The Lore for Comic Sans

There may not be a designer on the planet who hasn’t heard of Comic Sans. In fact, there may not be any computer-using non-designers who aren’t familiar with — and don’t have an opinion about — Comic Sans. Vincent Connare’s 1995 design for Microsoft has become one of the most popular and most maligned typefaces of our time.

According to a fascinating post on Ars Technica recently, Comic Sans was actually a product of an early digital personal assistant: Microsoft Bob. Bob was one of Microsoft’s early attempts to create a user interface that applied basic skeuomorphism to the desktop—in this case, a house, where each room houses different application icons

It’s a bit of a shame that Comic Sans inspires so much snobbery and hate these days. Because in reality, it was an early and important attempt to make digital type more accessible to new users—and in a way, it’s been incredibly successful. It might be unfashionable at the moment, but it serves an important function in the universe of human interaction. "If you love it, you don't know much about typography," Connare told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. "If you hate it, you really don't know much about typography, either, and you should get another hobby."