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Comic Sans Can Make You Smarter. No, Really

Finally, someone’s found the positive side of Comic Sans.

LiveScience reports that a study in the journal Cognition asserts that people are able to learn and remember things better when they’re in odd, more difficult to read fonts. The idea is that the fonts force the students to work harder and thereby help them retain the information.

Here’s how they did the test: Material — they made up names of fake alien species — was presented to test subjects in clean, easy-to-read Arial and in Comic Sans MT and Bodoni MT. The volunteers read the lists for 90 seconds, then they were distracted for 15 minutes, with a test following that. The “disfluent” lists — the ones in Comic Sans and Bodoni — produced an average of 14% better recall.

And the they tried it with real students, using Haettenschweiler, Monotype Corsiva, and Comic Sans Italicized, and putting real classroom presentations in those fonts. Result: Better grades.

What this means is that Comic Sans may be hideous, but it has its place in the world besides angry screeds by the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. If you’re a student and your professor starts to put material in funky fonts, you’ll know why.

Source: LiveScience


  1. pandoras.lunchbox says:

    I’ll be sure to write my thesis in Wingdings, make sure they REALLY read it.

  2. MissM says:

    When I click on the livescience article link, Chrome warns me of malware. When I typed the site is down. That was my experience and I wanted to share it. I look forward to the empowerment of Comic Sans 😉

  3. Stacy says:

    Connor Diemand-Yauman is studying psychology, not typography. This study is extremely flawed. I don’t care enough to go run out and buy an issue of Cognition, so I’m basing all of my analysis off of the article.

    If you type and print the fonts used, you will notice that Arial is one of the worst looking fonts. It’s thinner than all of the others. As a matter of fact, it’s all evenly thin. When printed in paragraphs of information, it doesn’t have any serifs or line height deviations to break up the letters.

    Comic Sans, while a sans-serif font, has letters that lean back and forth. This helps break it up, and keeps your eyes attention. The other serif fonts do the same thing (break up the letters).

    All this study says is Comic Sans, Bodoni, Haettenschweiler, and Corsiva are all thicker fonts than Arial, and print better. Oh, and that ill informed psychology students who do half-assed work can get published.

  4. Andrew says:

    Just to be the first to post relevant comic: