creative juicing, typeface doodling.

It’s just about that time in the semester, wherein I have a lot of normal College work to do, and manage still to neglect my blogger duties. Which is funny, because part of my job is motivating students and faculty to get into the blogging habit — coming up with content, fleshing it out, making it go live. I read somewhere that it takes around 30 days to pick up and/or quit a habit; 30 days, if you’re someone not necessarily given to constant writing exercises, is a whole lot of creative juicing. And if you’re me, who’s currently juggling 10 different projects — none of which have much to do with this or the other blog — brainstorming new post content can get relegated to the back burner. Aside from this post sounding vaguely whiny, I stumbled across an interesting Tumblr today that got me thinking about new content to post, as well as my non-job-specfiic Internet interests. In terms of posts that will need to appear on the DDF blog in the next few weeks, a more nuanced one on interesting blog platform alternatives (as in, alternatives to WordPress or Blogger) is high up on the list. I use Tumblr for my amateur photography; generally, I prefer Tumblr’s layout flexibility over the ol’ WordPress free theme standbys. There also seems to be a more vibrant visual community on Tumblr, due in part to the fact that it’s basically picture-based Twitter (in my opinion, anyway). The technical aspects of this particular conversation are part of another story for another time, though.

Anyway, I recently started “following” a Tumblr called PrettyClever, a microblog offshoot of the eponymous graphic design firm in Chicago. By way of PrettyClever’s reblog, I came across design work life‘s post on Joe Newton’s typography sketches.

(sketch by Joseph Newton)

I’ve always been interested in typography, possibly derived from my college years when I was a research paper snob who refused to turn in anything that wasn’t set in Courier New (harking back to my “college years” makes them seem a lot less recent than, uh, 10 months ago). I also have a very soft spot in my heart for serif fonts, particularly those of the Garamond family. It’s cool to think of how typography affects us on many levels, as consumers, activists, and scholars alike; it identifies us in our font elitism (refer to all arguments against the usage of Papyrus, Comic Sans, Lucida Handwriting, et al), and is capable of changing our perception of the written (well, typed) word. It’s an historically intricate art form that resonates strongly today, which is cool from the academic side of things. Aside from that, though, how letters appear on a screen really make me consider my own handwriting, how my uppercase Gs differ from someone else’s. Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season, maybe; all’s I know is Newton’s type sketches have inspired me to rethink those Gs. Maybe making them fly into Hs?

Today my post-work plans are to hang out in the park by my house, absorb some pre-spring Atlanta smog sun and try my hand at a more visually interesting version of the Latin alphabet. Haaaappy Friday!

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