7 reasons to NOT use Comic Sans in your comic.
Here are my seven reasons to avoid using Comic Sans MS in your comic or graphic novel. I learned the hard way.
This may seem like a no brainer to some of you but I know that there are many who have no idea why Comic Sans is a bad choice. I know because I was one of them. In fact I completed three whole comics in Comic Sans MS and paid tons of money to print ‘em. I still have copies of these books and I’m embarrassed to try to sell my leftovers. Other newer comic creators have asked me to explain why Comic Sans MS is so bad so here is my list.
1. Just because it has “COMIC” in the name and it’s FREE doesn’t mean you should use it in your comic that you spent years laboring over. In fact, because it comes free on every computer in existence know to mankind, you might want to choose a different font for the sake of standing out from the massive crowd who blindly use it.
2. You will instantly look unprofessional to anyone who has already learned this lesson no matter how good your art or story may be. Designers and Letterers will want to roundhouse kick your face.
3. Comic Sans has uneven default kerning. Some letters are spaced weird which hurts the flow of reading. Below is an example of bad kerning. This is Comic Sans but I pushed the kerning so it was obvious to a non-letterer.
4. Comic Sans is an incomplete font when it comes to comics because it WASN’T really made for comics in the first place. For example, Comic Sans is missing breath marks which come before and after some sort of cough or sputter. (unless there is some special way of getting them I don’t know about.) Here is my own personal font with breath marks.
5. With many professional COMIC fonts, the lower and upper case letters are all capitals with a slight variation so that repeated letters can look somewhat random. Below is the same sentence with the top line in lowercase and the bottom in CAPITALS. Although the “I” stands out the most, they are all slightly different.
6. If you use the letter “I” with crossbars within a word, many letterers will want to drop kick you. In many comics the capital “I” with the crossbars is reserved for the personal pronoun only. Below is an example for clarity. Notice the “I” within the words “think” and “right”.
So which one is correct? That depends on who you ask. The majority agrees that the last one is correct. The top one is also fine. Some argue that “I’m” can be used either way and some argue that it should never have the crossbars unless the “I” is by itself. My main point here is Comic Sans only looks like the middle line which is by far the ugliest version.
7. Lettering is the one thing that people will stare directly at as they read your comic. Making it blend to your art is important. A badly chosen font will distract people from your work and story. Comic Sans will not only distract readers but get you hate mail. Good typography should be invisible. It shouldn’t call attention to itself unless there is a specific reason for it. Comic Sans will never be invisible because there is such a large group of people who hate it that you will most likely be hearing more comments about your font choice than anything else in your book.
If you are still in need of convincing then I encourage you to watch this video.
Still not satisfied? Here is a great article about the history of Comic Sans.
Here is an article from a professional letterer talking about why he thinks Comic Sans MS should never be used for comics. I thought I had a pretty original list until I found this one. Oh well.
Here are some other posts I wrote about comic fonts: