The despised Comic Sans reincarnates as a redesigned programming font

Originally published at: The despised Comic Sans reincarnates as a redesigned programming font | Boing Boing


It can also help with dyslexia. To your point, that’s probably not the driving force keeping it around…but accessible design usually leads to a more usable design for all users. I suspect that Comic Sans is used so often simply because it’s casual and very easy to read.


“… for some reason, there are no consequences for Microsoft when it makes bad decisions” :thinking:


Comic sans benefits from being a default. That’s all. It’s the only typeface in that default set that vaguely fills the roles people like to assign to Comic Sans. “Casual” “Fun”. “Good for people with Dyslexia” “Accessible”.

It’s not the best font of it’s kind, but it may be the least bad in a number of niche cases.

It’s like choosing Georgia for your kindle.


ok, Comic Code/Mono looks kinda like Courier, and I would totally use this for a terminal font.


It’s the least worst font for dyslexia that is commonly available on computers. There are better alternatives available, and different people find different approaches more helpful.

My preferred choice (for typing and my ebook-reader) is Lexie Readable. Regular and bold are free for non-commercial and educational use, italics you have to buy.

Other people make different choices because dyslexia is not a monolithic thing. use what works for you, and that includes Comic Sans.

I do my actual formatting at the end of whatever I have typed, as everyone should do.


It’d be good for highlighting really stupid requested changes, but source files usually don’t support embedded font changes.


We actually did a lot of things that were projected for large groups to read, and we tested a bunch of fonts, and Comic Sans was the easiest to read.

Sometimes the other very “square” fonts just end up being a mess of vertical lines that are hard to separate. Comic Sans has just enough “organic” curves and slants to make it easier.

Some of the dyslexic-friendly fonts are kind of odd to read if you’re just presenting them to the public, so Comic Sans was a good middle ground.

It’s kind of silly, and it’s a cliche, but it just sorta works.


I think I heard recently about someone recommending Comic Sans for getting past writers block. They felt that the absolute unseriousness of the font helped them put words on the page regardless of whether they were the perfect words or not…


Choose the font that fits your coding style. and install it.

Maybe in the future, we’ll be picking fonts that still look vaguely legible when screenshot, watermarked, twitted and tiktoked


What I need in my coding fonts are strong visually unambiguous glyphs. I need to easily distinguish between 1&7, 1&l, l&I, 0&O, 2&Z.

And there’s also the apostrophe catastrophe to deal with. : → '‘’` ← all four of these are different, and thanks to “smart quotes” are often unwittingly screwed up by people typing or copying code in various editors, web pages, or emailed documents. Same with quotation marks.

Oh, and monospace is a hard requirement. It’s difficult to find a monospaced font that cleanly fills the gaps without ridiculously oversized serifs hanging off of every glyph. Comic Code kind of fails a little bit there.

Looks like Comic Code accounts for all these cases, which makes it better than most fonts. Not that I particularly enjoy it, but it’s not a terrible font for the job.

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I have a special font that is unambiguous. DPCustomMono2. I use it for proofreading.


I don’t know about legibility. When it’s titles and short phrases it reads fine but large blocks of text in Comic Sans is hard for me to read


Obligatory Achewood:

(Achewood: Comic Sans)


I’m leaning towards Chaotic-Neutral in my opinion of Comic Sans, but I have to say the Mono Spaced version here really presses my buttons. I have such a softspot for Courier, and a growing love for informal font outlines. Taking a closer look now.

Odd. The name implies that it’s a monospace font, but the sample looks like the spacing was varied to accommodate the fixed margins. I assume that’s an artifact of the editor and not the font itself.

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Ah, yes. I had justification switched on. Better?

It’s a horrifically ugly font, but it is unambiguous, in those niche cases where unambiguity trumps everything. I don’t use it for programming, because I don’t habitually confuse l for 1 when I program. An OCR program makes those sorts of mistakes all the time.

Ironically, when communication is through screenshots of text, instead of through text itself, OCR is often required. And switching off the justification does not involve asking someone to upload a new screenshot.

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b, d and p can be confused if you have a mirror/rotation dyslexia problem (I do, or at least I did during childhood).

But like I keep saying, I am not you and you should use what works for you.


“Comic Code” What a great name for this font! :heart_eyes::+1:


I grew up with OCR-B in dozens of 3-ring-binder manuals, so that’s been my go to for nearly 50 years now. It gives me that lovely “the future was then” nostalgia, while remaining unambiguous.

Now get off my punch card reader.