Type Tuesdays: Pretty in Grunge

As much as I admire some of the fantastic grunge designs out there, I can never really fully commit to it myself. Rather, I prefer to pick and choose grungy elements and incorporate them into my layouts…like a grungy background, torn or frayed textures, or interesting fonts that are either full grunge, or just a little distressed or eroded.

For this week’s Type Tuesday, I’m highlighting some really beautiful fonts that all have a touch of grunge to them…enjoy:

Angelic War

If capital letters aren’t too important to you, then Angelic War is a beautiful option for your designs…with tons of swooshy flourishes, it adds a lovely touch of femininity to a relatively simple distressed serif. Designed by Dirt2, Angelic War is free for personal use – grab it here.

Chic Decay

Free for personal use and created by Last Soundtrack, Chic Decay is a beautiful ornamental serif that is all about layered flourishes, letters, and bits of erosion. The more you look at it, the more you see…see it for yourself here.

Ginga

If you’re looking for a splotchy script (perhaps invoking the sense of a spilled inkwell), then Ginga is for you…It’s got sweeping flourishes, and a somewhat layered look about it. And splotches, of course. Not too many, but just enough to give it a distressed and slightly sloppy look. Created by Billy Argel, Ginga is free, and can be downloaded here.

The King & Queen Font

I’m never really sure how to describe The King & Queen Font…it’s an interesting script that looks almost like someone’s traced it over a few times, adding little details and flourishes each time that remind me of vines…as an added touch, there’s a little bit of splotchiness incorporated into the punctuation. You can download The King & Queen Font here, and use it to your heart’s content…it’s free for use, thanks to type designer Bran.

Olho de Boi

Another free font from Billy Argel, Olho de Boi is a great script that borders on handwriting, but looks like it was written with a slightly shaky hand…and with a little too much ink on the nib. Get it here.

Porcelain

If you’re looking for a beautiful alternative to script standards such as Edwardian Script or Snell Roundhand, try Porcelain…what makes this script so beautiful (besides it’s amazingly intricate uppercase letters) and just a little bit grunge, is the slight offset observed in all of its loops…giving it just a touch of misalignment, but a ton of interest. Porcelain was designed by Misprinted Type and is free to download.

Selfish

Also by Misprinted Type, Selfish is a slightly exaggerated version of Porcelain…the swooshes are reduced, but the misalignment/offset is increased, creating a slightly heavier looking script, with lots of visual interest. You can visualize it for yourself (and for free!) right here.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Changing The Face of Men’s Health

In case you haven’t heard, November has been re-christened Movember in an effort to raise funds for prostate cancer…the “mo” is in reference to the fact that men all over the world will be growing moustaches throughout the month as they campaign for your donations.

As a Mo-Sista, I am incapable of growing a moustache…but can still raise money for the cause (donate here if men’s prostates are important to you), and spread inspiration…here’s a little help to my moustache-growing mo-bros, and a few fun items to help spread the word about Movember and prostate health.

If you’re growing a moustache, and either you or your significant other is suffering from its bristles, then some Natural Moustache and Beard Softener Spray, courtesy of JoyfulGirlNatural might come in handy. Once that moustache really gets growing, though, it’ll be Scodioli Creative to the rescue, with their Whisker Wax to help tame and coif your stylin’ moustache.

To get the word out somewhere other than your face, show a little love for the moustache with this 4-pack of 1-inch “I Love Moustache” buttons created by sprocketbox.

For slightly dressier pins, go for these Fancy Moustache Pins handcrafted in black, white and silver vinyl by Montrealer yummypocket…perfect for any occasion, and any outfit!

Or, for the ultimate in sophistication, get yourself one of idlehandsdesigns‘ oxidized sterling silver Fancy Moustache Necklaces…it doesn’t get any classier than this.

For Mo-Sista’s looking to get into the action in a slightly less formal way, then head no further than Hamilton, ON where LoveElycia has just the thing: her Incognito Moustache Headband will add a little moustache-bling to your outfit without breaking the bank.

