By Subject


Connection Machine Photo
Engraved Photos
Pad One
Black Rice
Gabe Serbian
Inside The Machines
CDC 6600
Reading List 2021
The Cobras Were in Bloom
Baseball Card
Neo Art Deco
Model Ship
Jeanne Mammen
Reading List
Machine Vision Camera
Favorite Movies

CNC Comic Sans

I grew to absolutely despise the typeface Comic Sans back in the mid-to-late 90s because of CAD. I didn't realize anyone disliked it for aesthetic reasons for many years.

I had a job where I had to import customer artwork, from Illustrator, into a CAD/CAM system ("MasterCAM"). There was a utility that converted bezier curves to arcs & line segments because that's all the CAD system could deal with. The utility tended to made a mess, which I had to clean up by hand in the CAD system. It had to be clean geometry so I could run tool paths around everything, to drive the milling machine, to cut brass stamps out of the artwork. The brass stamps were for hot-foil stamping in these awesome power presses that dated back (mostly) to the 30s and 40s.

(The theory was that this CNC milling system was a cheap in-house alternative to sending stamps out to be made with the traditional EDM / photographic process. I doubt it was actually worth it. I wasn't involved in the decision to buy it.)

Comic Sans was not very cooperative to this bezier -> arcs translation, and I spent many an hour tweaking the little area where the horizontal lines go through the vertical stems and leave a little bump on the other side. That little bump never came through cleanly attached to the rest of the letter.

Little fucking bumps.

All that time for a barely visible detail that the customer probably wasn't even aware of.

So fast forward almost a decade - when I started seeing anti-Comic Sans rants all over the web, I thought: "Hell Yeah!", then realized they couldn't possibly hate it for the reasons I did.

My enemy's enemy is my friend I suppose. Even in type.

Unrelated to Comic Sans, but related to that CAD/CAM job - I was allowed to use the machine for my own artwork at one point and made a few nice pieces.

More brass pieces.