Why Teachers Should Learn to Love Comic Sans

It really is hard to believe that people can get hot under the collar over a typeface! Yet it seems they can and do, especially when it comes to Comic Sans. If you search or trawl through the web, you’ll find articles, tweets, and even whole websites devoted to attacks on Comic Sans. Why this should be the case is really hard to understand, perhaps more people should learn to get a life and become concerned about something more important? As a teacher, I used to use Comic Sans a lot in class and for very good reason. When teaching young pupils or pupils with learning difficulties, it is a great benefit to have a font that closely matches the formation and shape of written letters. That way the text they read and the text they write are closely the same. This can be really important in  teaching pupils with difficulties, it can increase learning because time is not spent unnecessarily in teaching the pupils to become familiar in learning to recognise and write 3 or 4 different letter shapes for the same letter! The advantage of Comic Sans in teaching is that, with a few exceptions, its letter shapes closely match the letter shapes used when teaching writing. It does not have the unnecessary serifs, curls or embellishments that can be found in many other typefaces; these are often unnecessary and can confuse the learner. I’ve said that some letters are exceptions, in that they don’t match the written letter shape. The top and foot of the uppercase I, for example are unnecessary, the uppercase J would be better without its top, the lowercase j could do without the dot and the Y should be a u with a descender rather than a v with a descender. There are other fonts, such as Chalkboard or Sassoon, which also come close to matching written letter shapes, the advantage Comic Sans had, was that it came free whereas others usually had to be purchased. So there you go, I don’t expect anyone who is against Comic Sans to really change their mind but hope they simply accept that there may be good reasons for using it.

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