The Curse of Sin City


They did it again. They used Comic Sans in a Sin City poster. This time, for the final movie poster. Gah.

First, go take a look at the final poster.

Yep, that’s a pretty nice poster. Now, look again. Notice the details below the logotype.


That’s Comic Sans MS, a.k.a. “Lemonade 10¢” right there.

Now this is how the poster should have looked:


Such a painful mistake! Why oh why must the Curse of Comic Sans still roam the realm of graphic design?

Let’s just hope the font is banished from the actual movie.

19 thoughts on “The Curse of Sin City”

  1. Jonas Rabbe says:

    I must admit it took me a few close examinations to see the difference between the two fonts in the last two images. Having discovered the differences, however, I can appreciate the more “angular” look of the second font.

    While I can now see the merit of the second font, I think that the differences are minute enough to only aggravate “die-hard” typography fanatics. Of course it would have been cool if they didn’t simply say “hey, this font has comic in the name and the movie is based on a comic, let’s use that.” The way the world works, however, there will always be things to irk you, and getting worked up over 5 lines of text on a movie poster (plus the date at the bottom of course) is probably not worth it.

  2. Raven says:

    This is one of those times when we can apply the rule “Comic Sans is not always bad”… I actually quite like it there. Better than what you chose, looks really weird.

    In this case it has nice personality to it, your way it has nothing except for the fact that you can say: “Look, i didn’t use Comic Sans MS”.

    Just my $.02

  3. Joen says:


    You may be right, that this is not a problem to everyone. But it certainly is to most graphic designers. I realize it is visually less of a problem when seen at this resolution, but if I had the poster in a larger resolution I think you’d agree with me more.


    Thanks for your reply. I can see what you mean, but as i told Jonas above, the problem would be more obvious had the image been in a larger resolution.

    Also, this post is, in a way, a follow-up to a previous article about Sin City and Comic Sans I wrote. Take a look at the pictures there, and tell me if you still agree Comic Sans is the way to go.

    Maybe my choice of font was not as good as it could have been. The point is, as an employed graphic designer that makes font decisions every day, I shouldn’t have any woe at all with this final movie poster.

  4. Raven says:

    Heh, sorry, but I still like the usage of Comic Sans MS. I believe that it’s quite nicely used here. Why? Well, the poster and everything else communicates some message to the audience, tries to leave an impression. And I think the poster accomplishes that quite well. I asked couple of friends who don’t work in design area – normal people, and they like the Comic Sans version better. Even in the previous post. I can even tell you why.

    The thing is that while your solution is sleek and good-looking it fails to impress me. It’s not unique look, it doesn’t have that kind of feeling to it as the Comic Sans version. For example, if you get your house decorated by designer it looks nice, really nice – it’s modern, sleek, cool and all that, but it’s not personal. He won’t usually put pictures of your family all around the place, he won’t put your personal stuff where you think it should be. So the last touches in decorating your house are up to you. The same thing here, you may have a cool, sleek, perfect poster but will anyone notice it? I wouldn’t. Oh ok, nice poster, so what? But the Comic Sans draws me to it, I remember the poster, looks quite unique, makes me feel good. Maybe that’s just me, but that’s how I feel about it.

    (I’ve seen the big version, I’m interested in movies a lot so this is not first discussion I had about the poster… ;))

  5. Lea says:

    Well, the question that begs to be asked is–if they were trying to go for an “authentic” comic book look, why couldn’t they have used an authentic comic book typeface? I’m assuming their design team had a generous enough budget that they could afford a $50 font typeface that actually graces real comic book pages, rather than the much-reviled Comic Sans font.

    And even better–couldn’t they have manipulated Frank Miller’s own lettering? I mean, come on. If the budget’s there, they should have done that. Choosing Comic Sans just seems a lazy choice. I’m not saying it’s so horrid that it calls for the end of the world, but it’s just plain lazy.

  6. Joen says:

    “Lazy”, that’s exactly the world I’m looking for!

    Raven, I appreciate and respect your opinion. I can even accept that you (and others) genuinely like this choice of font. There are uses for it, and places where it is appropriate. I just don’t think this is one of those cases.

    As Lea above says, it just seems lazy. Comic Sans is there on all computers with Windows. Somehow it just seems “cheap” to see it on this poster.

    Had they just spent a little time, they could have even found a free alternative — that’s what I did in my choice. I admit this choice is not necessarily lengths better, than the original, but atleast it IS a comic-book font. The very fact that it’s freely downloaded from Blambot Comic Fonts alone illustrates the amount of good alternatives to Comic Sans.

    Lea, I completely agree – it’s actually quite a surprise they’re not using Frank Millers own lettering, especially considering how true other aspects of the “look and feel” seems to be.

  7. Gareth says:

    Ha ha comic sans is indeed a curse. how can these people even have it on there computers, its is nearly everyone’s most hated font.

  8. Pingback: random notes
  9. Tom Werner says:

    For a big budget film poster I would expect them to find a professional comic book lettering artist to physically write the text in question, and use that. When you have money, you can go that extra step towards the unique and say to hell with a ready made font altogether. That’s what I would have liked to see.

    BTW, your site design and monthly installments are top-notch. I’ll definitely be back.

  10. Joen says:

    I would expect them to find a professional comic book lettering artist to physically write the text in question, and use that.

    Exactly. What boggles me is that this seems somehow to already be the case with text in the trailer. Atleast in the end, it says “Coming soon” set in a pretty decent comicbook font. One should think they could’ve used that…

    BTW, your site design and monthly installments are top-notch. I?ll definitely be back.

    Thanks a lot! I appreciate it.

  11. Jonas Rabbe says:

    I just followed the dullneon : random notes trackback on this post, and he links to the font joke with the title attribute “Maybe the barman shot the Serif”. Heh! Made my day.

    (I had to let someone know, and dullneon : random notes doesn’t allow comments).

  12. Joen says:

    Haha, good one! I actually had to read past “Serif” a few times before it dawned on me.

  13. luxuryluke says:

    Great site! Got turned onto it through BBonsai. Thought I’d mention it.

    [more on subject]: Why don’t they just switch everything to Hobo and be done with Comic Sans?

  14. Joen says:

    Great site! Got turned onto it through BBonsai. Thought I’d mention it.

    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    [more on subject]: Why don’t they just switch everything to Hobo and be done with Comic Sans?

    You mean Hobo ? Well, if that’s the one you mean, then I’m actually slightly in favor of Comic Sans. I mean, I like the idea of “comic book” lettering, which I’m sure was the idea of the designers. They just didn’t pick the right comic book font.

  15. chris says:

    looks the exact same, either way.

  16. ?lvaro says:

    Only a curiosity:

    Miller?s Dark Night Retuns lettering was one of the more important references of Connare when he was designing Comic Sans

    ?I started (…) trying to make the capitals in a similar form as the lettering used in DC, Marvel and all other company?s comic books. The ?Dark Knight Returns? a Batman book was one of the books I referenced often.


    Maybe it is the Curse of Comic Sans, whose evil force returns to the man that made it possible…


  17. Greg Epkes says:

    Anyone know what font is in the red reading Sin City? Forgive me if this has been mentioned already.

  18. Joen says:


    I think that font was drawn by Frank Miller himself, to be the Sin City logo. My best guess is it’s not a font, per se. You might be able to find a font that looks like it, but not one you can use to write “Sin City” making it look like this.

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