Enough Already with the Comic Sans

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with New Paradigm Partners LLC EB #1326335
http://actvra.in/GcK

BoingBoing ran an interesting article yesterday about fonts. There was a recent quiz in the New York Times about being an optimist or pessimist in regards to all life on earth being wiped out by killer asteroids. Only the quiz wasn't really about that - it was about the impact of different font styles on people's thinking.

There were five different fonts used in the quiz, and the answers were compared to the fonts in which the questions were asked. The results were interesting.

Comic SansThe fonts that generated the highest rates of agreement, and the lowest rates of disagreement were Baskerville and Computer Modern. And the font that, overall, generated the lowest rate of agreement and was also among the highest in rate of disagreement - our old pal Comic Sans.

Why is this important? When we write our blogs, or do any kind of print communication, high on our list of goals is credibility. We want our writing to be trusted and believable. And if we're using Comic Sans, we're starting off on the wrong foot from the beginning.

I've been guilty of thinking that Comic Sans was cool-looking, and I use it fairly often - almost always in my comments and frequently in my non-statistical posts. Based on the result of this quiz, this is the last time I'll be using it. I'd like to be considered a credible source and I'd like that consideration to be based on the merits of the content rather than it's form.

Appearance is important.

Posted by
Mary & Dick

Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-689-4663
www.maryanddick.com

 

Data Source: IRES MLS

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Rainmaker
996,914
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Steve:  I have to agree with you, and what a great description of Comic Sans.  Very well put!  I really like Comic Sans... and use it when my intent is what you describe.

I would never use Comic Sans, however, when I am making a comment on a political post... where my intent is come off like a you-know-what on wheels.  LOL.

Aug 11, 2012 12:36 PM #78
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Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

Very interesting... I really just started posting my blogs in alternative fonts.  I usually base it on the subject material-- but you are right... appearances do count!  Kathy

Aug 11, 2012 12:53 PM #79
Rainmaker
371,441
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker

While it may be fun to play with fonts, switching back and forth between different fonts and colors on your blog is really hard on a reader's eyes. In my opinion, you're better off choosing on of the more professional fonts, ditching the varied colors and instead add a pop to your posts with the use of photos.

Aug 11, 2012 01:52 PM #80
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Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

I use the stock font that AR uses for all blogs but I've been looking into better fonts that would convey a more sophisticated look.

Aug 11, 2012 03:08 PM #81
Rainer
126,003
Monica Hill
RE/Max Associates - Wilmington, DE
the Realtor to help you discover Delaware

I'm late in adding my two cents but...

according to studies, you will increase the reader's retention of the subject matter if you use a font with a serif, especially when writing anything more than a sentence or two (think of the way newspapers are type-set). All caps slows down reading.... and makes it harder to comprehend what's written... centered text is very difficult to read if it's more than a headline. It all comes down to how well you want your reader to comprehend what you're saying. Add in the formality and credibility factor and... then make an educated decision. 

Aug 11, 2012 03:25 PM #82
Rainer
97,010
Michael HassanPour
Beverly Hills-Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North - Beverly Hills, CA
Esq. Beverly Hills Properties, Brentwood, Bel Air

I for one am stll looking for a font I can always use. I have used Times New Roman for a while but am getting tired. I'll try Bakerville and let you know how it goes.

thanks for the post.

Aug 11, 2012 03:32 PM #83
Rainmaker
1,286,050
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

OK Dick that I will never use my favorite Font again (Check my blog post I use it all the time), but what is the best?

Aug 11, 2012 03:42 PM #84
Rainmaker
161,573
Dana Basiliere
Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty - Burlington, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Dick,

I have tried many fonts. I always thought Comic Sans was easy to read but looked too casual for business. I never considered that it could lend insincerity or distrust to the appearance. Hmmm. Have to think about that.

