Font is important
Imagine if a prestigious law firm used Comic Sans as their font..
Now, don't get us wrong...
Comic Sans definitely has its place in the world. But its use on a law firm’s website would be just plain weird. Let me explain why:
Firstly, let’s learn a bit about Comic Sans:
Comic Sans is a sans-serif casual script typeface. It features non-adjoining heavy lettering and adaptable spacing between letters.
Comic Sans first came on to the scene in 1994 when Microsoft designer Vincent Connare designed the font based on a 3D animation he’d seen. It was officially released in the Windows 95 pack, where it became available in the Microsoft Office Suite.
Within four years of the release, designers began to argue that the font had become overused, due to it’s growing popularity as the ‘only’ casual-looking font on Microsoft.
This criticism and overuse eventually lead to the font being seen as a bit of a ‘joke’. But more on that later...
It looks like this:
Where it has its place:
It’s said that 44% of teachers use Comic Sans in their classroom because it is suitable for children with dyslexia, it’s appropriate to model handwriting, and the spacing between letters helps children to read with ease.
You might even recognise the font from The Sims 1 interface and the Sesame Street credits, as popular culture really drove this typeface to make their product more appealing to children.
In addition to being primarily associated with children, Comic Sans is also heavily used in comic books. When designing the font, Vincent Connare took inspiration from his favourite comic books The Dark Knight Returns and The Watchmen. Since then, the font has been widely used in comic strips and is often associated with superheroes, as well as children’s literature.
With the font’s purpose firmly cemented as a children’s and/or comic typeface, use outside of these areas quickly drew criticism.
In 1999, there was even a ‘Ban Comic Sans’ campaign run by graphic designers in Indiana because people were using it to write about serious subjects, and up until 2009, the campaign drew quite a lot of support.
There’s even a website called Comic Sans Criminal dedicated to teaching people how to appropriately apply the font. People aren’t messing around with this one.
Evolution of the font:
In 2010, the Doge meme was created, and with the font already being criticised for its’ overuse, people started to turn on it and see it as a bit of a joke.
11 years later, people still use Comic Sans in memes to convey a sense of sarcasm, mock-professionalism or nonsensical humour.
With memes now firmly set as a key part of popular culture, Comic Sans had become heavily cemented in our minds as a font that conveys jokes.
In 2019, the British Conservative Party tweeted about Brexit in Comic Sans, and was subject to unyielding criticism, proving that the perception of the typeface had changed for good.
Why is it weird on a law firm’s site:
This brings us back to the law firm…
On a legal website, even with beautifully written, persuasive copy, Comic Sans unconsciously tells the reader that the firm is, well, a bit of a joke.
Comic Sans is casual, childlike or just generally un-serious. And the practice of law is far from that.
That's why, when we talk about staying on-brand, we aren't talking about logo design and the language you use. Every single aspect of your business sends a message to clients, and everything has to match... yes, including your font.
A whopping half a million fonts that exist... So how do you know which one will work best for your business?
Easy - get brand, strategy and design experts to pick one for you!
To align your messaging strategy with the perfect font, send us a DM and we can have a chat.