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Top Fonts on Font reach

Fontreach - FontReach scans the top million sites to show font usage across the web

FontReach: scans top million sites to show font usage across the web

Whilst trawling the web last night, I came across this amazing font related website, called: FontReach, which 'simply' scans the top million websites to show how fonts are used across the internet.

Website Design and developed by Jesse Chase and Jason Chen, who deserve epic Kudos for a fantastic idea well implemented.

I initially tweeted it, and quickly saw how many times it had been liked and RT'd, which is a good indicator of how popular it could be.

FontReach is a gorgeously designed website, not to mention really quite interesting, AND useful, to play around with. It actually does provide good insight into how popular and widespread, or not, certain fonts are.

As a web designer, looking to decide which fonts to use for a website design, FontReach could be a pretty useful tool. Being able to consider a more varied choice of web fonts, not to mention being provided with names of other fonts you might have known about before.

I did a few basic font searches, and the top results are not really all that surprising, with Arial (below) coming in ranked number 1. What I like is seeing how the many variations of a certain font are also used, so you get the whole picture based on a certain type family, rather than just the main 'parent' name.

I also did a quick search for Helvetica (ranked 3rd), Times (ranked 23rd), and Gotham (ranked 55th) and Comic Sans (ranked 84th). Shouldn't be surprised, or shocked, to see how often Comic Sans has been used as a font in a website design, but I still am.
Arial Font on Fontreach Times Font on Font reach Comic Sans Font on Fontreach Gotham Font on Fontreach Helvetica Font on Font reach




If you have a logo design problem

Logo Design Advice from The Logo Smith [AQfG]

"A Question for Grahamis a Logo Design Advice & Help feature that is focused on providing help for any: logo & brand identity; freelancing; graphic design; marketing & advertising, questions you might have. You might have a problem that you could do with sharing, or simply need some advice.

I get a fair number of emails each week, with questions about one aspect, or another, relating to freelancing as a logo and graphic designer. Due to work commitments etc, I have often struggled to even send back a basic reply in some cases.

A Question for Graham [AQfG] is a way for me to create some form, structure and usefulness out of this particular aspect of my day.

Answers Turned to Blog Posts

If you ask me a question, and I feel it's also a question that other people would find the answer of use, I will write the answer as a regular blog post. The idea is that you get your answer in a format that is useful as well as providing me a platform to share the answer with everyone else.

I can't promise that all questions asked will be replied in this format as this comes down to both my own time as well as relevancy, but also if the question is something a reasonable blog post can be created from.

Here are a few questions already answered: A Question for Graham

Have a Question?

If you have any kind of question relating to: logo and brand identity, freelancing, accounts, client woes etc, then please feel free to email me at: [email protected] or visit my contact page and use the form.

I will reply to all questions so you will know promptly if a blog post will be in the works or not. If the latter then I still may answer in a personal email if time permits.

Please ensure you add "I have a question for Graham" in the email Subject field.




"Read" Typographic Poster Designed by AMVBBDO

Seen this very cool typographic poster for the typemusueam.org floating around the interwebs for a while. Never seen a 'quality' version of it, with each instance of it used being.JPEG'd and progressively degraded each time it's shared, uploaded, resaved etc.

Did some digging around, in the hope of finding a larger and cleaner version of this typographic poster, but alas nothing.

However, I was able to narrow down that this was designed by AMVBBDO (Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO), a print advertisement back in 2005 for the typemusuem.org

Couldn't locate any mention of it on Abbott's website, which is a shame. It's probably been long relegated to the archives :(

I Recreated A New Version in Helvetica

I decided to whip-up a reasonably accurate facsimile of the poster, but using Helvetica.

I will say it was really tough typing out that sentence; my brain kept wanting to correct the spelling, and was much harder than I thought to just read, and type, one letter at a time.

My brain really didn't like doing that. Give it a go…

"A good tpyeafce mkaes ahnytnig eeisar to raed" / "A good typeface makes anything easier to read"




Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Poster designed by Cameron Moll

Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Type Poster - Limited Edition (1,500 copies)

Shortly after publishing the Helvetica, Futura and Garamond Typeface Illustrations post yesterday, and referencing some older typographic work by Cameron Moll, I didn't realise that Cameron has just finished his latest masterpiece: the Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Type Poster.

