If You’re Going to Write a Passionate Letter, Don’t Write it in Comic Sans

Unless you’re a fourth-grader, or being ironic, or the author of a comic book, or on vacation from the 1990s, never use [Comic Sans]. – John D. Sutter, CNN

[Comic Sans is] probably the worst font ever to grace the computer screen. – MG Siegler, TechCrunch

Last night, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers took a lot of heat (no pun intended) for the manner in which he sharply criticized LeBron James’s Brett Favre-esque announcement of his decision to play for the Miami Heat.  It wasn’t so much the fact that owner Dan Gilbert used the words “narcissistic” and “self-promotional” to describe LeBron James, it was how he made the announcement.

In Comic Sans font.

Shortly after the world got wind of Dan Gilbert’s discovery, Comic Sans became a trending topic on Twitter.  My curiosity of the source of this trending topic led me to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ website where I read the letter with my own eyes. The letter looked like it was on one of those GeoCities websites, you know the ones that were so popular right after the internet went mainstream? Not only did the letter look completely unprofessional, I had to check the web address several times to make sure that I was in fact on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ official website and not a phony one.

Dan Gilbert’s letter was pretty passionate and said what a lot of people were undoubtedly thinking, but the fact that it was written in Comic Sans completely negated the power of his statements.  How can I take someone seriously when they write in Comic Sans?  That’s the font that elementary school children use to write tall tales!  In fact, the only time I’ve ever used Comic Sans font was to simulate kid handwriting when I’d make writing samples for my English students to edit. If I ever applied for a job with a resume and cover letter in Comic Sans font, my potential employer would rip up the documents upon arrival and I’d be laughed off the stage, so to speak.

My disbelief at the fact that the owner of a professional sports team would write a public letter to his fans in Comic Sans led me to seek more information on this hideous looking font (my apologies to you, Vincent Connare.  I’m sure you’re a really great guy).  Wikipedia defines Comic Sans as “a casual, non-connecting script, and was designed to imitate comic book lettering, for use in informal documents.”  According to Vincent Connare, the creator of Comic Sans, the font was not intended to be used by the public.  Just by comic book creators.  However, comic books creators and readers don’t like the font either.

Ban Comic Sans, who according to their website is “putting the sans in comic sans”  agrees that this font should not be used by anyone for any reason.  The movement to ban Comic Sans, which has been going strong since 1999, argues that font should match the purpose and tone of the intended message and that Comic Sans often contradicts the tone of its message.

Ban Comic Sans makes an excellent point about tone and font and this was the major problem with Gilbert’s letter.  The font Gilbert used to write his letter for the ages negated the seriousness and passion of his message.  Unfortunately, Gilbert’s open letter to his fans will be remembered not for its message, but for the font in which it was written.  This undermining of a person’s credibility due to their decision to write in Comic Sans needs to be stopped for once and for all.  Ban Comic Sans! You can thank me later, comic book lovers and NBA team owners.

3 thoughts on “If You’re Going to Write a Passionate Letter, Don’t Write it in Comic Sans

Add yours

  1. That is hilarious! I love it. Thanks for the link! I have to say, the Comic Sans debate is fascinating. I guess I have LeBron James to thank for bringing this debate to light for me.

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