Archive of August 2009

Behind the Typedia Logo Design

I finally got a chance to read through the whole thing. As one commenter notes, reading through this process is mesmerizing. My favorite bit:

If you’re familiar with Bodoni and Didot, you’ll also be able to see my many departures from those faces. The very slight flares at the ends of the thin flourishes, for example, are a personal favorite detail of mine. Without them, the end of a thin stroke seems arbitrary to me, like, “well, guess it may as well end here…”. I prefer to say, “This is exactly where I want the stroke to end”—to make the last bit of ink (or toner, or whatever) to be like a punch line or dessert—kind of a little tiny celebration at the end of something joyful.

They look stunning in the finished logo.

Introducing Typedia

Jason Santa Maria introduces Typedia, which is exactly what it sounds like:

At its simplest, Typedia is a shared encyclopedia of typefaces. Think of it as All Music or IMDb for type, but created and curated by everyone.

I don’t think this man ever sleeps. (Or stops thinking about type.)

Not Everyone “Got” It

Michael Rottman for The Morning News:

In the early days of The Muppet Show, the famous bonhomie between celebrities and their Muppet co-stars wasn’t there yet.

These are great. I especially like the end.

Thanks Rebecca.


Daily Writing Tips has a post about “catty-corner” and its variants.

What they’re missing, however, is the crucial connection to one of my favorite words, “cattywompus.”

via thatwhichmatter

“Domain Tasters” Get the Boot from ICANN

ICANN, keeper of domain names, allows a 5-day grace period within which a domain name may be returned gratis. “Domain tasters” take advantage of this by registering excessive numbers of domain names, throwing up advertising on them, and then leaving before they get the bill.

Now, ICANN has implemented a penalty fee for large numbers of cancellations. Johm Timmer reports:

In 2008, ICANN decided to act. It allowed domain registrars to withdraw as many as 10 percent of their total registrations; they would face penalties for anything above that. Initially, ICANN adopted a budget that included a charge of $0.20 for each withdrawal above the limit, which was in effect from June 2008 to July of this year. Later, it adopted an official policy that raised the penalty to $6.75, the cost of a .org registration; that took effect in July 2009.

The numbers dropped from 17 million in June 2008 to 60,000 in July 2009. This is fantastic news.

Hat tip: Andy Baio.

Midnight Breakfast is Back

We’ve been trying to revive it for a few months now, but it seems to be back in full swing. Drop on by and join the conversation.

Gruber on Ninjawords’ Censorship by Apple

First off, I love the Ninjawords online dictionary, and have for some time, since I first discovered it through Wordie.

This story, however, is outrageous. The gist is that the Ninjawords developers had to remove “objectionable content” from their dictionary in order to get it published in the App Store, removing words like “ass” and “snatch.”

Take a moment to breathe that in. Apple. Censored. A dictionary.

The situation with the App Store in general seems to be showing a particularly ugly side to Apple, that I would have never expected to see so fully a year or more ago. I don’t use an iPhone, but I was happy that they came up with a model for the App Store that seemed to be so beneficial to the little guys in software development. The App Store, in theory, makes iPhone applications compete primarily on quality, not brand recognition.

But the way Apple guards its gates is madness.


Kernest is one of the first good options for using embedded fonts in a website. Unlike projects like Cufón or sIFR, Kernest takes advantage of @font-face embedding, which is now supported by Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.

One of the problems with @font-face at the moment is that Safari and Firefox support font formats like OpenType and TrueType, while Internet Explorer only supports Embedded OpenType. The usual workaround is to supply a different format depending on the requesting browser. This is exactly what Kernest takes care of for you.

Not only will it serve the right file type depending on the browser, it will only serve the font files when the request comes from a domain name tied to that particular font. Many of the current selection of fonts are free, but in order to make them available to your domain, you must activate them. Based on my brief use, this is a very simple process, requiring only a user account, and adding new domains is completely effortless.

After activating a font for your domain, you simply link to a stylesheet specific to your domain on their server. It is worth noting that there is no javascript involved, and this is as it should be.

I’ve been trying Kernest out for a few days now, and have found the experience very pleasant all around. I don’t know much about what TypeKit’s model will be like, whether they will have some fonts available free of charge, or if there will still be a charge for the service. If not, Kernest looks like it could be a great free alternative for projects without a budget for fonts.

And in the meantime, I highly recommend giving it a try. There are already several serviceable fonts on the site. I’m currently using Droid Serif from Ascender Corp

UPDATE: I’ve since switched to Heuristica.

Mad Men Yourself

I clearly had too much fun with this.

UPDATE: I am clearly continuing to have too much fun with this.