Long read: What’s so bad about Comic Sans, anyway?

Tes reports that Comic Sans still dominates classrooms with teachers believing it is better for dyslexic students, for reading and for modelling handwriting. Jon Severs finds that those benefits are dubious and that so much else we think we know about fonts and readability – even reading itself – is highly problematic .

For it is teachers, says the anti-Comic Sans narrative, who are muck-spraying Comic Sans on society, who are leading poor font-novices into a world of sin, and who are dismantling the beauty of the world one worksheet at a time (don’t even get the haters started on display boards…).  

This claim of teacher responsibility appears to be a valid one. You can’t escape Comic Sans in schools: a recent Tes survey of more than 7,000 teachers found that 44 per cent were using it in their classrooms (both primary and secondary).

Their defence? It is better for reading, better for dyslexic students and better for modelling handwriting. And some just think it looks nice. The last is a matter of taste, but the first three responses, they sound like good reasons for a teacher to pick a font. So why the hate?

Well, because the supposed benefits of Comic Sans have largely been proven to be non-existent or so small it’s not worth thinking about them.

So let’s take a typographic journey. Let’s find the truth about Comic Sans. I can promise you clarity but also, I can promise more: we may well also discover some of the secrets of the mechanics of reading that will benefit us all.

Read the full article about the pros and cons of Comic Sans Long read: What’s so bad about Comic Sans, anyway?

Are you a lover or a hater? How much of your classroom is covered in Comic Sans? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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