Comic Sans has gone from being the ubiquitous text choice of early web Angelfire pages to being that font that everyone thinks sucks. But for its creator, Vincent Connare, it’s “the best thing I’ve ever done.”
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Connare made the endlessly ridiculed font while he was working as an engineer at Microsoft. But the story of Comic Sans actually begins when he was a fine arts student in New York City. The young student spent his days wandering the art galleries of the old SoHo and taking in what was most affective. He says that he quickly learned, “if you didn’t notice them, I considered that was bad. And if you did notice that was good because at least they made you stop and look.”
After his rebellious incubation period, Connare found himself working for Bill Gates and tasked with creating a playful font for a new program called Microsoft Bob. Inspired by the lettering in Batman and Watchmen comics, he came up with what would be known as Comic Sans. And his bosses didn’t like it. This is one of those rare stories in which the close-minded suits were actually on to something. But the young designer was undeterred and fought for it—arguing that it should be weird and stand out.
Microsoft didn’t end up using the font in Bob. It’s a bit ironic that Bob was a failed attempt to make Windows a little more user friendly like a Mac and that Comic Sans would end up being packaged with every new Mac by 1996.
You can hear Connare’s whole story, told by the man himself, in the video below. He seems like a good guy and you may gain a new appreciation for the ridiculous and often inappropriate font.