This was initially a Kickstarter project which, no surprise, easily reached and surpassed it's funding goal of $10,000 with $64,597 pledged. The Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Type Poster was funded on the 9th November, 2014, and the last consignment was dispatched mid-April, 2014.

So, along with with Colosseo Letterpress Poster, and the Salt Lake Temple Letterpress Poster there is this magnificent Brooklyn Bridge Poster, which consists only of type.

Cameron Moll: "The artwork is designed in Illustrator, and it's incredibly tedious. Some sections can be copied and pasted, but 70-80% of the characters you see in the artwork are positioned, sized, and rotated one by one. I generally can do only an hour at a time, as my eyes (and brain) go bonkers if I stretch it out any longer."

The photograph below, taken by Cameron, was used as the foundation for the poster.

Brooklyn Bridge Photographed by Cameron Moll

Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Poster designed by Cameron Moll Brooklyn-Bridge-Letterpress-Poster-designed-by-Cameron-Moll-4

Hidden Names

If you view the Kickstarter project page you'll also see how Cameron carefully worked various meaningful names (above), including his own signature, into the Brooklyn poster, which is cool.

The Misspelling of Brookyln

There is a nightmare of a story linked to this project, which leaves one feeling extremely gutted for Cameron. You can read the story over on Kickstarter. Also worth reading the comments to see how different people felt about the situation at the time. I like to think I would have been cool with it, and would have accepted whatever Cameron decided to do, but certainly some people were not so forgiving. Hard one to call…

Buy Your Own Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Type Poster

I believe you can still purchase the poster direct from Cameron's website, for $120: PRE-ORDER: Brooklyn Bridge 24"x16" Letterpress Poster

The poster is letterpress printed on Crane Lettra Pearl, with the ink colours carefully selected to match the granite and limestone used to construct the bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Poster designed by Cameron MollBrooklyn Bridge Letterpress Poster designed by Cameron Moll Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Poster designed by Cameron Moll





In this post I'll provide some basic, but useful, advice for clients who are looking to find and hire a logo designer on Google, and the Website in General

If there is one thing I know for certain? It's that it must be a complete nightmare to hire a logo designer that 'ticks all the boxes', not because there are so few of us logo designers around: it's actually the complete opposite.

There are gazillions of potential logo designer candidates worldwide: all of varying skill levels, some with years of experience and some none at all; some experienced without any academic qualifications, and some with; some with a unique 'signature' design style, and others who are very adaptable; some that are cheap, mid-priced, and others that pitch higher than usual.

I really don't know what 'the' usual price level is for logo designers given the sheer scope of factors that can and do determine how much a logo designer can, should, does, or doesn't charge

Some are local for a given search, and some will be geographically challenged; some talented logo designers simply don't advertise, or make it easy to be found, whilst some logo designers have the marketing, advertising, social networking savvy that makes it easier for them to be found; some are well-known, and some are not; and so on.

Just to be clear: I am mostly talking about the self-employed/freelance logo designer, not so much the hobbyist, or indeed the larger design studio/agency. 

However, it's certainly a travesty that certain logo design shops tend to dominate Google's (and other search engines) top rankings, as well as completely gobbling up the sponsored ad spots, which must cost them a complete fortune to run day-after-day-after-day (I can barely afford the minimum for one day).

Typical search terms, like: "logo designer", "logo design", "freelance logo designer", "professional logo designer", "I need a logo designer", and so on, are invariably 'taken' for Google 1st page results.

It's Better Than it Was

For sure, things are much better on Google than they were, even just 2 or so years ago. Google has done an incredible job really, when you think about it, of clearing up the no-good-for-nothing-black-hat-gangsters looking to prey on the weak and naive.

I clearly remember thinking how on earth is someone like me will ever be found on Google: the proverbial needle in the haystack, likely at the bottom, in the middle and buried under 5ft of earth.

It's a Daunting Process To Hire a Logo Designer

It's a daunting process trying to locate a suitable logo designer for your needs, made even harder when you have to negotiate and filter out logo design 'battery farms'.  You may be looking for a certain type of designer, or looking for a company local to you.

Yet, whatever you search for in Google, you are faced with the many number of search results focusing on the latest marketing buzz hook: 'free logo designs', 'logo designers for $5', 'create your own logo for free online', '300% Guarantee', 'professional logo design for £19.99 in under 24 hours', 'bronze package', 'silver package', 'carbon fibre with titanium and moon rock dust package'.

