Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
You know that uncomfortable feeling when you stare at a page littered with Comic Sans? Yeah, we know — it’s almost too unpleasant to recount. We could take a few arbitrary stabs at why its so picked on. Is it the childish curvature? Its bubbly, don't-take-me-too-seriously attitude? Maybe.
But, let’s say there was a reason, a scientific explanation if you will, why you loathe that certain font. Could there actually be a reputable claim on why some type elicits an emotional response that isn’t solely based on aesthetic?
According to The Next Web, the way we visually digest font is based on something dubbed a "scan path," which is essentially a build-up of pauses and scans. A recent study by psychologist Kevin Larson revealed that people who looked at a “bad design” versus a “good design” of The New Yorker actually felt worse while reading the mag, and it was physically visible — the readers actually frowned. The folks who read the good layout, however, read with quickness and ease, and boasted a higher cognitive focus.
Another association with fonts are the links they have to culture. For example, many people see Helvetica and think of the IRS, because it's been used many times in tax forms and on banking sites. So, the next time a typeface makes you feel a little queasy, remember: It's not you, it's the font.