We are not a lemonade stand!

We interrupt this road trip tale to showcase one of my favorite retirement gifts. I present to you the “no Comic Sans” coffee cup given me by Amber.

While we worked together less than a year, Amber and I bonded very quickly. One of the things we have in common is a dislike of the Comic Sans typeface. Finally, someone who understood!

My disdain for the font began more than a decade ago and was reinforced by a former co-worker’s insistence upon using it for my office file folders. The fact that she chose folders colored mauve – my least favorite hue and a shade common in the decorating palette my husband sarcastically refers to as “Country Blue Goose” – only added insult to injury.

Amber introduced me to bancomicsans.com, a website supporting a worldwide campaign to restrict use of the font. Begun in 1999 by Dave and Holly Combs, Indianapolis graphic designers who were forced by their employer to use the font in a publication for which they felt it was inappropriate, the movement has received international media attention. I have also learned of a counter effort, based in Salt Lake City, to support the font’s use specifically on Google sites.

Amber frequently brightened my day with hilarious examples of the inane ways people would use it in business communication. (One of our favorites can be seen here.) We would laugh together and then I would go bang my head against my office wall until I blacked out.

Seriously, people … it’s just WRONG to use this typeface on anything but documents related to circus clowns.

Scott has suggested that due to Aistream space limitations, I bring with us only one member of my vast and colorful coffee cup collection. “No Comic Sans” it is …


  1. Colleen
    Jul 23, 2012

    An excellent choice!

  2. Tammy
    Jul 27, 2012

    That is really funny. Definitely an inside joke for communications professionals.

  3. Janie
    Jul 28, 2012

    Yes, one of the things I enjoy most about working in communications is the way my colleagues and I share thoughts – and horror stories – about language- and writing-related gaffes (like the day I sent out a media release containing the word “public” – unfortunately without the “l” – while working at the Desert Botanical Garden. I still groan when I remember that and it’s been nearly 25 years ago.) What surprised me about the anti-Comic-Sans campaign was its widespread support, both geographically and across disciplines.

  4. Joe
    Aug 3, 2012

    I can’t believe you didn’t also bring along the framed, 8×10 color glossy of me that I gave you as a retirement gift. I have yours up in my office! 🙂 Hope you’re having a good time.

  5. Amber
    Aug 3, 2012

    Thanks for the love and here’s wishing you and your mug safe travels.

    On the road, when you and Scot pass a lemonade stand and the kids have picked Comic Sans for their font, you can congratulate them on their choice and let them know it must not ever join them in their adult business ventures.

  6. Janie
    Aug 3, 2012

    Joe – Of course I’m bringing your photograph! We’re still packing, my friend! In fact, tomorrow is either going to be a real bonding experience or Armageddon as we’ll be packing clothes. I have nearly convinced Scott I need twice as many bins as he does, but it is getting a bit testy 😉 So glad to see you here – J.

  7. Janie
    Aug 3, 2012

    Hi Amber – I thought you’d get a kick out of seeing our favorite anti-Comic Sans illustration. It still cracks me up. When I run across those lemonade stand kids, I’ll have Scott take my photo with them and send it to you! Thanks again for the mug – every time I use it I think of you and smile. Hugs, J.

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