7 Alternatives to Comic Sans (With a True ‘a’)

You are just not my type

It is no secret that I am a bit of a font geek. It is also no secret that I (like many others) dislike the widespread use of Comic Sans. Sites such as Comic Sans Criminal are solely devoted to the derision of the font.

The main reasons why Comic Sans bears the brunt of this font snobbery, really comes down to fonts having a personality and purpose: in the case of Comic Sans, it has a childish, overly informal quality, that I feel suits a very limited range of writing.

FontsFonts are the clothes with which we dress our words.

We need to choose a font to match the way we want our text to be received. If we want to be taken seriously, Comic Sans would not be a natural choice.

Many educators choose Comic Sans deliberately because it is one of the few fonts available natively on both Mac and PC which has a ‘true a’ – that is, an ‘a’ which is a circle and stick (rather than the one used in my current font!). “I know Comic Sans isn’t the greatest,” they say, “but it has the ‘true a’.”

It’s time for me to be solution-focused! Here are some alternative fonts you can use that contain a ‘true a’.The following fonts you will need to download and install on your computer:

National First Font

Hattori Hanzo Light Italic (make sure you select light italic, as the regular version does not have a ‘true a’.)

Hattori Hanzo Light Italic

Aller Light Italic (make sure you select light italic, as the regular version does not have a ‘true a’.)

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.46.11 pm


Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.45.47 pm


The following fonts are also Google Fonts, so you can use them in your docs/sites too.

Muli (the whole font family works well with a ‘true a’.)

Ubuntu Regular Italic (install the whole font family, or select regular italic to get the ‘true a’.)

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.46.02 pm

Architect’s Daughter (this installed better for me within Google Apps)


Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 4.44.43 pm

I hope this helps you! What other fonts do you know of that have a ‘true a’?

Image Credit:
CC licensed (BY-ND) flickr photo by (debz): http://flickr.com/photos/debbybosman-debz/4109261288

11 thoughts on “7 Alternatives to Comic Sans (With a True ‘a’)

    • If you want a font that may work for dyslexic learners, try Open Dyslexic. The letters are heavy at the bottom, which is supposed to make them easier to read/less likely for the reader to see them as flipped or reversed.

      On the website, http://opendyslexic.org/, they say, “There are two versions of OpenDyslexic in the (free) download. OpenDyslexic-Alta includes the handwritten/rounded/comic sans like/circle ‘a’ that you may like.”


  1. Great post! I have a deep dislike of Comic Sans, and really like the alternatives you have listed here. I really like the way you described fonts as having a personality, and love the comicsanscriminal.com website. Thanks.


    • I always felt it was a bit ridiculous too, however couldn’t really pin-point what it was about it until the notion of fonts having both a personality and a purpose was made clear to me. If you liked Comic Sans Criminal, you might also like College Humor’s Font Conference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3k5oY9AHHM&hl=en-GB&gl=SG Sadly, not appropriate to share with the students I teach, but funny all the same.


  2. Thanks for sharing this list. I am always on the hunt for new, stylish, and primary friendly fonts too- especially those available in google drive. Happy Monkey, Raleway & Corsiva are my current favourites but I haven’t found the perfect q, a and t yet….


  3. Pingback: The power of an image | A neverending learning journey

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