The Comic Sans-Only Typewriter "Sincerity Machine" Is The Art Installation Nobody Needed
Contributing to the already trivial nature of the typewriter in today's digital world, designer Jesse English has invented a Comic Sans typewriter in an effort to get me to give up the few scraps of faith I have left in humanity. Thus far, it is working. The so-called "Sincerity Machine" — yes, really — isn't for sale, but it is unleashing a terrible plague on the earth in which we all regress into comic strip characters.
English explains the project on his website:
The Comic Sans typewriter was made after viewing a document with a typewriter font present in it; I realized there was nothing stopping me from altering a typewriter to write in a different font. I used a laser engraving machine to etch new letters out of acrylic, and glued them onto the strikers of a 70's era, Sears-branded Brother Charger 11 typewriter, which I found in the street a couple years ago. I also used a vinyl cutter to make new key covers as well.
Again, and I repeat to calm any racing heart beats that I am sure are plaguing your existence at present, this is not a commercial product. It will not be unleashed en masse. Rather, England looks at the Sincerity Machine as a commentary.
As part of my ongoing thesis of questioning how we create, consume, store (and fetishize) media, it's my wish that a classic, functioning typewriter altered to write in the most popularly despised font of modern times will provoke thoughts about such media concerns.
Listen, I've got a fluffy liberal arts degree. I've done my fair share of navel-gazing and trying to assign deeper meaning to art. But did we have to do this with Comic Sans? Why not Papyrus? Shoot, I would've even taken Curlz. Wingdings! Really anything but Comic Sans!
I'm not sure exactly what it is that makes Comic Sans so offensive, but that collective disgust of the font is accepted as a cultural norm rather than an opinion. The only universally accepted use of the font is for ironic memes (think Doge) and in emails from senior citizens (parents are no longer excused).
I think maybe even more revelatory than the actual invention of the Sincerity Machine is the fact that there is at least one Comic Sans apologist running free in the world.
Images: YouTube/Jesse England (2)