Edit: to every new commenter saying that "designers should empathize with people different from you" - I fully agree. That's a primary facet of design imo. However this article could have been "why comic sans is actually useful" instead of "why you're a jerk who hates dislexic people if you don't think it's a good typeface".
Most reactions on here are to the article, not tolerance. Calling us "ableist" for not liking a font is a stretch. Just present a case for why it's a good font and leave it there, not everything has to be political, and I think most of us are tired of every medium article and tweet that makes the world seem that way.
Re: edit — Yes, exactly.
Yeah but then it wouldn't get half as much attention...
Jesus Christ, give me a break.
Everything is offensive 2k17
(not sure if your frustration is with the term or it's application to the situation, but figured I'd include here so people know the term is real.)
When I used to look at these scrappy printed signs with wing dings and Comic Sans directing people to where the bathroom is, or that there is a $10 dollar minimum for credit cards, I just thought it was lazy but functional. Little did I know that these Part-Time Microsoft Word Designers® were actually carrying the torch for Accessibility, Social Justice & Equality in a world torn apart by aesthetics.
The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
Nobody is discriminating against dyslexic people by criticizing the way a typeface was designed. Those a two different things.
Ever heard someone say "We should ban Comic Sans so people with dyslexia won't be able to access knowledge."? Probably not. Why? Because this is not the point.
It's really sad to go on Designer News — a community of people who ostensibly solve problems for people by empathizing — and see people outright dismissing an article about making things more accessible.
Is it discrimination to hate Comic Sans discrimination in and of itself? No. (Also: are headlines hyperbolic?)
Is it discrimination to not care about, or design for, people with dyslexia or other reading / visual / learning / etc disabilities? You're goddamn right it is.
There's a reason screen readers exist, HTML markup has semantics and people use icons to accompany text: there are people who don't experience the world as you do, who need these extra aids or affordances. So care about it.
I think many of us are more critical on the way the article was written rather than the actual content. A more positive worded article that would have related the positive features Comic Sans to persons with dyslexia while mentions the availability of OpenDyslexia and Comic Neue without shaming anyone would have fared much better.
I don't get that feeling… a lot of the reactions here feel absolutist and dismissive in the same way the original article is. The top comment (with 14 upvotes!) just says "Jesus Christ, give me a break" in response to the word "ableist".
Well exactly. The people that upvoted are angry that the author decided to label people that dislike Comic Sans that way. From Wikipedia:
Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities.
This critique has everything to do with tone and choice of words and less to do with the ideas that are presented.
Well, I was certainly dismissive because the article is dismissive and trollish and obviously a rant. The last line of it is "Get the fuck over yourself."
and see people outright dismissing an article about making things more accessible
Because accessibility is no longer the flavour du jour.
First we had the era where you were a shite designer if you used Flash
Then we had the era where you were a shite designer if you used tables
Then we had the era where you were a shite designer is you didn't pass HTML validation tests
Then we had the era where you were a shite designer if your stuff wasn't accessible
Then we had the era where you were a shite designer if you didn't use AJAX
Then we had the era where you were a shite designer if you worked on anything other than phone apps.
Well, that's what's sad, I guess. Of the entire list of things in your comment, "accessible" is the only one that's timeless—it's a general design/development principle and not tied to a specific technology.
Agree, but I think all this just follows the money. There was a period where there was a lot of money to be made selling accessibility to companies with dusty websites, now the money is made selling apps to them.
This article isn't about discrimination in design. My dad has profound dyslexia, but he isn't exasperatedly yelling at his colleagues at work that they need to write everything in Comic Sans at 16pt on green stock. He sure as hell isn't calling everyone else around him selfish assholes because they don't.
There are appropriate font choices for someone with dyslexia to use. If Comic Sans is the one this person finds to be the best fit for her, she should speak with her professor about getting an exception or finding a solution that can satisfy everyone. We don't need to start using an inappropriate font like Comic Sans because some people with dyslexia find it to be easier to read. There is no discussion on that subject. To accommodate those users, we find an appropriate design solution, we don't just slap some bullshit on it because one dyslexic college girl who has clearly done no research on designing for dyslexia finds it to be easier to read than other fonts that come with most computers.
