Like the tuxedo T-shirt and the Yoda backpack, some objects are too perfect not to exist.
Such is the Comic Sans typewriter.
The device, announced last week by Pittsburgh-based artist Jesse England, is very simple. It’s a typewriter that imparts to paper not the serious, monospaced letterforms of Courier, but those of the chunky, rounded, much-maligned Comic Sans.
England’s dubbed the device “the Sincerity Machine.”
“I’m not particularly enamored with this font, but I do not think it deserves the flack it gets,” he says in the announcement video.
Sincerity Machines aren’t for sale, at least not yet. In the video, England says that the typewriter is just an art project and not a viral marketing stunt.
The project is a lovely spin on the current fads in fonts. Web writers, clacking away to often produce electrons, often yearn for the material mechanism of the typewriter. The designer Khoi Vinh first asked for a Mac app that mimicked a typewriter—and the impossibility of copying, pasting, and deleting—in 2006. Recently, Tom Hanks—yes, the actor—lent his name to an app that does just that, but on the iPad.
(And, it’s worth noting, typewriters haven’t died, they’re just differently distributed. Some legal documents must still be set in Courier. The screenplay writer John August recently made a version of Courier that’s easier on the eyes, because movie studios can make assumptions about the running time of a movie based on how many Courier-set pages its script is.)