Comic Sans Fights Back

Last week there was a kerfuffle over Standing Cloud’s use of the Papyrus font for their logo. It was kind of cute and endearing and my pals at Standing Cloud reacted with appropriate contrition over offending the font police.

Today I came across a brilliant McSweeney article (thanks to @daveschappell) on Comic Sans titled I’m Comic Sans, Asshole. My wife Amy is sitting next to me as I type this laughing her ass off. As a special bonus, our friend Comic Sans makes fun of Bauhaus and then goes and parties with Papyrus.


  • Omgosh, Brad….how you could post on the resurgence of the angry Comic Sans without Cleveland Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert's Comic Sans-fueled tactical nuke of Lebron James?!

    Such a funny post…thanks

    • Lance

      Gilbert was what first came to mind for me too. I think he did more for Comic Sans than for the Cavs with that letter!

  • David

    Guys – I tend to agree. I'm not a font nut in the least, so probably didn't know what Comic Sans was until Gilbert's scathing takedown of LeBron, where most of the blog talk focused around the font used…..Comic Sans

  • xtranormal and Comic sans…

    • Rocco Chappie

      hearing the Tokyo Gangster line… priceless…

  • As a designer with old school typography training this is HILARIOUS! Thx for posting!

  • Thanks for posting this, Brad. Glad you thought our response was endearing! 😉 If you want to find out the results of the logo kerfluffle, check us out on Twitter:

    • I'm not buying it, Standing Cloud. Any Web 2.0 startup worth it's salt, would never diss honest feedback. That kinds of honest feedback, is worth it's weight in Gold – you should never be dismissive, or ridicule people like myself, who honestly just want to help you out by giving honest feedback. Even if Brad's wife laughs at us.

      Kiss of death, leading indicator. Arrogance, BAD. Not listening to your market. etc. STUPID.

      • Steve – I'm perplexed. Standing Cloud wasn't dismissive of the feedback about the font. I assume you read the other post – they now have a new logo design and I assume it's going up shortly. I've seen it and it looks nice and clean.

        I (Brad) was poking fun at everyone's obsession over papyrus and comic sans.

  • Very funny 😀 I will hang that sign in my office.

  • Hey Brad,

    Not looking to give you, or Standing Cloud a hard time. Yes, I knew they had launched a logo design contest on

    My point – perhaps i was too harsh about expressing it – was that startups should respect the power of great design in helping them to successfully launch a new, embryonic business.

    In fact (i would guess that you'd agree?) good design – or more concisely, great design – is one of those "unspoken filters" on the internet. Who wants to look at an ugly site?

    So if you want to launch a "hot" internet business – regardless of the quality or usefulness of the content – it has to look GREAT. So that your visitors/users don't leave for superficial reasons. It turns out to be a pretty good filter, i think.

    But often, natural inclination of technical people is sometimes to pay short shrift to design, thinking the quality of their web application is pre-imminent. Which is true on an academic level; but it neglects the "real world" – aka marketing psychology.

    So on the web, you have to "get it" that appearance IS important – VERY important. Or you don't get to play.

    Heck, look at the beautiful site we're conversing on…. That banner, and the overall slickness of the site didn't happen by accident.

    So my point is, no one should criticize TechCrunch users for putting down the look and feel of Standing Cloud. That was some great, terrifically valuable market feedback. Even though, at a design level, Standing Cloud's sins may be minimal. But it's really much more, than just choosing the wrong font.

    Standing Cloud under-invested in design. And by choosing a $300 99designs contest to fix it, they under-invested again… ESPECIALLY since they are venture funded and therefore can afford much more. They should at LEAST have gone with a $3,500 custom template and corporate identity development… but probably a $10-15k, well-managed investment, in order to create a super-slick site would be more appropriate.

    There is a reason that designers are much more expensive than web developers (programmers). It is a more rare talent, and harder to get the right designer when you need them. It's a more valuable skill, according to the free market.

    re: 99Designs and the controversy there about crowd-sourced graphic design. I am not "against" 99designs, in fact i'm one of their top contest holders. I was featured on CBS San Francisco, in a co-interview with their amazing founder (Matt) 2 years ago. I'm a big fan of starting that way for small project, and think that 99designs helps many designers to build a portfolio and a customer base.

    But… 99Designs is more appropriate for a simple logo design, when you don't that the bucks to hire a logo designer. Standing Cloud should be investing in looking as sharp as a cloud firm could look, not going for the cheapest possible logo design option, imho. Only a bootstrapped firm, or F&F funded firm, should have to resort to crowd-sourced design – and then, only as an emergency measure. Otherwise, they are not investing their resources wisely.

    Most of all, i can see that Standing Cloud is a terrifc startup, and hey, they can weather a few licks. This won't slow them down in the slightest. What caught my interest was i think engineers often underestimate the power and usefulness of great design, in launching their ventures.

    Again, this is just my opinion, and is presented with all due respect. Constructively, I hope!

  • All the way, Comic Sans.

  • All the way, Comic Sans.