There is never an excuse to use Comic Sans. Ever.
Please Trust Your Designer
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last week or so, you’ve probably heard a little something about LeBron James’ decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat. Heck, I do my best to completely ignore professional sports and even I know far too much about the brouhaha. LeBron did his best to create a media circus, but I’m not here to talk about him today.
Shortly after LeBron’s announcement, Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert released one of the most epic rants of all time (written rant that is; I think Mel Gibson and Christian Bale are tied for most epic recorded audio rant). He has already received his fair share of heat (no pun intended) for his statement, including a nastygram from Jesse Jackson and a $100k fine from the NBA. But I’m not here to talk about that either.
Instead, I want to quickly address Mr. Gilbert’s font choice. Comic Sans? Seriously? Don’t you know that there’s never an excuse to use Comic Sans? For your poor taste in typography, you’ve been openly mocked all over the Interwebs. Just to help you remember not to commit this font faux pas again, I am ordering a copy of this poster for you.
And now, to the real meat of this post. I’m pretty sure Mr. Gilbert didn’t publish that letter to the Cavs’ site by himself. He probably typed it out in a Word doc or in an email — or he might have even picked up a pen and paper to scribble it out — and then he passed it along to his web person for publishing. I can imagine Mr. Gilbert standing over his web person’s shoulder having the following conversation:
Dan Gilbert: Verdana is much too boring of a font for an epic rant such as this. Use something more exciting. Something with sizzle. Use Comic Sans!
Web Person: But sir, there’s never an excuse for using Comic Sans. It is a typographic abomination, singlehandedly responsible for swine flu, global warming, and Paris Hilton.
Dan Gilbert: I’m serious. Use Comic Sans. It’s the best font ever!
Web Person: But sir, font geeks from all over the world will ridicule you for this most egregious of errors.
Dan Gilbert: I don’t care. Use Comic Sans. Now. Or you’re fired!
Web person: Fine. No sense losing my job over it. As soon as your rant goes live, I’ll need to go lie in the shower in the fetal position for a while because using that font makes me feel so dirty…
In my head, that’s pretty much how it played out. How do I know? Because it’s happened to me far too many times.
I always find it interesting when a client hires a designer because of their expertise but then decides to nitpick every decision they make. I can assure you that professional designers have got your best interest in mind. They know what they’re doing and they all want to create something truly incredible for you.
Don’t ask your designer to create a Flash intro for your site. Don’t try to force your designer to use Joomla when they say it’s totally wrong for your project. Don’t demand that your designer use Papyrus for your logo. That’s a really bad move — even if you happen to be James Cameron and you just produced the highest grossing film of all time. (Maybe I should order him one of the aforementioned posters too.)
The point is this: Trust your designer. Please. If your designer tells you that something is a bad idea, listen. Chances are that the designer is probably right.
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