Wonky letters on typewriter

I’ve just read this rather entertaining piece in the Guardian about Comic Sans, the eternally hated font, and it got me thinking.

I railed against using Comic Sans during my years of teaching and insisted essays be in Times New Roman, 12 point (although I prefer 11 for some reason). But in The Guardian interview, the typographer explains there is a time and place for Comic Sans, so I’m beginning to feel more fondness for the much-maligned font. It was designed for novice computer users, for children and, really, for fun and frivolity. And it does that job well.

Let’s be honest, it’s a more readable font than, say, Blackadder, Edwardian Script or Brush Script, which also have their place (usually my children’s Powerpoint presentations :S).

But what does a font say about you? Try this fun font-related personality test or have a look at the image below to work out what your font says about you. A study at Wichita State University looked into how employers see fonts used on applications, and came up with similar results.


I wobble between Times New Roman, which makes me “old fashioned and boring”, Garamond — “traditional and safe” — and Aleo “forward thinking and fresh”, depending on whom I’m writing to and what the occasion is.

For a while, my email font was dark-blue TNR, then I went back to black. For ages, I favoured Garamond until, in a fit of peak, I dashed back to old faithful, TNR.

There are times I quite like a bit of the friendly Georgia — a serif font clear and easy to read both printed and on screen. And although the grid above reckons Courier New is for the “apathetic”, I like the serif.

But I like serifs generally. Serifs, the little foot at the bottom of letters or symbols, are there to help us read more efficiently in print. For many people with dyslexia, though, the serif is a nuisance, making reading considerably harder than when there is no serif.

What font do you enjoy reading most? And which do you prefer when you’re writing?

Proofreader, copy-writer and copy-editor

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