Comic Book Legends Revealed #442
COMIC LEGEND: The font Comic Sans was based on Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns
Microsoft’s Comic Sans font is one of the more controversial fonts ever, especially since fonts are rarely, you know, actually controversial.
However, did you know that Comics Sans’ origin came in two of the most acclaimed comics of all-time?
Before we get to that, let’s look back at the context of Comic Sans’ start.
In 1994, Microsoft was getting ready for the launch of Windows 95, perhaps their biggest product launch yet. An idea that they had to help users understand Windows 95 was something called Windows Bob, a software program that would help people with Windows 95, through simple cartoon characters who would “talk” through speech balloons. Well, Microsoft designer Vincent Connare felt that the font used for the cartoon characters did not look very appropriate, so he developed a new font.
He took his inspiration from two comic collections laying around his office, The Dark Knight Returns (lettered by John Costanza)…
and Watchmen (lettered by Dave Gibbons)…
The new font, dubbed Comic Sans, was developed too late to make it on to Microsoft Bob, but it was soon one of the most used fonts with Windows products and the rest, as they say, was history, as it soon became so popular that there was a backlash to the font by critics who felt that it was perhaps TOO childish for most usages (I’m sure there are many other criticisms of the font, I’m just throwing one out there).
And we owe it all to Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns!
Thanks to reader Greg B., who suggested this one all the way back in 2009!
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed also involving surprising popular culture items that owe their existence to comics!
What comic strip helped inspire the creation of Amos and Andy?
On the next page, how close did we come to seeing new John Byrne Fantastic Four comics a few years ago?