Type Tuesdays: Type War

This week for Type Tuesdays, I propose a challenge:

Think you know fonts? Put yourself to the test at Type War where you’re asked to identify a series of letters from an ever expanding repertoire of fonts. Sure…to the trained eye it’s easy to differentiate an “A” in Helvetica Neue from Times New Roman….but what about an “L” or “W” in either Helvetica Neue or Verdana?

If you play: share your score, level, or longest streak (whichever is most impressive) with the rest of us…(my longest streak was 30-something correct answers).

[ found via How About Orange ]


Please Don’t

While skimming through my travel photos, I started noticing a trend: I have a tendency to photograph signs telling people what not to do…be it text, pictograms, the ever-recognizable “no sign” or some combination thereof, I apparently find it interesting and amusing how people are told not to do things.

For instance, in Bath, England it’s necessary to remind passersby not to dive into the murky brown waters of the River Avon…we’ve got a traditional no-sign and text (just in case the pictogram isn’t clear).

In Paris, however, they make due with universally understood pictograms crossed out by x’s…on the Arc de Triomphe, there’s no food, no public nudity (?!), no smoking, no camera tripods, and no mobile phones allowed. I think.

Whereas in Egypt, they just assume the universally understood language is English….there, each sign is unique, bold, and effectively placed, like this no entry sign (physically barring an entrance) at the Temple of Isis on the island of Philae.

When visiting Italy, I’d read that to gain entrance to many churches (and especially the Vatican), one had to dress respectfully…no bare legs and no bare shoulders…as explained in this sign posted regularly along the line-ups in St. Peter’s Square. I think it does a pretty good job demonstrating what is, and what isn’t, acceptable attire (though one might argue they’re advocating bare midriffs….or white belts):

….I also stumbled across an older version of the same sign. This one really just ought to be retired. Not only is it implying no bare legs and arms, but that no bare chests and bottoms are permitted either. Or is it?

And to make matters worse due to the signs’ age and wear, it now seems to indicate that one-legged women with no tops and short bottoms aren’t permitted either…nor are guys missing a piece of shoulder and wearing lederhosen.

Of all the photos I found, this one in Barbados takes the prize for “most complete”. It’s got both a danger sign and a pictogram of someone drowning, plus lots of text telling you what not to do, why, and what the consequences could be if you ignore the warning…to the sign-makers’ credit: it was a beautiful little cove that looked perfect for swimming…maybe there should have been more signs posted.

…Like in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where about every 10 feet you’re reminded not to hop any fences and plummet into the falls…they feature a custom pictogram (the fence depicted is an accurate representation of the fences all along the Niagara parkway), a standard no-sign, and the conveniently bilingual “danger”.

So now you know: my odd photo habit is that I take signs of what we’re not supposed to do. If you have any odd photo habits of your own, do tell!!


Friday I’m in Love

I’ve been living in what’s supposed to be a temporary apartment for over 4 months now…Because there’s an expectation (or hope) that I’ll be moving again soon, non-essentials were left packed. That means I have no knick-knacks or mementos out, and my walls are bare.

As I look at the very light peachy colour of my apartments’ walls, I yearn for a time when I’ll be able to paint my own colour scheme, and decorate. This weeks’ picks for Friday I’m in Love are some of the items I’d love to put on my future apartments’ walls.

Mixed media art always pulls me in, somehow…I love the combination of everyday ephemera, like scraps of newspaper or handwritten notes, with unexpected doodles, paintings or illustrations. This Mini Bluebird print by Dolan Geiman is the perfect example (and as if to emphasize its mixed media-ness, it’s printed on a block of poplar wood). See more of Dolan’s work on his website, or head over to his Etsy shop to see what’s for sale.

I’m a huge Jane Austen fan….both in print and in BBC productions (!). When I saw this print of an original oil painting of just Austen Dresses (and no bias for any one story), I could easily imagine it adorning the wall of a little nook, with a wingback armchair and reading light…I can dream. See Janet Hill Studio for more lovely paintings of everyday scenes, or stop by her Etsy shop to get your own reading nook print.

This combination of pink, balloons, bunting, and sweet treats by local Montrealer Eva Juliet won me over immediately. Her La Vie est Belle art print set has a wonderful sense of innocence and whimsy…it’d be adorable in a little girl’s room, or by your vanity. Check out her shop for more fantastic illustrations (including some that would look great in the kitchen).

I love bright colours…this print entitled Three’s a Crowd really appeals to me with its bright red wellingtons and vibrant blue juxtaposed with the snowy white bird and black and white leggings….and I just love vol25’s style…to see more of her work, check out her website, or go peruse the offerings in her shop.

I must have a weak spot for hearts in speech and thought bubbles.

What drew me to this digital painting by Brad Collins was the formality of the subjects’ attire, combined with the informality of the bubble gum…and possibly the combination of red and blue (again). The piece is aptly named The Love of Bubblegum and Red Dresses, and is just one example of Brad’s apparent bias for fun subjects: many of the pieces in his shop are of pop culture icons like Han Solo and Chewy, Audrey Hepburn and Doctor Who.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.