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The DEV Team

Comic Sans is now the default reading font

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・2 min read

Edit: Disregard this post. This did not work, for technical reasons. Rolling it all back.


Before I get into the details of this announcement:

Logged in users will still have Serif as the default for now, but you can change to comic sans in /settings/misc.


It's impossible to please everyone.

When I started this site a few years ago, the basic idea was simple: If Medium, a huge startup valued in the hundreds of millions, can't even offer syntax highlighting in articles, there's a lot of room for improvement in this space.

There is immense value in shared community, automatic distribution to followers, and a consistent reading experience, hence Medium's success; but if Medium is the best we can do, we were in trouble.

Originally, the design concept was: Make it look like Medium, but offer syntax highlighting—then figure stuff out from there. That's why I chose a serif font as the dev.to default.

Over time, as our platform and community have grown (now serving millions of visitors every month), we had a lot of demand for configuration such as night mode and sans serif fonts, which we recently delivered on:

Users can now adjust their reading experience based on their preferences, but there was still the issue of determining what the most sensible default should be for the site's reading font. Serif is typically better for reading sentences and paragraphs, Sans serif is typically better for skimming, and there is a ton of personal preference variation baked in.

We made the courageous decision of choosing a default nobody specifically said not to choose: Comic Sans.

Comic Sans is "a casual, non-connecting script inspired by comic book lettering, intended for use in informal documents and children's materials."

What better to match the positive, playful nature of our site than this fabulous font developed in 1994.

By total coincidence, Stack Overflow has incorporated Comic Sans into their design today as well. The world must be coming around on the font.

Happy coding!

P.S.

I was pretty hard on Medium earlier. If you want to write about why you're leaving New York or exposing a geo-political dick pic scandal, it's proven to be the ideal platform. It's also great if you love random pay walls on content that used to be free. It has many other great qualities like invasive popups, but I don't need to get into everything now.

Posted on Apr 1 '19 by:

ben profile

Ben Halpern

@ben

A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.

The DEV Team

The team behind this very platform. 😄

Discussion

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I am now unironically using the comic sans setting and will be sad if it is removed

 
 

Congrats! - read the email came here to read this :D. Love how this community is nice, funny, and friendly place. I looked at the doggo (she is a cutie), and thought well this is a nice place. Then came here and saw couple of posts from professionals in big companies like MS then thought well you can really learn here and also be up to date. I think you're doing an amazing job here.

 

Protip: If you can't see the pages rendered in Comic Sans, then you're part of the B testing group.

 
 

Really nice adding comic sans.

it doesn't use it on mobile though

 

I was actually really down for this change.

 
 

Thanks for trying! I guess a good thing to be a victim of your success.