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)