Many companies these days are trying to refresh their look and trying to come up with new website designs, cleaner graphics and even new logos. Success is certain for one, but the other two, not so much.
Back in January, local sub chain Cousins Subs decided to “update” its slightly psychedelic logo for a cleaner version. Personally, I think the new logo lacks the oomph and style of the old one and is now just bo-ring! Yeah, its clean and nice, but the font is uninteresting and really has no personality. You can check out the article from the Journal Sentinel about the change, or just look below at the two versions and decide for yourself:
The second logo FAIL, was the recent attempt by the Gap to change their logo without really thinking through the customer reaction to the change or how this new look would affect the image of their classic logo. After suffering some harsh backlash via Twitter and Facebook, the retail giant withdrew the new logo and reverted back to the iconic original.
Finally, just out in the news last week on the Internet Retailer website, is FAO Schwarz the toy store, with their new logo attempt. Now here we have an elegantly designed, brand appropriate look. The new logo has a classic, timeless feel that really relates to their position as the toymaker of choice. I really love this design. It is not boring and blocky, but well thought out and beautiful.
I love fonts, type and typography. One of my favorite blogs to read, How About Orange, recently linked to a great site called “Typography for Lawyers”, for those of you interested in the nuances of typography this is a great little site that includes topics such as: The consequences of bad typography: a historic example, as well as basic, intermediate and advanced typography.
I also receive the e-newsletter from My Fonts called “Creative Characters” which features a different designer interview in each issue. It is so interesting to get inside the minds of the creative souls behind all these fabulous fonts. The interviews ask questions like what inspires them, what new projects are on the horizon, and also goes over some of the back-stories behind fonts they have created and how they began designing fonts in the first place. You can sign up for their newsletter, too, or visit the newsletter archives, or even buy the book with the first two years of interviews all in one spot!
I have just finished reading a really great book (lent to me by my son’s girlfriend!) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is a non-fiction work detailing (in great detail, mind you) the taking of the cells of the aforementioned Henrietta in the 1950s while she was being treated for cancer at Johns Hopkins. Her cells were found to be very viable and able to reproduce at rapid rates unseen before in history. They subsequently went on to become important in many medical advances, and not just for cancer. The helped develop the polio vaccine, HPV vaccine, they’ve been to space and blown up.
The thing of it is, no one ever told her family and they have never received any compensation for any of the millions of dollars made by the buying/selling of her cells all these years. Her family didn’t even find out her cells were still “alive” until 25 years after her death! Rebecca Skloot does an amazing job of describing scientific terms in plain English while also treating the Lacks family with much tenderness, love and understanding. These were/are real people, not just anonymous test subjects. It is a great read and a great thought provoker on the costs of science vs. the benefits we might obtain if it goes right. You can get your own copy at your local library or buy one on Amazon, like so:
Here are five of the best free fonts that I use all the time:
- Plastique from DaFont: Gives you that “punch label” feeling every time! Go ahead make some labels for your pages. This is a really fun font, just put a colored rectangle behind it and away you go! The sample page below features both this font and the next in it.
- Problem Secretary, also from DaFont: is a great text font for your pages. It comes in a normal (straighter) version or the “problem” version which is kind of a wavy baseline. Loooove this font. Also great for labels and tags. See above page sample to see it in action in the title and tag.
- Pea Karen’s Doodles from Fonts For Peas: This is a great hand-drawn doodly font from which I especially love the arrows, the lowercase “p” being my favorite. See how I used it in the picture below.
- The King & Queen also from DaFont: This is a great font for your girl pages or for fun invitations and formal lettering projects. It looks great with metallic layer styling applied, too, as you can see in my sample page below.
- Your Own Handwriting! turned into a font. This has to be one of the coolest sites for digital scrapbookers as you can add your own actual handwriting to your pages now. You have to download a template, fill it out and scan it back to them. You can create multiple fonts, though. Just think: printed, cursive, doodles, whatever! Here’s the sample of mine:
Are there any fonts you’d add to this list? Or what are your top five choices? Leave your comments below.
Inspired by the coming of Spring and the Washington Post’s Peep diorama contest, I would like to feature a layout I did awhile back on the favorite springtime treat, as my family has a little bit of a different take on the situation! Enjoy!
Click the photo to visit our gallery for tips on the techniques used in this layout.