Finally, if you just desperately want your own mo, but can’t grow one, or don’t have the patience or the inclination to go through that “awkward” phase, then you’re in need of Little Retreats‘ set of 8 of your very own Stache-Tastic Moustaches.

And last but not least, let’s not forget your home…why not show your support for the cause with this super cute Mr. Moustache hand embroidered wall decoration, by Vancouver-based bubblyshnooks.

For more moustache-related goodies – from totes, to t-shirts, to coffee mugs – perform a search for mustache (or the alternate moustache) on Etsy.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Why I Play Video Games, Part 1

Because they’re a fun way to escape reality, in a much more participatory fashion than say, TV or movies. That’s the easy and obvious answer. What isn’t so easy to define is why do I play particular video games? …Because my gaming habits are kind of all over the place.

Let’s explore, shall we?

Let me start off by stating that I have never played, nor do I have any real interest in playing the first Assassin’s Creed game. What drew me to the second one had less to do with the overall concept (though I must admit once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty fun to climb walls, run across rooftops, and assassinate guards for no particular reason), and more to do with its setting.

Set in early Renaissance Italy, Assassin’s Creed II follows the story of Ezio as he avenges his father’s death, and learns the ways of the Assassin…oh, and becomes chums with Leonardo da Vinci, and flies experimental flying contraptions (and who wouldn’t get a kick out of that?).

The very best part of the game (what really drew me to it) was the amazing attention to detail of every aspect of the scenery. Yes. The scenery. Locations that I have been to and experienced first hand. The set and landscape of this game was so well done, it was like re-visiting Florence and Venice….and climbing all over them, and seeing them from angles I could never fathom in reality. It was extremely cool.

Florence

When I was in Florence, one of the best ways to orient yourself was to find a patch of sky, and look for the Duomo…if you could see it, you knew roughly where you were. This proved a useful tactic in the game, as well…only because you mostly traveled on rooftops, it was much easier to do.

But it wasn’t just the Duomo they got right. They got everything right. The meandering streets, the colours of the buildings and the rooftops, and the overall lack of green space north of the Arno. It was eerily accurate. Every brick, every clay tile, every tiny little detail.

Venice

In Venice, there seemed to be slightly more emphasis on the canals, and a little less on the ornamentation of some of the more spectacular buildings…I admit a little disappointment that the Triumphal Quadriga (or the horses of St. Mark) didn’t make it onto the basilica in the game (they were installed on the façade of the basilica in 1254, and only removed by Napoleon in 1797…they should have been there, no?).

But they sure got the canals right. What I particularly liked was the sense that everything was much newer in the game (you know…several hundred years newer)…for instance the Rialto Bridge was made of wood, rather than stone (a shame, really, because it would have been fun to find the spot where I ate “The Best Fish Ever” on its steps).

Generally, you really got the sense that the city built on top of a lagoon wasn’t showing as many signs of damp, cracking, and erosion from the water, as it does today…so there was a sense of stepping back in time to a very potentially real depiction of the city when it was booming, and was still Europe’s gateway to the East.

Lesson learned? I’ll play a video game if it has a connection to something I’ve experienced. In the case of Assassin’s Creed II, that connection was brought about by its realistic depiction of locations that I’d visited and where I created some fantastic memories.

[ The above stills from Assassin's Creed II were gathered on a number of gaming sites, but were among the initial releases made by the games' producers, Ubisoft...on a side note, the game was produced locally, in Montreal (yay!) ]

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Last Minute Halloween Bunting

I’ve been living out of boxes since July…it’s a long story involving a temporary apartment, and many attempts to buy my own home. But that’s neither here nor there. Saturday afternoon, as my boyfriend started raiding the candy I’d bought for the hordes of children that’ll be here tonight (apparently my street is the place to be on Halloween), I realized that I had no Halloween decorations whatsoever (and no desire to buy any, because I’ll just have to pack them up, and add to my apartment full of boxes).

So what to do?

I started looking around to see if I had anything – I mean anything orange. All I wanted was something simple, but that would indicate to trick-or-treaters that I have candy.

