How A Typeface Can Ruin Credibility

October 21, 2003

So what site would you trust more?

Ruth Lilly Medical Library or WelchWeb

I guess I bring this up, because lots of organizations have such a burning need to get on the web, that they toss out professional design. The Ruth Lilly site was very well designed, but it’s use of “Comic Sans” completely throws off the credibility of the institute. When you think professional, scholarly, and knowledgeable, Comic Sans shouldn’t even come into the picture.

In their style tag (that BTW, was put inside the body tag):

font: 12px “Comic Sans MS”, “Gill Sans”, sans-serif;

If Gill Sans was used instead, it would have been a very dramatic improvement. Gill is a very modern-looking typeface and would be far better than what it visible now. Their content is good, the design is good, just the typeface throws everything off. When in doubt use something other than Comic Sans. While you don’t have to use Times New Roman, use one of the other “professional looking” basic fonts on most operating systems.

_See Also: Reading Design _