Font Heresy! Vatican’s Comic Sans Sendoff to Pope Benedict XVI

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By Stephanie Murg Comment

An e-book issued by the Vatican to commemorate the papacy of Benedict XVI (who Barry Blitt has depicted relaxing on a hammock on the cover of this week’s New Yorker) reminds readers that the “the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word,” even if that Word is set in…Comic Sans. That’s right, design fans, the 265th pope is going out not with a bang but a typographic whimper. Benedictus XVI, which now greets all visitors to the parchment-look homepage of the Vatican as it muddles through the virtual side of Seda Vacante, is a collection of 60 photos of the pope on the job–palling around with John Paul II in the pre-Twitter era, consulting scripture, kissing babies, walking along bucolic lanes, and brandishing a variety of weighty golden objects–all annotated in godless Comic Sans. Adding to the typographic heresy is the prominent digital watermark of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, that appears on most of the photos: it is set in Papyrus.

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