Opinionated Type

Just Like Yours, Only They’re Mine: Josh Farmer

Typographing: A Google Webfonts Tester


Typographing is a quick and dirty filter built around the Google Webfonts API. If you’re looking to use Google’s offerings, this is a great resource. Add a filter or take it away to change results automatically. And clicking the X in the top left corner helps narrow type choices by getting rid of that font if you’re not a fan. And—ooh! Lobster!

Hold on, why is Lobster in the sans category?

(Via Shawn Blanc.)


The Pebble: Kickstarter Project

Pebble is an e-paper bluetooth watch for use with iPhone and Android. It’s modifiable (as far as the software goes) and the creators are opening up the SDK for others to fiddle with. And it uses Gotham for a typeface with clarity, modernity, and contrast.

(Via Shawn Blanc.)

Ralf Herrmann Releases Wayfinding Sans Pro

Highway Signage’s Past

I have always felt distaste for the lettering on American federal highway signage. The Interstate typeface, as it is known, employs stems and curves that are are cut off for seemingly no apparent reason, claustrophobic counters, and piercing north-bound spires. While many good designers — the federal government simply doesn’t count for this — use it well in a display weight or headers, I was never terribly impressed with the truncated lowercase g or the way the intro stroke on the lowercase a felt too close to the bowl.

Interstate Sample from fontbureau.com

Interstate Sample from fontbureau.com

Tobias Frere-Jones and Cyrus Highsmith expanded the original 1993 offering into a 40-weight superfamily and it has done quite well, even consistently making it onto the current short list of whatever great designer is writing the list. I, though, prefer the subdued answer given by the state of Washington: FF Meta. FF Meta was designed by Erik Spiekermann in 1985 and revised in 1990. It has been called the Helvetica of the ’90s due to its ubiquity but not its personality. Because it actually has one. Its glyph shapes varied enough from each other to be easily recognizable — the lowercase l bends at the baseline, for example — but it still didn’t seem to completely fit the needs of road signage.

Enter Ralf Herrmann: Highway Signage’s Future

Six years of research and development, months of digital testing, and an empirical study at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin have led to the release of Wayfinding Sans Pro.

Wayfinding Sans Pro Introductory Sample

Wayfinding Sans Pro Introductory Sample

To increase the possible viewing distance, the skeleton of the letters of a signage typeface must be generic and familiar but also unmistakable. Wayfinding Sans Pro was designed this way from the ground up.

Wayfinding Sans Legibility Simulations

Wayfinding Sans Legibility Simulations

It has the feel of being made by a human rather than the industrial machinations of DIN 1451. Its forms are simultaneously inviting and informing, unlike American signage. Its glyphs are distinct — a word you can’t use enough concerning typefaces — compared with Dutch signage. Its forms are also clear, unlike French signage. In fact, Wayfinding Sans excels in precisely the ways French, Dutch, American, and German signage fails. Herrmann’s creation was focused on solving real-world problems, so it only makes sense to look at those who have gone before in order to fashion a better solution.

Glyph Distinction in Wayfinding Sans Pro

Glyph Distinction in Wayfinding Sans Pro

I really appreciate the amount of work that’s gone into this family. A significant problem has been solved while retaining the beauty and mild character of the typeface. It may even be possible for this family to be used in heads-up displays for driving. Herrmann says all signage is a good medium for this typeface, but where else might it be used? Movie subtitles or closed captioning?

Wayfinding Sans Pro Word Samples

Wayfinding Sans Pro Word Samples

The typeface comes in two weights (regular and bold) and three widths (condensed, normal, and extended). The extended widths are recommended for signage use, whereas, with print, the normal/regular weight is the default. Wayfinding Sans pro is loaded with OpenType features, figures, compensating positive and negative weights for use on one sign, and an iteration for arrow usage that actually makes sense. On the drawing board now is a set of hundreds of pictograms to guide the traveler. And as if the research and the results weren’t enough, it’s available for half price until 1 May 2012.

