if fonts were people…

What if fonts were like people? CollegeHumor.com has a great video that does just that. Humanize fonts. Rage Italic is great. I gues because working with Wal-Mart. that was one of their main fonts. Well, I could go on, but i won’t. Enjoy!Vodpod videos no longer available.

one space after a period. period.

Last night I got into a discussion with my wife, a teacher, about the use of two spaces after a period. In my understanding, the two spaces after a period rule was actually brought about when typewriters were invented.

1-proportionalvsmonospaced

This is because typewriters used a monospaced font much like Courier. Simply, on a typewriter, a W and an I used the same width head to place the character on the paper. Because of that large monospace, it was determined to look better and was easier to distinguish a hard stop in a sentence. This however was not needed before typewriters or today, because back before typewriters as well as today, proportional fonts take up varying widths of space on the page.

This brings up the differences of typists and typographers. Being a designer, I deal with typography every day. It is a general rule that there is one space after a period. When receiving manuscripts or any typed copy from an editor, or copywriter we immediately remove all double spaces after a period and convert all — to an — (en- or em-dash) depending on it’s usage. Look at a book, magazine or newspaper (Justified type blocks need not apply). Do you see any double spaces after periods? No, unless it is a mistake.

I understand old habits are hard to break, but why oh why do I need to keep correcting these issues. If you still use a monospaced font to write letters, fine, but chances are you are not. Comments are welcome, but please spread the word.

lights, camera, font.

Helvetica is one of the core fonts in typography; and a sure bet that you have seen it used in countless forms such as signage and in advertising. Now Helvetica has its day in the spotlight in the form of a documentary film that looks at the history and life of a font everyone has seen.

It is now nearing the finish lines of its world-wide screening tour, but you can buy this piece of typographic history at www.helveticafilm.com for $20 ($US) in DVD format or $26 ($US) for Blu-ray disc.

helveticafilm.com

Hanging out with Typesetters

TypophileFor designers, new and old alike, there are those web jems that inspire us to explore design in new ways. Typophile.com is one of those sites, and it is all about typography. What is great about Typophile.com is that you can learn what an agate is or you can learn how to design fonts and receive a critique on your typography designs. What is great is that experts and typophiles alike use the wiki-style site and its forums to discuss everything about typography. It offers great inspiration and motivation for other designers to achieve better design through typography.

Check out typophile.com for more!

seeing clearly on the road

Every day we are bombarded by advertisements and signage. From billboards to building signage, legibility of typography used in these signs is key to conveying a message. Bad typography can only make your message harder to understand and get through to the intended reader. While driving, have you ever thought about the legibility of road signs? I am sure not much thought is given by many on the legibility of roadsigns, but there are some out there that still found America’s highway signs in need of improvement. That is why a group of designers from Meeker & Associates took the task of making a better road sign.

ClearviewHwy TestingWhy would someone think there was a need for a better sign? Have you ever been driving at night or even during the daytime in an unfamiliar area and almost missed an exit? I sure have, and it is no fun when my wife sitting next to me then yells at me for not paying attention to the road. But with all of the attention getting signage out there these days, a better highway sign can help us navigate unfamiliar roads easier and most importantly… SAFER!

In 2002 Meeker & Associates worked with the State of Pennsylvania Highway Department to test different typography treatments on highway signs and came up with a new font called

Clearview vs. Federal Highway FontClearviewHwy. What was found during the study was that Clearviewhwy was easier to see. At speeds of 45 mph, ClearviewHwy had a legibility improvement of 80 feet versus the standard Highway typography that was in use. That resulted in a 1.2 second longer read time, which makes a big difference to drivers. During night driving, ClearviewHwy has less halation which degrades legibility at night.

Halation example

As a result of the 2002 findings, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2004 recommended changes to highway sign typography and has now added ClearviewHwy as an accepted font for Highway signs. Today, only a handful of states are implementing ClaerviewHwy, but given the age of driver is getting older thanks to the “Boomers”, ClearviewHwy should be seeing more use as signs become replaced.

