new and free font of the month!

I LOVE  this new style that Nancy developed for this month's new font Vibrant Women. A totally less is more drawing style. This is a great clip art font that has many uses. Simple, elegant, classic. And I've been saving Diva Doodles Too to go with her font. If you still need even more womanly graphics take a look at Diva Doodles. To get Diva Doodles Too for free use the download link on the right. Enjoy!

guest blogger... type tuesday & going to the dogs...

Today we have guest blogger and font designer Nancy Vala sharing her upcoming font Woof! I think it is always interesting to know how someone made something. I love to hearing about another artist's process. Even though Nancy and I both make fonts our approach is different. (Nancy also made Yoga Studio.)

So far, so good. I have 23 dogs done and 7 more to go for our upcoming dog font, Woof! It's been hard work (2 to 3 hours per dog) but also lots of fun.

I thought I was a cat person. But when Rae sent me this delicate little figurine thinking it was a Dalmation I thought, "But it looks like a Great Dane, with spots." Because the legs are long and placed gracefully in front of him, the head is big, the ears small. Dalmations hardly stay still and if they do, they curl up. The strange thing is that I don't know how I know this. Apparently I have been observing dogs all along . . . (I did learn that Great Danes do have spots).

Most dogs took 2 or 3 hours except this one. It took two days to draw this Boston Terrier. For each dog I think about what makes them that particular breed. I want you to recognize in a glance, in a few strokes, which dog it is. The Golden Retriever is happy, happy, tongue out. The Chihuahua might start shaking at any moment. The Doberman is tough and proud. But this little guy has so much character and so many faces -- it was like trying to take a photograph of a fast-moving object.

The German Shepherd spends a lot of time sitting but not necessarily at rest. He's guarding, watching, always aware of what's going on around him. I was happy when I figured out how to draw the teeth and the tongue together. In order to make the font work, the drawings must consist of filled spaces. There are no lines even though it looks like there are -- it becomes a challenge to see how it can work, part of the fun.

Had to draw a Sheltie of course, since I had one of my own. A sweetheart named Diego who happened to be a purebred Shetland Sheepdog. For this one I used a photo that I had taken of Diego, in the snow. For the other dogs I start with the AKC characteristics of each dog, skimming that to get a basic and correct idea. Then I look at tons of photos -- one photo might have the perfect nose, another have beautiful markings and the next one a characteristic paw. All of these things are then expressed in a simple line.

This is the latest one, a Saint Bernard. A big, sweet, drooling former rescue dog. Hope you like them!

Nancy Vala is an award-winning writer and artist. She's got a gypsy wagon full of words, illustrations or a combination of both, hitched up to a cyberspace star. She can tell your story with a logo, a press release, a resume, a postcard, a T-shirt, a marketing campaign, a short but sweet bio, a portrait . . . take a look at her website, or her blog, Walking Satellite. You can find her down to earth in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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type tuesday... the 50 most popular typefaces in the world

Seattle-based designer Shelby White has created a rather nice looking guide to 50 of the most commonly used typefaces in the world that includes fun info like the fonts’ designers, birthdays and cities of origin. Added bonus: It’s conveniently available for purchase as a print for $29. Click here to view the full-size version. [via Fast Company]

I love it when information can be visually presented in a concise and pleasing way.

type tuesday... helvetica vs. arial...

I know some people don't like Helvetica. But I love Helvetica because it is so well crafted. It is a beautiful typeface. While I think it may be over used that does not in my mind take away from the fact that good design is good design.

Helvetica was created in the 1950s by the Haas Foundry in Switzerland. Microsoft later created Arial which is similar. I just never think a knock-off of anything is better. But Arial comes bundled with all computers. So Arial is used more than Helvetica...

So if you feel strongly either way or just like a little font fun you can play the helvetica vs. arial font game...  enjoy!

(Thanks Laurie for passing this on!)

type tuesday... a game for type nerds...

and you all know who you are. I think this would be a great game but unfortunately absolutely no one would ever play it with me. I couldn't convince anyone to play pictionary with me either.

If you are interested in the game there is a link to the right. Enjoy!

type tuesday... typography for lawyers...

I was delighted to find this website Typography for Lawyers. Butterick has even written a book on this topic. His site breaks typography down into easy to understand examples for the non-typographer. This site is very useful whether you are a lawyer or not, graphic artist or not. It is easy to understand and fun to read.

Matthew Butterick got his B.A. degree from Harvard University in visual & environmental studies, also studying mathematics and letterpress printing. His work is in the permanent collection of the Houghton Library at Harvard. Butterick started his design career at the Font Bureau as a typeface designer and engineer. At the beginning of the Internet era, he moved to San Francisco and founded website design and engineering company Atomic Vision. Atomic Vision was later acquired by open-source software developer Red Hat. More recently, Butterick got a law degree from UCLA and has been practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. While he's not the only typographer-turned-attorney in America (or even in Los Angeles), he is the only one who operates a website called Typography for Lawyers. - Font Bureau