Herrmann’s type family is not made for long stretches of casual reading. It’s a beautiful text guide that won’t make you slow down as you get closer to it. But you just might want to.

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Download the Wayfinding Sans Pro PDF

Buy Wayfinding Sans Pro at:

Wayfinding Sans Pro website


Exclusive Interview: TypeTogether Releases Tablet Gothic

There are many incredible type foundries — Underware, House Industries, Village, Type Jockeys, and so many others — and TypeTogether is at the top of my list. They consistently impress, breathing new life into familiar categories.

As background, TypeTogether is the two-person company co-founded and run by Veronika Burian and José Scaglione, both graduates from the University of Reading with MAs in Type Design. According to Tiffany Wardle’s “Female Type Designers” entry on Typophile, Veronika has more than ten type family attributions — three other women are tied with her and only four have more type families than she. This is far more than impressive since TypeTogether has only been in existence since 2006.

TypeTogether focuses on typefaces for editorial use: magazines, newspapers, fine book type, and on the web. Skolar, Bree, Adelle, and Ronnia are four of their most popular families, and with good reason. They are modern, they work well in all mediums, and they have a special ability to charm the eye.

For instance, only a few days ago TypeTogether released a new editorial family, Tablet Gothic.

Tablet Gothic by TypeTogether

Tablet Gothic comes in an astounding 42 styles — seven weights in each of six widths — guaranteeing that, whatever the publication format is, there’s a Tablet Gothic font that will do the job and perform well both technically and aesthetically. TypeTogether says the wide, normal, and narrow widths produce a beautiful texture and highly readable text blocks at small sizes. The almost-vertical axis is one of the keys that allows the family to come in a wide range of weights without losing its signature look.

Weights of Tablet Gothic by TypeTogether

Weights and Widths of Tablet Gothic by TypeTogether

Tablet Gothic Widths in Bold

Tablet Gothic Widths in Bold

Notice the subtle line that angles up and to the right throughout a line. This quality, harnessed so well in Jos Buevenga’s Calluna, pushes the reader’s eye through the line and on to the next. It is especially noticeable in Tablet Gothic’s semibold weights and heavier since the terminals have more definition and are a large part of this visual propulsion.

Tablet Gothic Sample 3 by TypeTogether

Tablet Gothic Sample 3 by TypeTogether

Speaking of propulsion, TypeTogether granted me an interview about Tablet Gothic and their perspective on type design.

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Josh Farmer: Thanks for talking with me today, Veronika.

TypeTogether: My pleasure.

JF: You’ve just released the personable Tablet Gothic family. What was the inspiration behind it?

TT: We wanted to design a sans serif workhorse for extensive editorial use and give our recently released text family Abril a good companion. Our initial inspiration came from early grotesque designs in Britain and Germany. However, we didn’t want a revival, but a typeface that looks to the future of publishing with a clear understanding of its history. As always, our focus was on functionality while allowing a good measure of personality at the same time.

JF: For readers who do not know, what is a grotesque model and what is so appealing about it? Can you give examples of other grotesques you like?

TT: Grotesques are the early sans serif typefaces from the beginning of 19th century. To the eyes of the public at that time, a typeface without serifs looked odd and unfamiliar, so the name grotesque came about. They are quirky, quite ugly, and disproportionate to our eyes today, but that is what gives them a certain charm. They are much less regularised than static sans serifs like Helvetica. New typefaces modeled on the old grotesques, however, are usually stylised and adapted to the needs and tastes of today. One of the most famous grotesques is Akzidenz-Grotesk. A newer version I like is Kris Sowersby’s National by Klim Type Foundry.

JF: What characters did you begin with for Tablet Gothic and was there a specific reason behind those choices?

TT: We usually start with so-called control characters: the lowercase n, o, a, c, p, and the capital H and O. They set the proportions, stem thickness, and contrast. Most of the other letters are derived from these.

JF: Do you feel there is certain glyph which sums up Tablet Gothic’s voice, and why or why not?