To get more information on ClearviewHwy and read about its development in more detail, purchase the font or to view publication articles about ClearviewHwy, please visit the link below. Also remember to drive safely!

clearviewhwy.com

business cards a plenty

BH Biz CardsAs a designer, or business owner, have you ever thought, where can I get some ideas for a business card? As a designer, I have always thought the business card is essential to your whole first and lasting impression of your company. Not only does it tell people about how to contact you, but it also conveys information about what your company does, and how you think of yourself. A little 3-1/2″ by 2″ or larger/smaller space can make or break your first impression to your clients. You can look conservative, hip, original, serious, messy, creative and about an infinite more descriptive words. Stop thinking white and black with Thermography (raised ink). Think of who you are and what you really want to convey to yourcspost.jpg clients. The standard business card is dead. Advertise yourself using your card. Think different, think color and remember, you are what your card portrays…

Click on the link below for some 400+ great card ideas:
http://dailypoetics.typepad.com/photos/business_cards_and_other_/

typography has music videos

Typography since it was first used as a way to communicate must have been seen to some as a form of art. I would imagine that those who could not read the words formed by a font or even handwriting may have seen the shapes made as an art.

Today, with websites like YouTube, typography is being explored as an element of video. Sure you have seen it used in credits of movies as an art, but what about as the visuals of the movie dialog, or set to music.

Type is beautiful and ugly. Typography can speak as itself; bold, strong, soft and elegant. Take a look at some of the links below, and see typography as a new and fun art form in video.

Typography Music Video

YouTube Typography search

Oceans Eleven Dialog

Pulp Fiction Dialog


get it before and after

Before and After Magazine Site

It is not very often that I get a referral to a free publication on the web and like it, but I found a great resource for Designers, and it is free… well somewhat. Before & After Magazine has been around for a while, and not until now, did I know they offered limited number of articles for free to the public. These articles are great reference materials for a designer looking to get inspiration and new ideas. These articles range from typography to brochure design. Each article is a snippet of a larger full fledged magazine that is by subscription available in print ($42 – 4 issues with 8 articles each) and by PDF ($24 – 32 articles). I must admit, some of the articles are rather dull, but overall, it is a great resource for all designers looking for some new knowledge and inspiration, and what is there not to love more than an eco-friendly paper-free subscription. Also, check out their back-issues, there are a good number of them!

As always, I do suggest you try them out and if you like what they have to offer, please pay for a subscription. It helps them pay the bills.

You can visit Before and After Magazine at www.bamagazine.com

what is that font?

Had trouble finding out what a certain font is that you see in a printed ad or on screen? Have no fear, because there are some very helpful sites out there that can aid you in discovering what it is you are looking for.

The first site that I particularly love to use is at myfonts.com. They have designed an engine called “What the Font?!” that reads the fonts off of a graphic you submit to it. These can be scanned or from a JPG graphic that you supply and it will display after possible matching fonts in short time.

The second site to find a particular font is at fonts.com. Their “Search By Sight” section lets you decide what the questioned font features look like by asking you questions (serifs, ascending and descending features) about the particular font in question. This can take some time but again in the end gives you a list of possible fonts that might match your questioned font.

With of these two sights, I have regularly been able to find out the name of the actual font I was looking for. Not always perfect, but better than searching through a 700 page style book. The other nice feature of course is that you are able to purchase the font if you do not have it.

Take a look at these two sites. They sure are a great tool for me.

http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/

http://www.fonts.com/FindFonts/SearchBySight.htm

it’s all greek to me

As a designer, I generally create designs that have no formal copy to be slugged into the layout. Well for those of you that did not know, there is a great site out there for generating “greeked” type. It is really useful to show a client what typography would look like in a layout, without having actual copy. I reccomend everyone who does design work try this site, and free them from the bonds of trying to write something more clever than “this is not real copy, it is just a placeholder.” Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

Lorem Ipsum | www.lipsum.org