RE: Text line length - Was: [Seen this lately?]

by Lead <lead(at)>

 Date:  Sat, 27 Jan 2001 10:32:24 -0600
 To:  "Captain F.M. O'Lary" <ctfuzzy(at)>
 Cc:  hwg-basics(at)
 References:  sunshineband 153 1532
  todo: View Thread, Original

>Now I read that the use of Comic Sands not only shows my ineptitude as a
>developer - but indicates a character flaw.
>Heck Jeniffer, I'm not mad (I know darned good and well I have a flaw or
>two!), but I am curious about why/how you formulated your opinion.

I replied privately to Michael's comments, but since you asked, I'll reply 
to this one publicly (also would like to clear my name a bit if I 
can...hehe). I should have stated my original reply differently perhaps, 
but yes, my personal opinion of Comic Sans is that it, IN GENERAL, conveys 
a sense of the amateur.

Now, most of us are going to run across this font in our "leisure" surfing, 
not in our work surfing. My personal leisure surfing is generally done on 
sites related to the subject of dogs. In that realm, in my experience, 
Comic Sans is found on sites done by amateurs. These are generally sites 
devoted to the "cute and fluffy" sort of subject, and not devoted to 
conveying serious educational information. Vanity sites seem most likely to 
contain or be done entirely in CS. __MY IMPRESSION__ is that most sites 
done in CS also tend to contain huge graphics, loud annoying backgrounds, 
and garish use font colors that make my head hurt. It seems to me that all 
too often when I come to a site and see CS font, my system then bogs down 
while it tries to download and launch some annoying midi file of some song 
I don't like anyway. I'm also pretty likely to see a lot of generic and 
mismatched clipart and animated puppy dog graphics. I generally do not find 
much useful information in such sites, and have found over the years that 
the sorts of people (in the dog realm at least) who choose to do sites in 
CS often have philosophies on dog training, breeding, rearing, behavior, 
health, etc, that do not match my own. (Not that the opinions of these 
folks is's just often a sweeping view of complex issues that they 
don't fully understand.)

Now, is all the above a gross generalization? Of course! But it is _MY_ 
experience in the area in which _I_ spend most of my online "free time". It 
is, for whatever reason, a font that is often latched onto by amateurs 
feeling their way through Geocities or Netscape Composer. Does that make 
the font itself bad? No, of course not. Are the people who use it bad? No, 
of course not. Is it bad or wrong to be an amateur? NO! We all were, once 
upon a time, and many of us still are in various areas. But is "amateur" 
the impression you want to make on clients? Yes, this font is very easy to 
read, and I don't usually mind it when I see it used sparingly. In fact, 
one of the chat applications I use I keep set to CS because it IS an easy 
font to read. But like so many other "good" things, too much can be a bad 
thing.  Whole pages of CS bold about 16 pt I would think would be enough to 
set anyone's teeth on edge!

Now, my good Captain, I'm sure you know by now what my opinions of you are, 
and you know that I certainly don't see you as an amateur. My original 
comments to Freda were made because she made me laugh while I was wading 
through a week's worth of unread email after a horrendously bad week. I 
still feel the same way. When I see CS on a site, I EXPECT a certain type 
of content. I may sometimes be pleasantly surprised, but the fact remains 
that I expect a poor site when I see the font. Not many fonts bring that 
kind of reaction from me, and it's certainly one I would want to avoid in 
MY work.

Happy weekend!

OffLead Productions

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