My friend Maddy gave me an interesting challenge some time back, to find examples of comic sans being used ‘well.’ The general reputation of it is of a font which everyone loves to hate, and I had some difficulty getting past the pancake people opinions on the internet to seek out some acceptable examples. In the end, Maddy was happy and I was left pondering. I actually found the font used quite aesthetically in some applications, which pointed at:
a) Every typeface, colour or treatment can be used ‘well’ to create aesthetically appealing stuff.
b) ‘well’ and ‘aesthetically appealing’ can be linked to some basic art grammar, but these terms are so subjective that one can be sure the examples I found will not be universally liked, even without prejudice.
Unlike artists, designers need to keep personal preferences at bay. Difficult, but possible. No my-baby-syndrome should affect our judgements either. Design is for people and not the aesthetically tuned micrority who can identify Gotham from Avenir.
These thoughts often come up in discussions at work, discussions that resemble the legendary Ouroboros.
Incidentally, the colour wheel is a wheel.
Anyway, a useful bit I’ve tried to internalize with regards to colour came from one of the most open-minded and (therefore?) creative persons at work: No colour is good or bad or even appropriate on its own, even in a context. It’s the proportion in which it’s used, the other colours around it (the palette), the application (physical prints, textures, the screen), and what light does to it.
Funnily, this colour-logic applies to everything in life!