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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.


Mexican Blackletter

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Mexican Blackletter bookAn interesting book that covers the usage of the Blackletter font in Mexican daily life was recently published by Mark Batty Publisher. The book, Mexican Blackletter, written by Cristina Paoli, covers how the font permeates society and is used in signage by everyone from shop keepers to physicians. The font is steeped in Mexican culture and tradition, and this book gives us great photos of common uses.

Via Mike Lenhart’s Graphic Design Forum blog.

Read an excerpt from the book over at Graphics.com.


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http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vbasic/default.aspx http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/applescript/If you’re a Portfolio user, you already know that there are many ways to manage your files directly with the Portfolio application. Even with the powerful functions that come built-in to Portfolio, there may be times where you might like to further extend the abilities of Portfolio, or automate a somewhat repetitive task.

To help you accomplish these tasks, we’ve made Portfolio script-able with Visual Basic on Windows and AppleScript on the Mac. For example, you could use this ability to add an automated email every time something is added to Portfolio, or you could create a utility that automatically creates a new gallery on a weekly basis of all new items.

To get started, you’ll need to already know how to script with Visual Basic or AppleScript. To learn more about the scripting languages, see the Microsoft and Apple sites. Once you’ve got that covered, download the Visual Basic Guide or the AppleScript Guide and get scripting!

Note: On Windows you will also need to install the Visual Basic Scripting Type Library before creating and running custom scripts.


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MacworldIt might seem a bit early to most of you out there, but we’re already thinking about an important annual Mac event. An event so huge that it’s often referred to as the Mecca for Mac-heads, yes, it’s Macworld Expo.

Since its inception, we’ve had a booth at the Expo to tout our wares to the legions of fellow Mac-o-philes, and this year is no exception. In addition to letting you know what fine, fabulous products we have, this year we’ll be hosting a number of panel discussions and informational presentations.

Our two panel discussions will be staffed with industry experts, and will feature lively discussions about fonts – how they are created, as well as utilized in applications.

The first panel is called Working with Type in Design Applications. This panel will consist of our very own Extensis VP, Martin Stein as well as other industry experts. The focus of this panel will be about how these critical design applications interact with fonts.

So, here’s where your input comes in. To help use make the content of the panel the most helpful for you, and to guide our planning, we’d like to know what you want to ask our panelists.

For example:

  • How does each respective design application choose and display font menu names?
  • Do you have an application specific engine for rendering or managing fonts?
  • Does your company have a philosophy for how to handle fonts in your applications?

We hope to generate a lively discussion, and your help is definitely appreciated.

And, to show you just how much we appreciate your help, we’re giving away free passes to the Macworld Expo Exhibit Hall to the first 50 people who post a relevant question in the comments of this post.

Be sure to enter your email address correctly, so that I can send you an email with instructions for redeeming your free pass.


Helvetica the movie

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Helvetica the MovieIf you haven’t heard about it yet, there’s a movie in the works about a celebrity. No, we’re not talking about the latest and greatest teen pop star caught out on the town without any nickers. The celebrity we’re talking about has a much more interesting and long career filled much more intrigue, ascenders and descenders. Yes, that celebrity is Helvetica, and it’s Helvetica the movie.

While I can’t give the documentary proper justice in this short post, recently, AIGA interviewed director Gary Hustwit about his labor of love. A recommended read.

And, while Gary admits that it’s difficult to get an good impression for the entire movie from clips, he has graciously put up a number of them for us to savor.


Drawing – back to basics

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Brenda Hoddinott's DrawspaceEverything is so digital these days that it’s easy to forget that there was once a time when most creative work was done by hand. From Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel to setting lead type by hand.

For those of you who might also be harkening back to the earlier, arguably more simple, days of the creative work, Brenda Hoddinott has put together a site that’s chock full of basic drawing lessons. If you’ve ever wanted to get your hands back into the drawing game (Now, be honest, we all picked up a pencil and some crayons at one time or another as children.) Drawspace is a good place to start.

Online lessons are free, but if you’d like to download PDFs of any lesson to save, she asks you to upgrade to a “Premium” membership for $20. This will last you three months, which is definitely more than enough time for me to realize just how difficult it is to draw anything in perspective.

And, since everything these days will remain firmly digital, you can always scan your masterpieces and catalog them with Portfolio


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If you’re a Mac user, you most likely know a number of keyboard shortcuts for commonly used tasks in the Finder. During my decade working at companies that have a healthy mix of Mac & PC users, and I’ve found that we Mac users are typically very savvy with their shortcuts. Perhaps it’s because as Mac users, we had to deal with the limitation of the one button mouse for so long that it became a necessity to find other speedy ways of completing a task.

So, knowing how much use I’ve gotten out of Command-C + Command-V (Copy & Paste).¬† I can say that it’s always better to know more shortcuts. To that end, I recently found this fairly complete list of Mac OS X shortcuts, directly from the Apple’s mouth.

And, to not leave my fellow Windows users in the dark (heck, I’m a cross-platform kinda guy), this link contains some nifty Windows OS keyboard shortcuts. Even if they are a bit arcane (whomever thought of Alt-F4 to quit a program should have his head examined) it’s definitely worth your time to check them out.

And, I’m off with a three-fingered salute.


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textWhen putting together a project, choosing the right typeface can be a time consuming process. Depending upon how it is going to be used, the factors that you consider can vary wildly. For example, the process of choosing a typeface that will be the basis for a new company logo will likely be entirely different than choosing a typeface for an entire book.

Since the most important design factor with large blocks of text is readability, it can be challenging to find a face that doesn’t blend into a large grey blob. To help you navigate through those tough decisions, I recommend that you take a look at John McWade’s recent article for Layers magazine. He describes the attributes of a font that make a typeface most readable, and could definitely help you avoid the dreaded text blob in your next project.


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There is a little known extesion provided by Microsoft that extends the amount of font information available to users. After installing this extension, you’ll be able to view significantly more information about your TrueType and OpenType fonts than with the standard Windows installation.

  1. Download and install the extension.
  2. Locate your original font file on disk. Typically, fonts are stored in your C:\WINDOWS\Fonts directory.
  3. Right click the font file and choose Properties.

Windows Font Extension


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