It's an inspirational picture: Pope Benedict XVI, dressed in white and carrying a large gold cross, reaches down to bless a tiny baby, carried by a young mom, in front of an epic religious fresco.
The photo — which appears in a 62-page e-book published by the Vatican to commemorate the career of Benedict upon his retirement — is spoiled, however, by the caption underneath it (click to enlarge). It's written in Comic Sans, the balloon-y, cartoon-y typeface that's regarded as a design faux pas by art directors and other creative professionals.
The caption reads, " Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction."
But because the entire book is written in Comic Sans, the sentence feels sarcastic and jokey.
As its name suggests, Comic Sans attempts to replicate the look of words inside the speech bubbles that appear in comics. As such, anything written in Comic Sans instantly appears trivial.
Such is the hatred of Comic Sans among art directors that the typeface has taken on an ironic hipster symbolism.
- There's a web site devoted to banning its use .
- There's a web site devoted to explaining to design newbies why Comic Sans should never be used under any circumstances.
- It has a Know Your Meme page .
- The BBC even investigated it back in 2010.
Not that the Vatican has any reason to be concerned about any of this, however.
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