Software & Design

Aussie Paper Defends The Use Of Comic Sans On Its Front Page

“Comic Sans was the right choice.” That’s the line that the Sydney Morning Herald‘s executive editor Matt Martel has gone with, and that’s the one he’s sticking to. The internet’s most hated font appeared on the front page of the paper this morning, and the internet melted down.

I probably don’t have time to explain what a “newspaper” is to you young people, but safe to say that it’s like this website, just a few hours older when you read it. For what it’s worth: Fairfax Media is the parent of Allure Media, who publishes Gizmodo Australia, so it hurts to sledge our distant relatives over there are the SMH, but they’ve brought it on themselves.

This morning, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story with loads of excellent information about the developments surrounding the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into the New South Wales Liberal Party which has already claimed a Premier and other prominent politicians and frontbenchers.

The problem was that the image used to illustrate the story featured shoddy clip-art speech bubbles and the internet’s most hated font: Comic Sans.

After the backlash, Matt Martel — the man who admits to sneaking font purchases onto the company credit card — decided it would be a good idea to front up to the world and talk about the decision.

In an opinion piece on the use of the internet’s most hated font in the print edition, Martel wrote:

I have come to terms with Comic Sans. It is like an aged uncle who drinks a bit too much, doesn’t wash enough and is a tad too informal at weddings and funerals. He wears a Hawaiian shirt when he should wear something more formal.

It has its place, and that place is firmly not on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald. Not even in the classifieds. Not anywhere.

Except today. Chris Hartcher’s and Eric Roozendaal’s comments to the ICAC were treated typographically with the respect they deserve. And they deserved Comic Sans.

Comic Sans is here. It is not going away. It has its place. Let’s hope that we don’t feel the need to shame anyone else with a font for a while.

We’ve already talked about whether or not you can defend Comic Sans, and I guess if you’re Martel, you can. You can read the full defence of Comic Sans in our newspapers here, and watch Martel back the decision (albeit through gritted teeth) as well. [Sydney Morning Herald]


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