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Trump’s old lawyers really, really love Comic Sans

Their continued use of the font in official business is the typographical equivalent of making balloon animals at an impeachment hearing.

Trump’s old lawyers really, really love Comic Sans
[Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore]

Breaking typography news: The latest twist in the Ukraine scandal involves the most-maligned (or perhaps just most-pitied?) typeface in the world.

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When the House Intelligence Committee requested that two of Rudy Guiliani’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruma, present documentation regarding their involvement in the Ukraine scandal, former Trump attorney John Dowd penned a letter explaining that such documents could not be provided in so tight a timeframe, and such information could breach attorney-client privilege.

And he wrote that document in Comic Sans. Yes, Dowd penned a legal letter to Congress in Comic Sans.

As absurd as it sounds to use such an intentionally juvenile font in relation to PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS, Trump’s former lawyers have a peculiar habit of using Comic Sans at the worst possible times—which, to be fair, is basically all the time for Trump.

John Dowd also chose the goofy font in 2018 while representing Trump in a letter to Robert Mueller.

And it’s not just Dowd! Back in 2017, Trump attorney Ty Cobb used Comic Sans to make a statement after Trump’s security adviser Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia. (Oh right, remember that?? Ukraine is only the 58,923rd scandal Trump has faced in office.)

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Trump and his associates are leaving an absurdist paper trail of delays and denials, penned in the least appropriate font imaginable for the situation.

The question is why? Perhaps it’s idiocy. Maybe Trump and his gang of inept associates are unaware that some fonts really are better for some situations, though science has shown that most humans perceive Comic Sans as innately silly. Perhaps it’s subterfuge, and Comic Sans is a red herring to get us talking about the absurd look of these communications rather than their absurd content. Or perhaps Comic Sans, a font that’s literally made for children, really is the right lettering to express the whines of Trump and associates caught red-handed doing something unethical or outright illegal.

In any case, perhaps one day we will see all the U.S. presidents lined up on plaques, their names rendered in a stoic Times New Roman or Trade Gothic. And right in the middle of it all will sit the name of that one incompetent reality show president that the schoolchildren can only remember for one reason, and one reason alone: his name is drawn in that silly font, Comic Sans. Oh, and he got super impeached.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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