TT: The most distinctive letter in the alphabet is always the lowercase a and sometimes the k and s. They are the most complex ones that a designer can play with to set the tone for the typeface.

Weights of Tablet Gothic by TypeTogether

Tablet Gothic Sample by TypeTogether

JF: Tablet Gothic has 42 total styles. How long did the family take you to complete?

TT: Actually, it took us only about four months from the start of the idea.

JF: That’s quite a fast pace. How do you accomplish such a wide range of work in such a short amount of time?

TT: We worked extensively with the multiple-master technology and two interpolation axes: weight and width. This facilitates the process quite a lot, but with 42 fonts everything gets a bit more complicated, and we had outside help with the kerning.

JF: What tools (software and hardware) are necessary for your such a fast workflow?

TT: We work with Fontlab, Superpolator, and Prepolator. As far as hardware, we have several Mac workstations and good A4 laser printers.

JF: How do you know when a typeface is finished and ready to release to the public?

TT: When we are happy with the quality of the shapes, the whole character set is drawn, spacing and kerning are done, and all the other necessary post-production is finished.

Tablet Gothic Sample Mix

Tablet Gothic Sample Mix

JF: When will the web version of Tablet Gothic be released and where can fans go to buy it?

TT: Within a few weeks, I think. It will be on Typekit, Fontdeck, and WebINK.

JF: How do you decide which type designs to pursue and which to wait on?

TT: Well this is not as straightforward as you might think; many factors play a role here.

JF: You’ve partnered with Wolfgang Homola, David Březina, and others to release their designs through TypeTogether. What do you look for in a new typeface? Is there a certain aesthetic or certain values the design or the designer should have to become part of the TypeTogether catalog?

TT: Quality is one thing and the design should fit into our font library. We also look for aesthetic values that we like or think would be interesting to our customers.

JF: What advice would you give to a graphic artist who is quite interested in type design?

TT: Go and look at old manuscripts, letterpress books; trace the shapes of the typefaces you like most; give calligraphy a try to experience where the letter shapes come from; read about typography and type design; take part in a workshop . . .

JF: What new typefaces or expansions do you have coming up?

TT: Adelle Sans, Adelle Cyrillic, Soleil Italics, Eskapade Fraktur, Bree Serif, and the 42 matching italic weights of Tablet Gothic, which will be coming very soon.

JF: You all are incredibly busy, so thanks again for taking time to discuss Tablet Gothic and TypeTogether. Can’t wait to see your newest family in use and to see what else you have in store.

TT: You’re welcome.

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If you like the samples TypeTogether made, grab the free semi-condensed extrabold weight of Tablet Gothic. Just add the correct weight to your cart and use the coupon code ba9daa9d when you check out.

With another superfamily under their collective belts — Ronnia has 28 weights, Karmina Sans and Adelle both have 12, Abril has 8 text styles and 12 display styles — José and Veronika could be excused if they took a short break. But their release calendar for the near future is looking quite nice, with several strong families preparing for their time in the spotlight.

As far as creating typefaces that are highly functional and carry a distinct voice, TypeTogether’s impact in six short years been stunning. And their effect on the way we read and feel text, as well as its myriad expressions, is only beginning.

Frustro Typeface: In-con-ceiv-a-ble

I love the impossibilist M.C. Escher. He was a brilliant artist with a true gift, and he dreamed of the most astounding things. Or maybe they were nightmares. Either way, he was capable of turning his mental dissolutions into tangible fancies for the eye. Escher was an ace at perspective and lighting and realism and angles and subtlety — all necessary for the work by which he would be remembered.

Based on similar impossible angles, the Frustro typeface by Martzi Hegedűs is a solid entry in the category of the odd. It’s a fantastic face in the vein of Escher’s work that does exactly what it sets out to do: give the illusion of simultaneously looking down on the character and up at it. Shading is key here, as well as using it in display settings. I like it a lot.

Frustro Typeface by Martzi Hegedűs

Frustro Typeface by Martzi Hegedűs

Another in this category is Priori Acute by Jonathan Barnbrook, but his looks like a mix of concrete and ribbon.