All I could find were CD envelopes. Orange CD envelopes, with a deep enough flap that would serve quite nicely to run string through…and so, I pulled out my handy Olfa knife, cut out a series of pumpkin faces, and TA DA! I had Halloween bunting to hang on my door!

Happy Halloween everyone! Have fun, and stay safe!!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Friday I’m in Love

As the leaves form a yellow, red, and orange blanket over the landscape, the air becomes more crisp, and I start to see my breath when I go outside, it becomes more and more apparent that temperatures are dropping. It’s getting cold, and I need to keep warm. Here are a few things I’ve come across that would do quite nicely, if I do say so myself (from top to bottom):

If I knew how to knit I’d be all over this adorable Deer with Little Antlers tuque pattern by Tiny Owl’s Magic Attic…it has got to be one of the cutest animal-themed hats I’ve ever seen.

But considering I don’t know how to knit, I might have to resign myself to purchasing ready-made items, like this Knit Loop Scarf by Silvia66. Not only are the colours beautiful, but it’s got a cozy woolly look about it that says: “I’ll keep you warm and fashionable, but won’t strangle you.” Visit Silvia66′s Etsy shop or blog to see this and more of her beautiful creations, including more scarves, capelets, and shrugs.

I’ve always had difficulty finding a great winter coat…I inevitably cave and go for marshmallow-proportioned practicality over structured, fashionable and drool-worthy. Like the Hazel Coat…or really, any other coat created by Vancouver-based Little Houses Clothing…I love ‘em all. They’ve got great button and collar detailing, and many include beautiful little touches of lace. Give their shop a look if you’re in need of a new coat this season.

I’ve never been much of a skirt person…if I was, though, I’d be sporting super cute crochet leg warmers like these on chilly days. Created by Mademoiselle Mermaid, they’re equal amounts practical and pretty.

…But those who know me, know that I’m not really a skirt person (unfortunately). So instead of sporting cute leg warmers, I’d be more likely to pull on a pair of these adorable Stag, You’re It Socks by ModCloth. Love, love, love.

And that’s it for the first edition of “Friday I’m in Love”…please note I am well aware that none of the items I’m in love with go together…that’s not really the point!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Type Tuesdays: Fat Fonts

Many of the blogs I read and enjoy have theme posts, usually associated with a particular day of the week…I’ve decided to get in on the action with my very first theme: Type Tuesdays!

(or more likely: Type-Every-Once-In-A-Blue-Moon-Tuesdays)

This Tuesday, I’m sharing some of my favourite (and FREE!) slab serifs and fat sans serifs that are explicitly meant for headlines and to grab your attention (I’m not talking font families that happen to have an extra or ultra bold weight). So without further ado…and in almost no particular order:

Romeral

A beautiful display slab serif created by Juan Pablo de Gregorio, one of the contributors over at Typies…Admittedly, I’m quite in love with this font, and keep trying to use it somewhere…anywhere. It’ll happen. To use it in your own projects, you can get it here.

MEgalopolis Extra

Created by French font factory SMeltery, I’ve got a particular soft spot for this one (just look around the site)….it’s got a fantastic and somewhat playful look about it, is easy to read, and comes with a whackload of OpenType ligatures and special characters. This one’s my typography BFF…become acquainted with MEgalopolis Extra yourself by downloading it here.

Chunk Five

Another slab serif, with a slightly old-fashioned poster feel to it. It’s a great example of a font demonstrating that typography really can stand on its own, with no need for graphics or imagery. Chunk Five was created by The League of Moveable Type, and can be downloaded here.

Birra Stout

Created by Brooklyn-based Darden Studio, Birra Stout is very unique, with interesting angles and curves in unexpected places…this is a recent “purchase” of mine….if you want it too, you can buy it for $0.

Giant Head

And finally, here’s a fun one brought to you by Blue Vinyl Fonts…it comes as a set that’s meant to be laid one on top of the other. Download it and have some fun!

…now all that’s left is to find the perfect headline!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0