Encoded into the font file of Comic Sans is a sequence that might prove a little disturbing.
The most popular font file has a sequence which has been described as ‘genius’ as well as ‘dastardly’ by font afficionados. Various messages can be deciphered, ranging from, “hALe dark 1”, to “sol EatR” and even “woRlD domN8shn”.
“It all depends on how you align your bytes, how you group them. You can find patterns everywhere, but what was very interesting is if we group the bytes into clusters of six by six, the sixth block then contains these cryptic messages,” says Philip Alabast, curator of the Advanced Science and Mathematical Institute of Wallan, “It’s deliberate, no doubt about it. Normally we see these things in what is termed ‘junk’ bytes, areas of code that hold no relevancy to the actual functionality of the file.”
What makes the comic sans file so interesting, he says, is that the messages are encoded into the functional portion of the code.
“As to whether a pattern within a byte arrangement can make an abstraction, like a font, evil, I don’t know. I’m a mathematician.”