I need to emphasise that not all the 'package deal' options are to be avoided, far from it. But this is part of the problem, some of these package-dealers try hard to look respectable, genuine and honest, and often succeed in doing so.

Being discovered is seemingly the hardest challenge for the: solo, self-employed, small studio logo designer. The genuine, the sincere, the passionate logo designer will likely not have the funds, resources and audacity, needed to prise themselves to top of the 1st page of search results.

Look Past the 1st Page

All these search results seem to take up the first page, you may be lucky and find a respectable and very reputable logo design studio/agency dotted the 1st page of results, but it helps to know what you are looking for, and what specifically one should avoid.

Unless you are familiar with graphic design, and have inside track on the logo design industry, you may find yourself out-manned, and out-gunned, and very quickly out-financed.

You may end up exhausted and frustrated in your search, giving up and opting to go with a logo designer that you just hope will deliver. The promise of that 'Titanium Package with unlimited tweaks, designed in 24 hours and only costing you a fantastically cheap rate of £49.99' seems to good to be true.

If you're needs are small, and you simply don't care much for quality, then you'll be serviced just fine, but if you feel the logo and identity is important to you, then it's unlikely the cheap options, but the ones that you'll be served up on the 1st page, will indeed deliver.

Picking up the Pieces

In recent years, I have found myself, more and more, picking up the pieces for a number of clients who thought they'd try their luck with the cheaper logo design option, or crowd sourcing site, such as 99Designs.

Invariably, after being served up their 3-5 logo ideas, they realise how utterly disappointing the experience has been. Then it's usually a case of having to pay yet more money to now find a more competent, and personable, logo designer.

It's quite gutting for me to see the sort of work they were presented, you can just hear the utter disappointment in the their voices. The realisation of how far behind schedule they are, and now having to pay all over again.

Some General Advice to Hire a Logo Designer

The best advice I can give, without sounding too 'use me, use me' is to not rush any part of this process of finding a logo designer to work with. If you are genuinely short of time, then the first option below could be the life saver you need.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations are valuable, if you know of someone who had a logo designed, then ask them for a name. Twitter is perfect for this sort of method, as word-of-mouth quickly spreads, and you could have a interesting mix of contacts to check out.

GOOGLE
Ultimately, and this really is the moral and purpose of this post: Don't give up looking on Google once you reach the end of Page 1. I can assure you: if you spend time looking through pages: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and onwards, you'll come across some truly talented logo designers.

Just because a logo designer does not appear on page 1 of your favourite search engine, it certainly does not mean they should be ignored. If anything, it's this reason that they ought to be given more of your time.

"Poor Google rankings, and placement, is by no means a reflection on the integrity, skill and reputation of a logo designer."

I know many talented designers that probably don't come even in the first 5 pages of search results.

A GOOD FIT
And this is the thing, try to find a logo designer that is a good fit for you, not just visually but also from a personality point of view. The more you can 'gel' with a designer, the better the whole process and the more likely you will have a logo designer prepared to bend over backwards for you.

That level of commitment in a designer just can't be bought. It is a partnership.

COMMUNICATION
A designer who is prepared to talk on the phone, who is relatively transparent in the area of communication and contact is a positive sign, but not all designers can or will spend hours on the phone with their client. This is down to you, go for a designer that feels right for you. You may be OK with not needing to talk on the phone to discuss progress, or you may be someone that needs that level of feedback and interaction.

To Conclude

Many logo designers are keen social media junkies, actively contributing to the design community, writing and posting on their own blogs, chatting with other like minded designers on Twitter and Facebook.

You'll find some super talented logo designers on Flickr, just browser through some of the popular Groups, even basic search queries will provide some good results to check out. Dribbble is another major creative platform that should certainly result in finding a suitable designer to work with.

There are heaps of external portfolio sites, such as Behance, Iconify etc, that specialise in showcasing logo and brand identity projects, and these provide a proverbial gold-mine of talented designers to pick from.

Don't rush your search to hire a logo designer, but do try to be a little more selective on where you conduct the search.

If it's Google, then you'll be rewarded if you generally scoot pass the 1st page of results.

Don't ignore the 1st page, as it depends completely on your search term, but do allow yourself time to give the next few pages of results some of your time.

We are everywhere, if you know where to look.