In fact, the writer of this article did do a little bit of research on the subject and decided that she needed to severely misrepresent the British Dyslexia Association to make it seem like Comic Sans is a preferred choice. She says:
Comic Sans is one of a few typefaces recommended by influential organizations like the British Dyslexia Association
In reality, it's one of the few typefaces they recommend for use based on fonts that come with Microsoft Office. Of course, our article writer completely ignores the fact that they don't even know whether or not font choice plays a significant role and actually lean towards it not being that important for people with dyslexia.
We asked dyslexia forum members. Only a few people responded. So it may not be a burning issue for most dyslexic people. On-screen and print preferences may differ. A DSA Assessor noted student preference for 1.5 line spacing. It is likely that line length, line spacing and font size are just as important.
Either way, being told that I need to "get the fuck over myself" because I think Comic Sans is used inappropriately in most contexts is fucking ridiculous. There are enoughdamnarticles written about this subject that don't suggest we are all pieces of shit for hating a poorly designed font that isn't even that good for dyslexia.
The way this person is using Comic Sans is actually very distracting for a majority of readers. Reading Comic Sans in black on green stock is actually very, very taxing on the eyes. In fact, for someone who suffers from deuteranopia, it would be extremely uncomfortable or even impossible to read and it is just as common as dyslexia. Who do I accommodate? The person who has found a niche, inappropriate solution and refuses to seek out better, more appropriate solutions while telling me to go fuck myself? Give me a break.
It's the accusation and click-bait that people are annoyed it. Such an unnecessarily angry tone.
Somebody has too much free time ...
For refined barbarians.
It's an article with decent content. Too bad the absolutist and clickbait (throughout the whole article) writing style got in the way of communicating what it is suppose to.
The article could've been used to let more people in on how Comic Sans helps people instead of bein uppity of how we are "ableist" scum and how we should "get over ourselves".
It's awesome Comic Sans has its uses, but get the fuck off your high horse and spread knowledge in a positive way, not a destructive one.
Whoever wrote this article lost the opportunity to actually help someone like his sister instead of being a condescending ass.
It’s odd that designers, who by trade are meant to be competent at empathising with a wide range of people, needs and circumstances, aren’t able to deploy those skills to understand the challenges that some people face.
Are you basing your comment on the content of the article or of the comments here?
The comments. I understand that the tone of it is something that a lot of folks here found grating, but the story behind the article is one worth hearing. For me it was useful to hear what the real-world challenges someone might face. I now have a bit better understanding of how the snobbery around a typeface might impact someone with a genuine need to use it.
Despite the article's honeypot title, it makes a good point regarding Comic Sans' (and others') accessibility in dyslexic use. Would y'all be similarly criticizing colorblindness testing on GUIs?
Funny to see the demo—which fetishizes empathy-in-design or whatever is the new humanitarian buzzword—revile this content.
If that colorblindness testing on GUIs was somehow represented by an article that was simultaneously clickbait-y, misrepresenting its sources and telling me to fuck off, yes, I'd definitely criticize it because it would be useless. This article sucks.
"There are fonts that have been specifically created for people with dyslexia, all of which lack the clean minimalism or elegant balance and perfect kerning favored by typography snobs." (emphasis mine)
So rather than saying typographers might want to consider the needs of dyslexics when designing typefaces, they get cast off as snobs for creating well-designed typefaces.
Pretty much sums up the tone of the article: antagonistic and accusing, rather than informative and empathic.
I think the article aim at people who mocking Comic Sans because it's 'cool' or 'hip' to do that, without knowing any background about the font original purpose (and let's face it, there are quite a number of people like that) but to say that those people discriminate against the disable? That's a bit too far. :/
The content of article is quite good relating to Dyslexia, though like some people said here, it could worded better - and that title is inexcusably, and unnecessary clickbait.
It brings me great joy to know that what I was going to post in here after making it half-way through the article has already been posted.