Comic Sans is widely considered to be a comically bad font to read and look at, and yet the font keeps popping up. Anyone inexperienced in the ways of design seems to be drawn to it as a way to express the casual, fun-loving nature of whatever their sign or presentation is hoping to convey. With its use spreading from your local pizza place and daycare center to as wide as CERN and the Vatican, Comic Sans has truly become an unfortunate phenomenon since its introduction in 1994.
"The squashed, wonky, and weird glyphs of Comic Sans have been beaten into shape."
But today, graphic designer Craig Rozynski has put forth a proposal to fix that: a modern take on Comic Sans that he's calling Comic Neue. "Comic Neue aspires to be the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy," the font's promotional website reads. "The squashed, wonky, and weird glyphs of Comic Sans have been beaten into shape while maintaining the honesty that made Comic Sans so popular."
Comic Neue includes two variants, one with rounded ends (left) and one with slanted ends (right).
The result is a stylishly thin yet still playfully curly font that's generally much nicer to read than Comic Sans. Of course, the joke isn't on Comic Sans alone. That slimming down a disliked font is the key to making it appealing just serves to mock our love of and reliance on super-thin typefaces like Helvetica Neue and Proxima Nova as well. Comic Neue's middle ground may not be the answer for everyone, but we can still dream of its more sensible strokes replacing Comic Sans'. If you're making a playful sign, you may just want to keep it in mind — the font is available to download for free.