The Comic Sans Trick

Just in time for the March Slice of Life Story Challenge, and also at that time of year when your students (if they are old enough to type) might be ready for a boost to increase engagement, stamina, and volume, the internet has proved itself useful and has given us the Comic Sans trick.

But before I tell you about it, you have to understand the context. In case you weren’t aware, Comic Sans–that playful, childlike font that your students probably love to use in multiple colors—provokes annoyance, ire, even flat out rage in many people, especially writers.

Comic Sans, I have always been taught, is the worst font. This font is the butt of office jokes, and there are entire Facebook pages and websites devoted to banning comic sans completely. Articles in respected news outlets and magazines have reported on how much we love to hate this font (see Huffington Post’s coverage here, the New Yorker Magazine here, and the BBC here).

This amazing website is devoted to all the reasons why nobody should be using Comic Sans, just a few of which include:

  • It is a comical font, intended for children, not for serious information.
  • It can be difficult to read, in part because it is a “sans serif” font, not well suited for many lines of text.
  • It uses lines at varying angles to form the letters, and there’s little to no uniformity in the design, making it appear disheveled and messy.
  • Whether deserved or not, many will judge you (harshly) for using it.

So where am I headed with this? What can Comic Sans do to help you and your students?

Despite how much people despise this typeface, it turns out that if you use Comic Sans to draft you will write more and you will write faster. I’m not kidding. Try it.

I didn’t believe it, so I tried it today. I wrote double my usual word count in half the time. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to take my word for it.

This article, titled Get Over Yourself and Start Writing in Comic Sans explains some of the reasoning behind why this trick works, and so does this one, titled The Font You Hate Might Actually Save You.

So, as you head into the March Slice of Life Challenge, if you find yourself needing a little boost in productivity, there you have it: Comic Sans. You’re welcome.