Priori Acute Specimen

Priori Acute Specimen

(Via Shawn Blanc.)

Scrabble Typography Edition

Scrabble Typography Edition – Winning Solutions, Inc.


Scrabble with Walnut Wood & Type

Scrabble with Walnut Wood & Type


Best way to win against a type fanatic is through distraction. Here’s to well-crafted, walnut-and-birchwood distractions.

Apple’s Siri: The UI-versal Solvent

Just as each tollbooth taxes the commuter, each UI/UX translation that has to happen to get from input to output presents a problem.

A calculator uses plain numbers for the main four computations. One input, one output — numerals — and what you type is what shows up without translation. An abacus may somewhat be more complicated in that the same type of bead has more than one meaning, with the only differentiator being color, size, or position.

Abacus on Wikipedia

Abacus on Wikipedia

More complicated tasks need modes. Calculating a specific tangent of a wave involves multiple calculator steps, such as pressing a button prior to, in the midst of, or after running a calculation to receive the answer in the correct format. On one calculator I have, when I divide 14 by 3 the answer given is 14/3. Useless for most purposes. It’s only after I press Casio’s S<–>D button that I get a workable answer of 4.666666667. I can do something with that.

Adobe’s Creative Suite is even more complicated due to its power. You can’t just write. You have to choose the text tool, select the destination, type the word, then format it by type choice, size, weight, and the like. These options thankfully open a wide range of possibilities.

Multi-touch made your finger the UI, doing away with the stylus for all but the most precise artistic tasks. The processing was hidden behind the multi-touch glass and all we saw was an application zooming to do our bidding.


Siri the Helpful

But modes don’t really exist with Apple’s Siri. Giving a command to Siri is just that. Speak a command to Siri and it responds verbally, accomplishing the task you’ve given it.

The beauty of Siri is that you are the UI. Your voice is the medium. No other mode is needed. Siri is the personal mediator, with the processing hidden behind a simple, helpful façade. Now, it’s not quite to the level IBM’s Watson is capable of — including understanding denotative themes and tying together only loosely related strands of thought — but Siri does away with the complex in a way we are only used to with other people. It takes all the layers of interaction that we once thought necessary and reduces them down to two: input and output, where the method and the medium are the same — your voice.

Apple has brought AI to the masses in its most basic form. The days are numbered for those dialog boxes that ask multiple times if we’re sure we want to complete such-and-such action. We now have a cascade of options for accomplishing tasks: keyboard, mouse, multi-touch, voice. And each one requires less interaction to get what we want done.

Less interaction, less mistakes; less mistakes, less frustration; less frustration, more enjoyment; and more enjoyment means more accomplishment and more interaction with those enjoyable tools. Apple was not the first voyager to the mineral springs of voice commands, but with Siri, Apple has bottled the universal solvent for much of our UI problems.

The Best Part of Star Wars: Ralph McQuarrie

Concept Ships: Good-bye Mr. Ralph McQuarrie.

The best part of Star Wars was not the dialogue or the trade agreements, it was the place to which we were transported, the archetypes we relate to, and the unbelievable vision we were shown. As an artist, illustrator, and matte painter, Ralph McQuarrie — now gone — was a major part of that experience, as well as a gallery of a few other science fiction pieces you may be familiar with. (Via Daring Fireball)

Guardian Newspaper’s Three Little Pigs Video Ad

Picking up where the Three Little Pigs story leaves off, The Guardian does a fantastic job of throwing in everything from financial reform to conspiracy theories. This is an example of great advertising. Funny, thoughtful, extending a storyline we’re already familiar with, they got their point across, and I didn’t mind watching it one bit.

If you liked this commercial and feel in the mood for a bit more of the adventures of diminutive swine, check out this hilarious retelling in the Shakespearean style by comedian John Branyan.

