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I Shot the "Serif"

2 min read

by: Jessamyn West

There was a time when Microsoft computers had two fonts: Arial and Arial with no serifs (the projecting feature on the edges of text)-called Times New Roman. The printouts computers created were academic and banal, the websites you could visit were bland and sterile. The novelty of the “internet” never quite wore off, but everything besides the information gathered was monotonous. There would come a time when a need for a “fun” font would arise.

In 1995, Microsoft broke ground and published an informal font by the name of Comic Sans. Comic sans removed the serif and curved the sharp edges of letters. Initially created for Microsoft’s “comic dog” to give computer users instructions, the “fun font” spread like wild fire. Everyone was typing in this new “cool” font.  Ironically, Comic Sans ceased utilization just as rapidly as it expanded. It was over used, played out, and now, when Comic Sans is seen on any flyer or poster a voice in the back of your head inquires, “Does that person even know how to use a computer?”


I found this article extremely applicable to reading done in class. At first everyone who was anyone in on the secrets of technology used this new and excited way to type. As soon as moms, dads, bosses, and grandmothers figured out how to use this style it died out. Those in the technological know wanted nothing less than then to be associated with those on the edges of innovation. Any notice messaging with the comic sans was suddenly received with scrutiny as the font suddenly became “uncool” and obsolete. Fortunately, there are now hundreds if not thousands of fonts to choose from.  Every billboard, website, flyer seems to utilize a different font capable of encapsulating the desired tone.