Glober font by Font Fabric

 

Glober font by Font Fabric

Glober font by Font Fabric

Glober font by Font Fabric

Some of the offers on Myfonts are simply ludicrous. When you consider HOW much effort, skill, passion goes into the research and development of just one font, let alone a complete typeface family, it does make me wonder how on earth they can sell the complete Glober Sans-Serif Type System: 18 weights, for (currently) £11.60 which is 90% off their recommended pricing.

This is a great type family to get your hands on: a beautiful selection of fonts—I'm particularly drawn to the thin/light and heavier weights—for such a stupid amount of money.

Font Fabric: "The Glober font family includes 18 weights – nine uprights with nine italics. It is characterized by excellent legibility in both – web & print design areas, well-finished geometric designs, optimized kerning, excellent web-font performance and legibility etc.

Inspired by the classic grotesque typefaces – Glober has his own unique style in expressed perfect softened geometric forms.

The font family is most suitable for headlines of all sizes, as well as for text blocks that come in both maximum and minimum variations. Glober font styles are applicable for any type of graphic design in web, print, motion graphics etc and perfect for t-shirts and other items like posters, logos."

Glober font by Font Fabric

Type Hero for Logo Designers

Type Hero is where I pick out certain fonts and typefaces that I find particularly cool, useful, charming, endearing, value for money etc. For the most part the font choices will be geared towards styles that I feel would work well in a logo and brand identity design scenario.

MyFonts has become a steady source of font inspiration, so many will be sourced from there, but I will also highlight fonts direct from font foundries when possible.

Worth noting, I think, that all Type Hero suggestions are based on fonts I have myself purchased. I am indeed: talking the walk, and walking the talk.





Helvetica-Moleskine-Notebook-5

So here it is, The Helvetica Moleskine Christmas Giveaway has finally landed! I've been hanging on to these for a good few years now in the hope I might round to actually using them, but haven't been able to bring myself to tear off the protective cellophane.

(Whilst you're here: don't forget to enter my other Christmas Giveaway for the rather cool, and useful: Slat Mobile Airdesk

So rather hanging onto these beautiful notebooks, I've decided to give' em away (whilst still holding onto one black and one red Helvetica Moleskine for myself).

I have two black and one Red Helvetica Moleskine's up-for-grabs, with two runner up prizes of Type Trumps.

Helvetica-Moleskine-Notebook-10

Helvetica-Moleskine-Notebook-11

How to Participate

  1. Leave your name in comments below.
  2. Any Google+ and/or Facebook Likes (found in my footer) would be appreciated, but not compulsory.
  3. As all my giveaways are completely self-funded, if you are able to visit one or more of my site sponsors (found top of my sidebar) this would be much appreciated: helps fund the giveaway, and others' to come.
  4. One could also sign-up to receive my blog updates (newsletter) via email
  5. Maybe you might want to retweet the post, maybe you might not. Up-to-you…

That's pretty much it.

Once I know who the winners are I will be in touch to arrange appropriate postage and packing. You can try leaving your colour preference for Moleskine in comments, but as there are only two red ones and one black one, you might just have to take what's available.

Those scratches are just on the protective wrapping…

Helvetica-Moleskine-Notebook-12

Helvetica-Moleskine-Notebook-5

Helvetica-Moleskine-Notebook-5

Helvetica-Moleskine-Notebook-5




Vintage Designs by Ben Didier

About Ben: "My name is Ben Didier. I am a graphic designer, type addict and music nerd who can usually be found cooking tacos or riding my bike around Vancouver, Canada. I am currently the Senior Designer at CBC Music."

When I first came across Ben's website: Pretty/Ugly Design, via a post for some promotional t-shirt designs for Handsome, I first thought I'd simply post about those as they were so very cool.

Problem was that once I stared browsing the rest of Ben's portfolio I simply couldn't just post about one project because so many of them are outstandingly and fantastically awesome

So here (below) are a few select designs, all mostly come with a hand crafted typographic lettering vintage flair.

I think some of my real favourites are the Zatec Beer Ads, all last 6 of them below.

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stayinside_680

Vintage Designs by Ben Didier

Vintage Designs by Ben Didier

Vintage Designs by Ben Didier

Vintage Designs by Ben Didier

Vintage Designs by Ben Didier

Vintage Designs by Ben Didier

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zatec6_680

zatec5_680

zatec4_680

zatec3_680

zatec2_680

zatec1_680