 

Aug 11, 2012 04:34 PM #85
Rainmaker
85,146
Mike Kozlow, CFP®, MS-FP, GRI®, ABR®
Keller Williams Elite Realty - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate
I have agree with Steve. After reading the original article and the comments that followed, the difference between comic and baskerville was 2.4%! That isn't enough of a difference to abandon a style. If however, using it makes you feel less authoritative, make th switch
Aug 12, 2012 05:41 AM #86
Rainmaker
650,137
Stephanie/Bob The Ruiz/Miller Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Thanks Dick, we would never have given a thought to how fonts are perceived except readability.

Aug 12, 2012 05:59 AM #87
Rainer
152,142
Robert Sole
REM Inspections LLC - Winter Springs, FL

I like to use nice neet fonts for most things.  I will use arial most of the time but have found that on the web, Tahoma looks a little neeter.  I did choose Comic Sans for the page headings on my new web site though and think it sets things off nicely.  I don't think it is enough to turn anyone away though.

Aug 12, 2012 06:17 AM #88
Rainmaker
387,412
John DL Arendsen
ON THE LEVEL General Contractor, Crest Homes Factory Built Housing Dealer & Developer & TAG Real Estate Sales & Inves... - Leucadia, CA
Contractor, RE Brk, Factory Built Home Dealer/Devl

My it’s interesting how opinions vary. I recently read that writing in a red or blue Comic sans showed readers that you were a happy, positive, successful and free thinking individual with loads of self confidence and self esteem and usually tended to be independently wealthy and uncaring about how people viewed you. Kinda reminds me of watching NBC Evening News for awhile and then switching over to FOX News. LOL


Never giving up is a life sentence  

 

 

Never giving up is a life sentence for which there is no escape.


for which there is no escape.

Aug 12, 2012 05:48 PM #89
Anonymous
Velda

I use TREBUCHET most of the time but when it isn't available, I use Arial and on occasion Verdana. I used to use comic a lot, but got tired of it.  I read an article a few months back about comic by this professional writer and she is a fanatic when business people use comic. It just drives her nuts.  I really don't like any of the serif fonts.

Aug 13, 2012 07:10 AM #90
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Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Dick - I never much thought about it but interesting read.  I do find particular fonts (especially the really large ones) rather irritating.  I see them once in awhile in comments.  There's no doubt in my mind that there is a perception that some fonts are more "professional" than others.  Perception ...

Aug 13, 2012 08:54 AM #91
Rainmaker
1,764,145
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International - Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

Somehow I missed this (but caught it on Tammy's).  What is the default font here?  I'll have to scan the comments later.

I've always disliked comic sans.  I think it looks fluffy and unprofessional and I've felt that way for years.  I am not surprised at all by the study because I believe the same thing...I take the writer less seriously and I have less respect for them.  (Don't misinterpret that I don't respect you, because I think you overcome it w/ your content).  but, I agree, why handicap yourself?

I wish they had included some other fonts and I'd like to know how the one here ranks.  But, in my opinion, here's what's important - look professional and be easy to read.  (And, of course when you want to be silly you can add in pictures, funny words and even revert to comic sans).  But that would never be my default.

BTW, it would be interesting to "run s study" on which fonts got reblogged more on AR.

Aug 13, 2012 09:09 AM #92
Rainmaker
1,764,145
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International - Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

LOL...this is kind of like staging a house...best to be neutral and non polarizing.

Aug 13, 2012 09:14 AM #93
Rainmaker
233,626
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

So, I thought I was the only one that likes verdana? Must be a real estate thang...

Aug 13, 2012 11:50 AM #94
Rainmaker
940,652
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

I LOVE the information I learn here on Active Rain, and will mend my font ways.

Aug 14, 2012 08:12 AM #95
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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663

Thanks Dick, I missed this one until Tammy mentioned it today in her post.

Aug 14, 2012 02:41 PM #96
Rainmaker
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Curtis Van Carter
Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley, Yountville Napa Valley - Yountville, CA
Napa Valley's Broker Extraordinaire in Yountville

Dick

Ditto on the very interesting read and I too found this from the comment on Tammy's post. cheers cvc

Aug 15, 2012 08:35 AM #97
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