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I found this study through Matt Haughey’s site, and basically it says that the font you use for email can cause people’s impression of you-and your message-to change before they actually have any idea the content of said message. From the results:

This finding suggests that documents presented in typefaces that are viewed as less appropriate are seen as less serious and less professional in nature. The appropriateness of the typeface also affected the perception of the email author in that the email using Gigi created a perception of an author who is less professional, less trustworthy, and less mature. Finally, the typeface that was lower in appropriateness led participants to conclude that the author was a lower level trainee employee.

So to sum up: Using goofy curlicue fonts for meeting notes not only makes the notes look bad, but the author too. That message could have been sent by an (gasp!) underling! That’s not to say there aren’t times when a not-so-standard font is called for, I’m sure, but most people are reading email for email’s sake, they generally aren’t looking for the design flaws in it. Set your default to Arial or some other such standard-issue font and call it good.


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Font Management UniversityThis is the second of two panel discussions that we recently presented on the show floor at Macworld Expo. The first focused on the art of type, and this second one focuses on working with type in design applications.

This lively discussion included Adobe product manager Thomas Phinney, design expert and author Andrew Shalat and our very own Extensis VP of Corporate Solutions, Martin Stein. The junction of good design, applications used to create good design and type is a critical. Check out what our experts thought about the issues:

Introductions

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What makes a design application good when it comes to typography?

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What does OpenType mean to the design world?

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What are the differences between design applications and those that are made for layout?

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What is type design? It’s functional and aesthetic.

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Is OpenType the “now” for designers, or is it the future?

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Fonts, software and creativity

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Foundries and the cost of OpenType fonts

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OpenType, font management and font corruption

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Fonts, clients, font ownership and the risks of passing on fonts to others

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Are most foundries creating OpenType fonts?

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What the panel experts most want you to know

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The following is the complete audio recording of the entire session. Note that it hasn’t been equalilzed or edited in any way for content, so some parts may be harder to hear than other parts.

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HOW Design Conference BlogHOW Design launched a new blog recently that follows the ins, outs and special issues relating to the annual HOW Design conference. This is one of our favorite yearly events that we attend. The next event is scheduled for June 10-13th in Atlanta. Perhaps we’ll see you there!


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This is the newest installment of Technical Support representative Pete Soloway’s whiteboard art collection.

Pete Soloway's whiteboard art

We’ve previously featured Pete’s whiteboard art on the blog. Fun stuff. Keep it up Pete!


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Eroded by 555designI’m a fan of independent design magazines. You know, the ones that are put together not for the advertising budget, but for the love of design. A while ago, I pointed out NewWebPick, a design magazine from Asia.

Recently one of my enlightened peers pointed me to another online magazine, Eroded. Each issue has a theme – red, blue, telephones, religion, etc. Desingers can download a Photoshop template and then submit it for inclusion into the next issue. While it isn’t as slick as Newwebpick (no music, or animation), it does have a rough and tumble underground feel that makes it worth a click or two.

For future issues, I hope that the editor, 555design, chooses to abandon the tiny angled format and give the design work more prominent play onscreen.


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While I might not be one to fall in with the fashionistas, I do have a passing knowledge of what’s hip. I’ve also been on the planet long enough to see trends grow, die, and come back as nostalgia or reworked into something new and original. That being said, I can see how one can draw inspiration from previous creative work. Looking back to the past masters in selective genres can be quite inspiring, whether it be the decisive moments of Henri Cartier-Bresson, the blue period of Pablo Picasso, or the unique vision of Saul Bass.

For those of initimately involved with type, and it’s usage, there’s also a rich history to draw upon. Thomas Phinney has written a good summary of how we’ve gotten to where we are today with type. But, I always like to see what others have done with type over the years. For that, I like to peruse vintage shops, yard sales and those random blogs on the internet.

AceJet170 paddedI recently came across English designer Richard Weston’s AceJet170 blog. He has started a regular feature, Found Type Fridays, where he posts items that have interesting and unique usages of fonts. Check out his site for some fun font inspiration.


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No matter what industry you’re in, from time to time we all face the need to reinforce the value of our work to others. Whether it be to an editor, manager or the public. As we continue onward into a world that contains more “community driven” content, it is inevitably having an impact on those of us who are content creators – from photographers and designers to artists and writers.

