There's a great TEDxExeter talk by a colleague of mine, Simon Peyton-Jones, about the recent advances in the English lower school 'computer science' curriculum. Like all of his slide decks he uses Comic Sans throughout. Depressingly, though inevitably, one of the YouTube commenters berates him for the font choice, stating that his use of Comic Sans is "the design equivalent of putting a giant image of a middle finger on the screen; an insult to education". This prompts a further comment that points to 41:32 in another of Simon's talks where Simon is asked by an audience member why he uses Comic Sans. Here is Simon's reply:
This is a very funny question, "Why use Comic Sans?" So, all my talks use Comic Sans and I frequently see remarks like 'Simon Peyton-Jones, great talk about Haskell but why did he use Comic Sans?' but nobody's ever been able to tell me what is wrong with it. It's a nice legible font, I like it. So until somebody explains to me ... Ah, I understand that it's meant to be a bit naff, but I don't care about naff stuff, I care about being able to read it. So if you have got a sort of ... some rational reasons why I should not then I'll listen to them. But just being unfashionable? I don't care.
Simon is talking off-the-cuff here, so I think by "rational" he means affecting legibility, reading speed, comprehension, and things like that. Are there any studies relating fonts across those kind of measures? If so where does Comic Sans come in the ranking?
(N.B. I cannot help thinking it is a good design choice that he's made. He has deliberately chosen a font that no-one versed in the design of slides would choose. It suggests, in my mind at least, a kind of authenticity; but the argument between brand adherence and authenticity is one I keep losing.)