Friday, January 30, 2009


I hate January. It is far and away my least favorite month. The weather is terrible, my metabolism is sluggish, there are no holidays of which to speak and my ceratonin levels bottom out at least once a day. As a measure of therapy, last night I spent several hours going through the 950 fonts I had installed on my computer. Long ago in the early days of my design career I foolishly installed a 1000 fonts set. "All the fonts you'd ever need!" was the tagline on the file, and they were right. Unfortunately I've discovered over the years that I really only need 10 or 20 fonts for design work, and that means a lot of needless scrolling through stupid cartoon fonts, grunge fonts, and a whole litany of sans-serif lookalikes and folksy serif booktypes. I put a movie on in the second monitor and went though my font folder with a chainsaw. Goodbye Calaveras! See ya later, Gypsy Curse! They and 750 of their brethren fell by the wayside late last night. When it comes to fonts, I prefer to use a small stable of neutral-ish typefaces that I tweak and mess with to fit whatever design purposes I might have. A glaring exception to this rule is the font set I use perhaps more than any other. It is also the only font set I have ever bought. I use the HPLHS prop font library to an almost embarrassing degree, as certain fonts contained therein take the neutrality of the sans-serif fonts toward which I gravitate and balance it with the printed, slightly imperfect feel that I love. Gothic, Black Gothic and Headline from this collection are all over my design work from the past few years and I owe this library a pretty tremendous debt for acting as one kind of guide for my work. So go download the free pack and, if you are so inclined, kick them some money for the full set.

Looking through the fonts has gotten me thinking about my personal design sensibilities when it comes to layout and typography. I'm really proud of myself, which is rare, when it comes to my personal aesthetic style in the past years. I can really chart a massive growth in most aspects of what I create. As an example, allow me to show you some of the work I've done for my wife from the past few years. See if you can spot the subtle growth.