Thousands of designers descended on Pasadena last week to attend the AIGA Design Conference. One of the highlights of the first day was a talk given by Liz Jackson, founder of The Disabled List, a disability-led, self advocacy organization that is creating opportunities in design by integrating specific, disability-led ways of knowing into design pedagogy and practice.
As part of her talk, Jackson encouraged those in attendance to participate in a #ComicSansTakeover, redesigning their organization’s logo using the Comic Sans font and posting it on social media.
While Comic Sans is hated by most graphic designers, it is actually one of the most accessible fonts for people with disabilities (because it is sanserif and imperfect, it is particularly easy for people with dyslexia to read).
As Jackson explained on Twitter, “the goal with #ComicSansTakeover is to get designers and organizations to think deeply about their perceptions of and practices around disability. I want you to ask what disability could mean for your brand. What are your best practices?”
The challenge was quickly met, as Pentagram Design. AIGA, Very Nice, AIGA Eye on Design, an accounting firm in the UK (Pennine) and more quickly posted their Comic Sans logos. ArtCenter participated with versions for the College and for our Designmatters program.
Our commitment goes beyond tweeting a logo—we don’t want to ignore the message behind the challenge and we must and will do more to design with disability, rather than for disability.