SKILLS FOR MANAGERS: Knowing When to Switch It Up...
HARASSED: Why You Need to Add These Text Exchanges to Whatever Harassment Training You Do...

Use of Comic Sans Can Ruin Your Career Prospects..

It's true.  Comic Sans generates unbelievably strong reactions and opinions from those who encounter it in corporate America.

The year is 1998.  A young HR Capitalist decides to do a back of the napkin employee survey in a 1500 person unit of a Fortune 500.  After a bit of research, stealing from the best and modifying it to reflect his personal style, the survey was sent out via paper (no Survey Monkey in 1998, yo).

In one week, a complaint went into the Corporate Ombudsman from multiple members of the unit's engineering team,  The complaint is summarized as follows below:

"The HR team is attempting to manipulate responses to the employee survey, as evidenced by their use of Comic Sans on the printout.  Everyone knows that Comic Sans has been proven to generate more positive reactions and responses than would otherwise be expected when used in printed documents asking for opinions."

Really?  I just used it because I thought it looked cool and interrupted the pattern. I soon learned that people HATE them some Comic Sans.  The hatred bordered on pathological.

We did the survey anyway.  Somehow people overcame my attempts to be the puppet-master by telling us how much they hated working for their boss. Our follow up action plan was stellar.

What did I learn from that experience?  Looking to differentiate by using a funky font is a poor plan. For every one person that digs it, four hate it. The rest don't care.  You don't need the hate.

Check out the video below (2:00 in the video) on Comic Sans haters (email subscribers click through for video).  

Long live freaking Arial.  Maybe a little Tahoma when you're feeling alternative.  (h/t on video to Gizmodo)


Joel Kimball

I'm only laughing because I just told our contracted paper magician (creator of posterboard things, signs, ECPL placards, mega-mass copying, etc.) that - while the big 2013 wall calendars I asked for are nice - lose the @#$%!@#$^ funky font and pictures and pastel color. I CAN'T READ IT FROM MY DESK. I get it, great idea, creative, different, I don't ever wanna harsh your mellow - but please look at last year's in, lovely, easy-on-the-eyes, old-fashioned Arial. Black and white A little yellow for Company holidays. Yeah, it's so 1980's - but everyone can read it.

lulz - people suck! Even me sometimes. That's why we'll always have HR :)


Steve Boese

Helvetica. The only font so cool it has its own movie.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)