Microsoft Creative Typography

Batman and Watchmen inspired Comic Sans says proud creator


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

January 27, 2017 | 2 min read

Vincent Connare, the typographic engineer at Microsoft who created Comic Sans, has proudly revealed his comic book inspirations behind the much-maligned font which has grown, in its own right, into a batsymbol of poor design (see The Drum a la Comic Sans above).

The Drum Comic Sans

The Drum Comic Sans

Connare helped create Trebuchet and Web Dings, but noticed during regular visits to Soho art galleries that the best work is the work that makes people look twice, arguably a trait that crosses over into the realm of advertising.

He was tasked with creating a playful font for Microsoft Bob, on his initial concept, he said: “I looked at Batman and the Watchmen and tried to draw on the computer something that looked similar to that without copying that. Just by looking at comic books and characters.

“My boss didn’t really like the font and felt it should be more typographic, I argued, 'no, it should be weird'. It stood out and it wasn’t the boring font in a school book.”

The font never made the cut for Microsoft Bob but found its way onto Macs in 1996, solidifying its path to infamy.

He recalled in the following years, seeing his font feature on beach towels, store fronts, war memorials and everything in between, a prominence that necessitated a backlash from typographers.

Watch Great Big Story’s full video interview here.

Microsoft Creative Typography

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