Higgs Boson, often known as the God Particle, was the most important discovery in particle physics. It was discovered in 2012, and many researchers were excited to learn more about it. But did you know what font style was used to publish this great news?
The Higgs Boson particle was discovered at CERN in 2012. To much of the public’s dismay, the news was announced using the Comic Sans font and causing backlash from netizens on Twitter.
The History of Comic Sans
In the mid-1990s, many consumers began purchasing personal computers. And as expected, many of them didn’t know how to use it. Microsoft developed software to help first-time users navigate and learn how to use the computer. It was known as Microsoft Bob and was designed to mimic a home environment and assist users with learning basic tasks on the computer. (Source: UX Design)
Part of the software was Bob’s dog, Rover. Typographer Vincent Connare invented the typeface Comic Sans specifically for Rover’s speech bubbles. Connare felt that dogs don’t talk in Times New Roman. Hence he developed a more playful and friendly font similar to fonts used in comic books. (Source: Live Science)
It was intended to look like it was handwritten, and Connare specifically designed it to be more catchy for younger audiences. However, its development wasn’t completed by the time Bob came out and suffered his ill fate of not being well-received by the computer owners.
The font found its way as part of the Windows 95 Plus Pack release and was used in the comic movie program called 3D Movie Maker. Its popularity as a font rose since, according to Connare, it was designed to be less sophisticated and be more fun than what people are used to seeing in the newspapers. (Source: Fonts)
Why is Comic Sans Hated?
No one expected Comic Sans to become popular, not even its creator Connare. But in the years that followed its 1995 release, the font was heavily used in different written materials like signs, advertisements, billboards, and even in formal documents. (Source: Live Science)
David Combs and his wife Holly were graphic artists who studied typography and shared a distaste for the font. This resulted in the couple creating a movement and writing the Ban Comic Sans Manifesto. Their campaign gained global traction when other artists began to voice their shared contempt for the font. Since then, many people have been divided with their perception of the font. Some love them for their simplicity and look fun, while some dislike them because they feel that using the font in serious documents. (Source: UX Design)
Higgs Boson and Comic Sans
On July 4, 2012, a breakthrough discovery in particle physics. CERN presented the Higgs Boson discovery, which excited many in that field of study. While the science community was thrilled with this discovery, the public focused on something else. (Source: The Verge)
What the public noticed was the font used to present the significant finding regarding Higgs Boson. Many people were baffled why such an important scientific discovery was presented using the most non-professional font, Comic Sans. Connare agreed that using the font for the discovery wasn’t the best decision.
Interestingly enough, CERN announced in 2014 that all of its official communication channels would exclusively use Comic Sans. It is pretty controversial, but James Gillies, the Head of Communications of CERN, found that the font is the most effective way to communicate and relay information to the public. But apparently, this was a good April Fools’ Day publication from CERN. (Source: CERN)