Awesome Adelle Typeface Deal

For everyone interested in fonts, here are two weights of the incredible Adelle typeface for an 80% discount. These Heavy and Heavy Italic weights together are only $25 bucks, it’s only available for a limited time, and you can’t beat this face for a modern news feel. When you use this face, you’ll have heavy-hitting headlines and a real sense of balance.

Use this link to grab yours and pass me some kickback love:



Adelle Heavy and Heavy Italic Sample

Adelle Heavy and Heavy Italic Sample


Speaking of TypeTogether, have you seen their Freebies page? Really good stuff there.

A Thought About Design

Much of design is about great relationships.

Skolar Gets More Weights

David Březina’s Skolar by Type Together : High quality fonts and custom type design.

If you’re like other type lovers, you also have wished the award-winning Skolar had more weights. Well now it has 10. Wishes are granted.

Conqueror Typographic Poster Competition: Behind the Scenes

My great friend Tom Morse-Brown and I entered a typographic poster competition with an Olympic theme. So I wanted to give a peek at our process. And if you like what we’ve created, we’d love to have your support. Vote for it by going to the Conqueror website and either tweeting it or facebook it. (The page is done in Flash, by the way.)

You may have seen the same post on the FontFeed. The competition is hosted by Conqueror Paper, owned by Arjowiggins Fine Papers, which operates from three locations: Great Britain, Scotland, and France. As Yves Peters put it,

“The Conqueror Typographic Games ask the question “What if typography was a sport”? This Olympic-style contest is open to all designers, professionals and students who think they have what it takes to win the Gold. The challenge at hand: create a typographic poster about sports, using the phrase:

It’s not what you win, but how you conquer it.

Choose from one of Conqueror’s premium papers, select two printing techniques, and submit your poster by the 30th of April, 2012.”

The Study

Tom and I thought this would be a fun exercise so we decided to follow a Swiss Design model of minimal elements with strong meaning. We believe you should be able to replace the word minimal with meaningful in any sentence about form or function. Minimal doesn’t mean meaningless, it means that what is left should be even more powerful and more meaningful since it is what remains. Take for instance this perfect poster by Josef Muller-Brockmann for a Beethoven concert. The simple curves have movement and give the understanding of sound waves, as well as a mimicking the shape of a music hall and the shape of some instruments. The understated type is integrated into the the overall grid along a vertical axis.

Beethoven Concert Advertisement, Josef Müller-Brockmann

In this mode we first narrowed down what we thought defined the Olympics to just two words: best and determination. Next we created line and circle studies focused around those two words. How do you show determination or best with a line or circle?


Determination Line Study

Determination Line Study


Line Study: Best

Line Study: Best


Determination Circle Study

Determination Circle Study


The Visual

The primary — and quite accidental — thought that came out of it was the leader board, the narrowing of the competitive field until the very best emerges as winner. The leader board inherently speaks of determination and overcoming various obstacles. This visual idea is common in all cultures, and every kid dreams of making the big score.

Leader Board Study 2

Leader Board Study 2


Olympic Iteration, Squares   Olympic Iteration, Rings and Stripes

The Shape

At first we defaulted to using the Olympic rings in our leader board sketches. But it had several problems: it was too literal, it had little emotion, it would tie the poster to only one event, and it had no movement or energy. Circles are easy, but they can be boring. Besides, it seemed most designers in this competition were using the Olympic rings, so we wanted to push ourselves further to see if we could find another route. We tried various shapes and patterns to see what would hold the weight of our expectations, and eventually we found that, when combined with the previous line studies, the triangle with a series of stripes running throughout worked best to get across the idea of determination.

Every time you fall, you get back up and push harder. Every day brings a new opportunity to do it again and do it better. Always moving forward. Determination. The circles, rectangles, and squares just didn’t have this kind of psychological underpinning, even though they could have worked for other reasons. But the overall design had to live and breathe on its own.

