Universal Typeface Imminent

The pen manufacturer BIC has constructed a website that invites people to submit samples of their own handwriting. An algorithm adds then adds their sample to a massive collective dataset and identifies the 'average' of all those handwritten marks for each letter of the alphabet. Users of the site can drill down to datasets organised by gender, or country or handedness, or profession. The 'average' typeface, as might be expected, is fairly anodyne. It is a clever marketing exercise, but whether it has anything signicant to say about the way we write around the world is rather less certain. The eventual uber-average typeface will no doubt eventually find its way into designer toolkits.

Rebel Mouse Makes Social Easy


If you're a presence on / contributor to various social networking services, (and not just to keep up with your friends), Rebel Mouse offers an easy and very powerful way of aggregating your voice into one location. Our effort took only a few minutes to set up and could be an effective communication tool with clients and potential business contacts. Designed by one of the principal architects of the Huffington Post, Rebel Mouse is getting some serious startup funding and adding feeds and features at some pace.

Getting Appy?

If you are contemplating commissioning an app for whatever reason, take a walk through this website  to get a sense of the considerations involved, and the potentially substantial costs. One would need a very good business case to proceed with an app, especially given the relatively poor ROI for Android apps and long tail of iPhone/iPad apps that are rarely purchased.

Digital Design Processes Explained

Newfangled are a web development firm at the bleeding edge of their field. They are quite generous with sharing some of their thinking on designing for the Internet. An interesting recent article suggests that a key part of working towards a new site is the development of 'personas', detailed profiles of prospective users. These personas help the developer to see things from the user perspective. As the author notes "Creating web personas prevents us from mistakenly building websites for ourselves rather than those we want to serve".  After interviewing prospective users of a client website, the developer tries to anticipate how the user will view the site and with what aims. The personas make it clear that users with different agendas often visit a given site, and that different triggers / calls to action may be required for those different audiences.

Squarespace 6

We have recently upgraded our website from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 6. Experiencing the usual simplicity of concept and excellence of execution, plus genuinely responsive service. We heartily recommend this excellent service to anyone who wants to roll their own website without having to get their hands dirty with code. 

A Muse yourself

Adobe has long striven to cater to code-phobic designers, via GoLive and later Macromedia acquisition Dreamweaver. Their latest offering (Muse) is the most intutive yet and aimed squarely at print designers with minimal web authoring skills. Muse looks and feels a touch like InDesign and offers similar object-oriented functionality. The program is currently in beta and is available as a free download until early next year.

Muse has its detractors in the web design community. Coders concur that the code it automatically produces is ugly and full of redundancy. They dislike the way Muse renders non-standard typefaces, the lack of dynamic page resizing, and argue that print designers should learn their web skills the way they did — via hard work and experimentation.