Comic Sans, the font which makes designers weep. Often used by people to make things look more “friendly” and “fun”.
Inspired by the fonts used in comic books, Comic Sans was designed by Vincent Connare and released by Microsoft in 1994. Its been around in Windows ever since and has even had a bit of a redesign in the form of Comic Sans Pro.
It would seem however, that not all of Microsoft is happy with Comic Sans. Skype (owned my MS and used as a replacement as Windows Live Messenger) allows users to change the font which IMs appear in and when you switch to Comic Sans, the emoticon icon changes from a happy face, to a sad face.
Its OK Comic Sans, you still have your uses.
Credit to @ozmills for spotting this
So why is Comic Sans not liked?
One of the main reasons why Comic Sans gets a bad rep is when its used out of context. Typography is important and can change the tone of what you’re trying to say. For example, you’re not going to take a “No Exit” sign as seriously if its written using Comic Sans because it looks too friendly. Similarly, a note sent home with your child from school written using this fun and friendly font might be ignored or dismissed when its something you should be paying attention to. You only have to look at the examples posted on Comic Sans Criminal too see how one bad font choice can drasticly change the how text is recieved by its intended audience.
If its so bad, why is it still around?
The long and the short of it is that “because it is useful”. Its been shown to be a really good font for dyslexic readers and some studies have shown that students retain more information when its presented to them in “ugly” fonts like Comic Sans rather than more traditional (and more formal) fonts.