Recently, Sion Touhig wrote a thought-provoking piece for the Register examining the impact of community created content on the world photojournalism.

Reading Sion’s story had me harkening back to the days where I was a stringer for Reuters at the Indianapolis 500. I would sit on a turn in the track for hours on end waiting for the inevitable squeal of tires indicating that someone was careening out of control toward the wall. At the sound, I would press down the shutter release and pan the lens with the squealing sound, hoping to capture the elusive fireball when the unfortunate driver hit the wall. If I was lucky, and caught it at just the right time, and in focus, I would be rewarded with a whopping $125. This was my reward for spending days in the sweltering sun during time trials.

I could afford to be a stringer at the 500 because I was in college, and still supported by my parents. I think that Reuters knew that they weren’t really paying a living wage for the job. And while I wasn’t what you’d consider a “pro”, I came to understand that the job was geared toward seasonal race fans who had a bit of photo skills. You did the job for the perks of getting into gasoline alley, and being able to wander pretty much anywhere on the grounds (except for the pits). These days, it’s possible that someone with a good lens and a D40 in the stands might capture that fireball and post it online, or even send it directly to media outlets for publication for little or no compensation.

I would argue that there will always be a place for professional creative work in the marketplace. Through experience, professionals have gained the skills to best convey the message of the story – whether it be in images, design, illustration or words. Yet the onus of value justification for this work will continue to be placed in our hands.


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So, you’ve been shooting photographs for a while. You read all of the right photo magazines to learn about tricks and tips for making the best of your equipment, and think that you might be to a point where you’d like to take your work to the next level, but aren’t quite sure.

One way to find out if your photo chops are up to snuff is to get some honest feedback. In the old days, that would mean walking a portfolio of material around from place to place, showing your work to friends and professionals already in the industry. These days it’s much easier. In the last few years, a number of peer review sites have popped up on the net that actually get some decent traffic, where you’re just likely to get detailed feedback on your photo composition as your Photoshop skills.

Here are a few of my favorite sites for photography feedback:

Photosig.com

This site features an easily browse-able list of recently uploaded photos for critique. Users get contributor ratings for reviewing others work as well as submitting work for review. This encourages a healthy give and take in the review process. It’s also possible for you to rate the helpfulness of each comment, which really boosts the quality of each review. As you submit photos, you can categorize submissions into portfolio groupings for easy online management. It’s free for a basic account where you can submit a few photos a day, but to upload more photos, you may want to poney up the $25 for a one year membership.

Photo.net

While not entirely a photo peer review site, this site is also incredibly active. You’ll find a large number of users submitting photos on a regular basis. This can mean that your submissions may get quickly buried underneath the torrent of other submissions. That being said, I’ve also seen some well thought-out, constructive comments on this site. Be sure to check out their photo of the week log for a look at some great work.

PhotoPoints

This site also has a good amount of traffic. You’ll get a number of reviews when you submit a photo, but they won’t all be very in-depth. There will always be quite a few “Nice Shot!” or “Wow, that’s pretty!” comments, even though you can mark that you prefer in-depth review comments to your submissions. Definitely worth checking out.


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It’s nearing the end of the year, and in addition to all of the prognostications and predictions of which celebrities will marry & or maim each other, yet it’s also a time for list making. Whether it be a New Year’s resolution list, a laundry list, or a grocery list, everyone seems to love lists.

Merriam-Webster has their yearly Word of the Year contest (truthiness won this year), so with your help, we would like to find out what is 2006’s Font of the Year. Will it be the ever popular Cooper Black? Will Trebuchet knock the walls out of Castle? Will the serif fonts belittle the sans serif fonts for lack of adornment? Only you can tell.

Help us determine which font will reign supreme until we crown a new Font of the Year in Dec 2007.

To help us determine which font will be crowned, please post a comment with your submission. Please submit only a single font. Yes, unlike with your children, we’re asking you to play favorites. We understand that you might have a very close relationship (some may say almost familial) with some of your fonts, but nonetheless, please only submit one.


Origami Holiday Card

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RG/AFor those of you who have procrastinated so long that there’s no possible way that your friendly neighborhood postman could ever humanly deliver all all of your holiday cards in time, why not send your greetings online? RG/A has created this absolutely fabulous online origami holiday card maker. Enter your own message to create a custom card for all of your friends and family.

Via How Magazine’s blog.


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