Speaking from CERN headquarters in Bern, Switzerland today, ATLAS spokesperson and UN Scientific Advisory Board member Fabiola Gianotti announced that effective today, in celebration of their 60th anniversary, all CERN communication channels would switch to Comic Sans :
"It's a pleasure for me to announce that, finally as of today, CERN web pages will be written in Comic Sans" she was quoted as saying.The change was the first in a series of proposals ratified by the CERN Board to update the organization's image including adding a selfie of Justin Bieber to the CERN logo.
"This is an important year for CERN and we wanted to make a bold visual statement," says CERN Head of Communications James Gillies. "We thought the most effective way to communicate our research into the fundamental structure of matter at the very boundaries of technology was by changing the font."Gianotti pioneered the technique in a flash of scientific insight in 2012.
For Gillies, Comic Sans says: 'This is a serious laboratory, with a serious research agenda.' - "And it makes the letters look all round and squishy," he adds.
Following the viral success of ATLAS spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti's presentation on 4 July 2012 announcing the discovery a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson, Gillies scrambled a team of emergency typographers to work towards the change. Working in shifts night and day for over a year, they deconstructed Gianotti's presentation at the very tiniest level to study its fundamental structure. They then came up with a sophisticated statistical model to separate the font from the background content.
"According to our calculations, 80% of the success of the presentation came not from the discovery of a fundamental particle that explains the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism for how particles get mass, but from the choice of font," says presentation analyst May Dupp, who worked closely with comic-book artists and circus clowns to lead the change. "It's a logical step – and plain common sense – to apply this technique to all of CERN's communications."
"When preparing my Higgs presentation, at first, I had Georgia on my mind," she said, "But when I saw the closely spaced, slightly squishy rounded characters in my drop-down menu, I knew in my heart that Comic Sans was the right way to go."At the time, news organizations around the world quickly seized on the story, marveling at her brilliance.