps make computers approachable to the less technologically adept, she believes we should encourage its use.

This podcast was produced by Studio 360’s Evan Chung, with assistance from Lauren Hansen and Schuyler Swenson.