< Back to front page Text size +

The Cavs owner's biggest mistake: Comic Sans

Posted by Christopher Shea  July 9, 2010 11:11 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

So what struck you most about the "open letter" from Dan Gilbert, the majority owner of the Cavaliers, in response to LeBron James's decision to go to Miami? Was it the generally vicious ad hominem nature of the rhetoric? The specific references to a "shameful display of selfishness and betrayal" and to "cowardly" behavior by the former Cleveland god? Maybe the bold pledge that the Cavs will bring home championship "hardware" before Miami does?

All noteworthy. What caught the eye of designers, however, whether they were laughing or despairing, was the font Gilbert chose for his announcement: Comic Sans, widely viewed as the most aesthetically egregious typeface on the planet. The Globe, mercifully, didn't reproduce the font when it printed the letter, but you can read the original here.

nocomicsans-150x150.jpgThe back story: Comic Sans was created in-house at Microsoft, specifically for use in cartoonish talk bubbles providing information to users in a jocular manner. That project was soon abandoned, but the font spread like a virus, to the point where some designers have called for its world-wide ban. Its inventor, Vincent Connare, has long since disowned it.

The site Ban Comic Sans recently posted the inevitable "Downfall" remix, in which Hitler learns that his generals have selected the preposterous font for a propaganda campaign. He is not happy. And in a remarkably quick-footed bit of booking, the radio host Brian Lehrer seems to have landed Connare for his show today, to talk about his monstrous progeny.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


Browse this blog

by category