The Typeface

I love researching type for a project and this choice seemed rather straightforward. We could echo the triangularity of the design, contrast it with either harsh and round geometric circles, or choose something smooth and sedated. All the classic sans faces seemed out of place and a serif just didn’t work. So, no to Helvetica, Futura, Gotham, Trade Gothic, DIN, or any of the standard poster faces we would expect. Unfortunately, that meant that the AW Conqueror series by Jean-François Porchez, who is also the main judge for this competition, was out. (I don’t think this is the case, but I really hope we’re not judged on whether we used the Conqueror series or not.)

OurType had put out a gem just a little while ago that I knew would be perfect — Meran, in the semi-condensed, semi-bold flavor. With three widths and six weights (with matching italics), this defies-normal-categories face is a great headliner. Meran is built with contrasting sharp and curved corners and with some interior connection points taken out, so it is in perfect keeping with the angular shape of our design.

The Colors

This was not an easy decision — perhaps one of the most difficult ones — which is why we kept coming back to it. In fact, it was the last major detail to get settled, but part of that was because we wanted to get it right. Should we incorporate the kind of paper as one of the colors or design elements? How will paper stock effect print registry? Do we choose the Olympic colors or go with something less expected? We went reserved, then crazy, then back to restrained in our color choices.

Grayscale Iteration, Olympic Typography


Gray Iteration, Olympics Poster

Gray Iteration, Olympics Poster

Orange Iteration, Olympics Poster

Orange Iteration, Olympics Poster

The Result

Even after these major decisions had been made, we still had 15–20 iterations before we landed on a final design. And we had the great fortune of having to let go of some really strong contenders for good reasons.

What we end up with is an angular leader board coming in from the left of the poster. Each column of triangles is an Olympic color for this poster competition, but the colors could have several meanings. The stripes give it a sense of speed and energy. Several of the stripes on each triangle stretch out beyond their border to heighten the mental connection with the determination to push through whatever holds us back. The yellow (gold) triangle in the center is the obvious winner, showing how the athlete fits in with the overall competition, but how they also deservedly stand apart as the best. The typeface echoes the angular design. The words are simple and speak the same message as the poster design. And it’s all done on gorgeous 300-gram (130-lb. for Americans) Conqueror Wove Calligraphy paper, using the paper as the foundational charcoal color and contrasting texture for the entire print. (This also saves on cost of ink by not having to print the background.) The poster would be printed using offset method as long as we can ensure a precise and consistent registry.


Final Poster, Olympic Typography Competition, Feb 2012

Final Poster, Olympic Typography Competition, Feb 2012


Hope you like the poster design and that you’ve enjoyed getting a peek at our process. If you think it’s a winner, let the fine folks at Conqueror know by voting and by passing the word. And take a look at the other entries while you’re there to see what we’re up against.

Readability is King

If you have to choose between form and function, function should win. So when you revamp your website, what should be of primary concern? The text, certainly. You have readers because of what you say. The design of the site should therefore serve the purpose of readability.

Legibility is Clarity

Note that there is a difference between readability and legibility. Being legible means that you can make out the letters; they’re not too distorted to hinder your ability to recognize them. Software coders are using this insight when they use a monospaced typeface to carry out their work. The characters line up perfectly so they can keep track of their levels, and each character is noticeably different from the rest. When characters are clear and differentiated enough from the rest, they are legible.

Readability is Simplicity Plus Excellence

On the other hand, readability is all about how little one has to work in order to breeze through long sections of text. This level of consideration takes into account the legibility of each character as well as the level of comfort (or discomfort) a reader experiences when plowing through the latest textbook on art history or pathophysiology. When text is easy and enjoyable to read, it is readable.

Part of measuring readability is in noticing how readily the characters, and therefore the words and paragraphs and pages, match up to our perception of character shapes. If it looks like an r, we don’t question it. If we have to question it — even for a moment — our reading progress stalls. This is the simplicity part of attaining readability; how one goes about making an r look like an r is where excellence comes in.

Our brain is fantastically adept. Studies have shown that literate adults do not sound out each individual letter, but match the shape of the word to a known word shape we have already memorized. Studies have also shown that when the first and last letters are correct, the middle letters can be jumbled but we will still be able to recognize, or “read”, the wrod corertectly. I know yuo’re stlil follwoing waht I’m siyanig here, but you can’t read comfortably like that for too long so make sure your text is readable. Make it simple and excellent because readability is king.

