Comic Sans is NOT Okay

August 31, 2004 by

Trust me on this one. Neither is using any other crazy font to spice up your flyers, newsletter or anything you print. Typography is an art, and if you’re no artist you better tread lightly. Thanks to the computer, fonts have spread like chicken pox in kindergarten. Every computer comes preloaded with more fonts than you’ll ever use, and a cheap CD can offer a different font for every member of your church. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to use them all.

A little font restraint can add a healthy dose of class and style to whatever you’re producing.

Here’s a few tips on using fonts (A professional graphic designer could give you better direction, but these are some basic tips for the lay person):

  • Use only a few fonts in one publication. It doesn’t look cluttered or crowded and it offers a sense of continuity. In other words, don’t use a different font for every announcement in the bulletin.
  • Keep that continuity going by using the same few fonts in all the materials created for one ministry. The church newsletter should use the same few fonts every issue. Alpha should use the same few fonts for all flyers, posters, brochures, etc. People will begin to recognize a consistent look.
  • Handwriting or crayon fonts, or even Comic Sans (shudder), are not the only fonts you can use for the children’s ministry. Likewise a grunge font isn’t necessarily the best choice for the youth group. Don’t go for the cliche fonts.
  • A basic serif font if usually the best for printed text. Serifs are those little feet on the letters. Times New Roman is a standard serif font. Sans serif fonts (if, like me, you can’t remember the difference, ‘sans’ means ‘without’), like Arial or Helvetica, are often better for online text (this text is written in a sans serif font).
  • If you must use a funky font, the best place is usually in titles or logos. But use them sparingly. And don’t throw in a funky font just to use it. Have a good reason. What feeling or emotion does that particular font evoke? Does that fit with where it’s being used?
Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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21 Responses to “Comic Sans is NOT Okay”

  • AnneJackson
    December 29, 2004

    Comic Sans makes me break out in hives and causes my colon to spasm. I really wish there was a program that allowed anti-Comic Sans’ers to go through the internet and delete that font out of every computer in existance!

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  • crenaud
    December 29, 2004

    i agree with anne. major colon problems occur at the site of the font. i can’t even say it’s name. and i thank you for bringing this problem to the surface so others may know it’s evil capabilities. it needs to be stopped before it spreads further than it already has.
    and i thank you as well for pointing out that just because a font is available to you does not make it ok to use.
    thank you – thank you – thank you!

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  • mcM├╝ller
    February 2, 2005

    Well said, Kevin. ComicSans ought to be used sparingly and thoughtfully. Like any tool.

    I gotta tell you that cute sanitary hyperbole — phrases like “fonts have spread like chicken pox in kindergarten” — is another oft-used (overused?) Church marketing tool. I don’t say this to be rude or back-handed. Do you know what I mean?

    I’d love to know what you think about the wholesale avoidance of “swear words” by church communities. (Maybe you’ve already posted about this?)

    Is a contextualized swear-word necessarily a bad thing?

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  • Rev Randall
    April 1, 2005

    The best is when you get an e-mail titled ” you got to read this it just touched my heart ” in the Church font …
    thanks for letting me vent
    RAndall Knight

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  • Paula
    April 21, 2005

    comic sans has not just infected the church – I once had a colleague who insisted upon using the fonts in formal assessment forms for a paediatrics department in our hospital – and these were formal government document! AARGH! (So i’d change the fonts just before I printed them out. lol)

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  • Keith Locke
    April 21, 2005

    Okay – I make a motion for the banning of Comic Sans. The Enemy uses it against the church, like badly designed bulletin board displays. Down with Comic Sans. Amen.

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  • Billy
    August 29, 2005


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  • Chad Maag
    October 12, 2005

    I have a tendancy to stay away from Arial and Times New Roman when designing for print. Those fonts were created to look good on screen, and just don’t look good for print. Adobe’s Caslon and Jenson families are great for body text.

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  • David
    October 16, 2005

    Yes! Finally someone has spoken out about poor font use! Comic Sans has become disgusting because it’s way overused. Know what else is overused? Papyrus. It’s EVERYWHERE… people use this font as a clutch because it looks sophisticated and weathered. It’s only been overused now.

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  • Don
    October 21, 2005

    I happen to use Comic Sans for a reason and I like it. Talk about over used font, why should everyone be forced to used Arial or Times New Roman?

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    • Jordan
      June 21, 2012

      what reason could you possibly have for using it . . ?

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  • Jim
    November 2, 2005

    my rec is to goto and download some sweet font action into your windows font folder- that way they’re Adobe, Word, Excel, PC accessible.

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  • CHris Barr
    February 18, 2006

    Just found this site today, and I love it. This particular entry I found very entertaining because I go to a digital art school, and one of the first things they teach us is to never use Comic Sans! In fact, they pointed us to
    Someday I will buy a shirt from them and wear it proudly. On the front in huge comic sans letters it says “this is not a font”

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  • Mike Kern
    March 6, 2006

    While I have no love for Comic Sans, context does play a role. I haven’t designed projects with Comic Sans, but if a client requests it and it really does fit with the personality of their church it might be appropriate.
    I agree with McMuller’s post. Use fonts like Comic Sans thoughtfully and sparingly, just as you would any overused font.
    I think a question that would be more helpful would be: Which fonts do you find appropriate and use most often for church communications?

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  • Kelly Filgo
    March 22, 2006

    We use Fritz Quadrata family for our logo and headers on printed materials and ITC Stone Sans for copy on all printed pieces. Stone Sans is the Primary font for our current capital campaign as well.
    My favorite typographic peeve is folks who use display fonts in eyeball bleeding colors in emails (Robin, if you read this I’m talking about YOU!). Do us all a favor and help us read your email by using easy to read fonts in a color that doesn’t dissapear on your background color. Of course black text on white background is perfect.

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  • raj
    May 9, 2006

    This is an unnecessary exageration of matters. Blowing things out of proportion.

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  • Jason
    March 1, 2007

    Thanks for making Church Marketing suck just a little less. I’ll have to agree with Comic Sans needing to be ban from existence, but I’ll also have to go ahead and say the same for Times New Roman. I went for about two years trying not to throw up whenever I saw it after needing to use TNR for a long period of time. I’ve never had that reaction to a font before. Is that reaction related to your colon too? Must be!

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  • Luke
    August 1, 2007

    Amen, amen, a hundred times AMEN! With everything that is in me I despise Comic Sans. Especially when used as body text. BLECH!

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  • Anna
    January 29, 2009

    I LOVE YOU!!! Finally someone who understands!!!!

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  • Rose Coward
    December 10, 2011

    Just like that verse, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver”. So is a font fitly chosen. FYI, I have my E-Sword Bible font set to Comic Sans because I find it the most reader friendly. I have an aversion to fonts with feet. (But occasionally they have their place).

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  • Rob Kelly
    February 3, 2012

    Adobe Caslon Pro was my choice for the bulk of my church’s print design. It also does well on screen. I’ve always been fond of Helvetica as well… it’s a font that I see everywhere and it never gets old.

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