Why sans serif fonts suck

In my junior hight Civics class, we once had a project to do a write-up on some head of state and the type of government. We were provided a list to choose from, and one of the was Great Leader Kim Il Sung. One of my classmates said, “What’s this cat’s name? Kim Two Sung?”

Illustration: Illiterate fools use illiterate at the start of a sentence. Illuminating, is it not?

Not all san-serif fonts are created equal. I prefer sans-serif when I design, but there’s a time and place for any style.

The default font here on my browser (Safari/Mac) has a little curl at the bottom end of a lower-case “l” to differentiate it from a cap “I”.

Also, some sans-serif faces do include such markers, like bars at the top and bottom of a cap I, or the “ear” on the numeral “1”.

No, it isn’t. Inconsistent descenders, weird spacing, bizarre inconsistent angles on vertical strokes, and the number forms look like ass. It is objectively bad.

Yeh, Comic Sans is one of those cutesy fonts not really designed with heavy diligence or a really refined eye. This also might explain why it’s one of those “free” fonts, since there’s not a lot of work put into it, like ligatures, kerning pairs, etc.

Also, fonts that mimic “handwriting” are pretty difficult to get right, as they tend to look so artificial intrinsically. The good ones cost a fair price.

I put it among the ranks of Hobo and Trajan.

Optima would probably work for you. It’s technically classified as a sans serif, but it’s right at the cusp. The little bulges at the ends straddle the line between serif and sans serif. The letter “O” and the number “0” should be distinguishable in most sans serifs by their shape and design (the number is narrower than the letter.) Slash-zeroes are fugly to me.

Despite not having the bars on the cap I (and being a hardcore Mac user), I’m quite fond of Microsoft’s Trebuchet for computer stuff / web browsing.

Adobe’s Myriad (used ubiquitously by Apple) is really nice too.

If you want one that has serifs on I and J, try Verdana. If you have it, it’s what’s used in the text boxes on this site.

I don’t know why the posts themselves use something different (Trebuchet MS).

I’m a big fan of Verdana. :slight_smile:

Illuminate and illustrate are commonly used in imperatives in educational environments or lab instructions.

  • Illuminate the workspace well for best results.
  • Illustrate the following paragraph.

Illiterate, being an adjective, can easily start sentences about people who can’t read or write:

  • Illiterate people typically don’t qualify for higher-paying jobs.

But it’s a casual handwriting font.

Yeah, but there are better handwriting fonts out there that retain the casual look-and-feel without the jarring inconsistencies of Comic Sans. (There are even some good comic-like ones.)

Dom Casual is an all-time classic.

Yes, he is. sic

There is one, but I can’t remember the name of it. It’s just like a “normal” sans-serif font, but the cap “I” has serifs. It’s used in kids’ books.

Well you’re just objectively wrong. (Kidding. I’m my humble opinion you’re being silly.) Your objections above ignore context. If I wanted a font that looked like a comic book created by an 11 year old, then Comic Sans would objectively be a better font than Dom Casual.

I almost never have a need for a “handwritten” font, and therefore view fonts like Dom Casual as useless – and I view Comic Sans as more useless than Dom. For one thing, it’s uglier. For another thing, my own “imitation kid’s writing” would be more visually interesting (but would lack the convenience of set type.)

Some Wikipedia Stuff About Comic Sans

[INDENT]Vincent Connare (born 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a former Microsoft in-house font designer. Amongst his creations are the Comic Sans font, and the Trebuchet MS font, (…) Besides text typefaces he finalized and hinted the font Marlett (…) and created portions of the font Webdings (…).

Connare (…)gained a master’s degree in Type Design at the University of Reading.[/INDENT]

Well that’s impressive, but…
[INDENT]Microsoft designer Vincent Connare says that he began work on Comic Sans in October of 1994. Connare had already created a number of child-oriented fonts for various applications, so when he saw a beta version of Microsoft Bob that used Times New Roman in the word balloons of cartoon characters, he decided to create a new face based on the lettering style of comic books he had in his office, specifically The Dark Knight Returns (lettered by John Costanza) and Watchmen (lettered by Dave Gibbons).
Comic book artist Dave Gibbons, whose work was one of the inspirations for the font, said that it was "a shame they couldn’t have used just the original font, because [Comic Sans] is a real mess. I think it’s a particularly ugly letter form.[/INDENT]

If Connare’s goal was really to imitate the lettering done by professional comic book letterers, then he failed spectacularly.

Ill, I am feeling…

Shall we see who can compose the sentence with the most consecutive intertwined upper-case I’s, lower-case l’s, and numeral 1’s? :smiley:

I. Good idea!
II. But really I’m feeling a little sick today!
III. Ill I’ll illustrate the idea poorly, so I won’t participate.

That might work better in title case:
III. Ill, I’ll Illustrate the Idea Poorly!

When I worked at Hallmark Cards, we had an amazing font for in-house use that was based on Charles Schlutz’s lettering from Peanuts. I wish I took a copy of it with me, as it was the most complicated font I’ve ever seen. There were something like 12 variations of the letter E depending on what letters were preceding and following it.

Later I worked with an animator who was working for Jim Davis who had a font based on the Garfield lettering, but I don’t give a damn about that one as Garfield is one of the worst comics ever. I would love a font based on R. Crumb’s lettering.

What tool do people working on fonts use these days anyway? Is there a successor to Fontographer?

As a professional narrator I often receive scripts written sans serif. As these are typically technical training scripts there are ofen a number of acronyms…containing either an “I” or and “l” and…in the course of narrating… I often have to stop, select and change the font just to figure it out. If it’s a hard copy, I’m screwed. Context doesn’t help either…“After completing the entry the data is sent to the I-cap or lTrL”. ug.