This was just a primer on the difference between legible and readable text. Stay tuned for a few articles to help with choosing typefaces for sizable amounts of text.

UPDATE: Here’s three links to articles on similar readability studies:




Stan Typeface from OurType

Stan Typeface from OurType.

Distinction wins the branding game, folks. So here’s a slab serif with an actual personality, meaning you’ll immediately be able to recognize this in a crowd of other slabs.

Stan Four-Weight Sample

Stan Four-Weight Sample

The j and f look like twins flipped upside down. I love how that north-bound ear on the lowercase g matches the rest of the slabs, but how the oblique angle breaks up the slab’s natural vertical emphasis. And I’m a sucker for the way the italic f drops below the baseline. I have always liked typefaces that make that choice. And notice how the lower left-hand side serifs disappear in the italic so the speed is emphasized. Very nice.

Stan comes in two versions: Stan and Stan Plus. The plus means that the ascenders and descenders are longer, which is useful when space is not a real concern. Think of it as the difference between Mrs. Eaves and Mrs. Eaves XL. And use it well.

Apple to Halt Sales of Latest iPhone in China Retail Stores | Yahoo! News

Apple to halt sales of latest iPhone in China retail stores – Yahoo! News.

There are so many possibilities for captions here:

  • Apple admits defeat. Finally.
  • Asian markets do not have iPhone hysteria.
  • Coming to a Samsung retail store near you.
  • The only non-Flash mob.

It’s Just Stuff — Shawn Blanc

It’s Just Stuff — Shawn Blanc.

Shawn wrote four of the best paragraphs you’ll read this week. More philosophy and observation than related to type or design, but utterly important.

Regardless what you do, think deeply then live greatly. And if a gadget helps with that goal, good; but I — along with Shawn — don’t think gadgets are ever the final answer to living greatly. That answer must come from somewhere else.

Philosophically, I would say that any value not based in something eternal and good ends up in despair and hopelessness. Wasted time and energy never leads to true joy or fulfillment. And that’s precisely what finding your identity in stuff would be — futile.

Best Dressed Fonts

Best Dressed Fonts.

Glad to see IE taking major steps here. (NOTE: I had originally worded this rudely, but this current verbiage is truly what I meant. I’m not above clarifying and improving my word choice. I’m very happy to see Microsoft taking a major leap from where they currently are to where all browsers should be.)

My real frustration is this:

Note that because Firefox and IE implemented different versions of the draft[,] the value syntax they accept is different. For example, enabling kerning in both browsers requires the following:

-ms-font-feature-settings: “kern” 1;

-moz-font-feature-setting: “kern=1”;

What is it about companies — all of them — that force coders to write specifically for them? Really, Microsoft couldn’t have just gone with what Mozilla had already baked in? This irks me to no end. Stop picking the version (or creating your own version) that suits you and your company. Go with the established one that suits the user and the other coders. We already have a long history of forcing coders to do almost entire rewrites so IE doesn’t break when accessing your URL. So let’s not make this more difficult than it has to be.

On to happier subjects. Isn’t FF Milo just gorgeous when it’s that big? I mean, c’mon, that lowercase a is beautiful, the non-connected leg of the k is great for small print (ink won’t glob up there), and the elegance of the bottom right leg of the k is subtle. FF Ernestine is a fun slab serif; I’m liking it a lot.

Ultrasparky | Type on Screen: Choosing and Using It Well

Ultrasparky: Type on screen: Choosing and using it well.

Dan Rhatigan gives a 20-minute talk on using type on the screen. Great overview of the challenges and some general concepts and options, but he doesn’t get into naming, for instance, his top 50 recommendations in each typeface category.

Type on screen: Choosing and using it well from Dan Rhatigan on Vimeo.

And here’s the same talk given at a different conference, but this one includes Rhatigan’s slides.