Boy, do I love fonts.

19 11 2010

It’s true. Me + Fonts = Love.

You should see my high school and college papers. Though it looks completely obnoxious these days to compose documents in a font other than Times New Roman or Arial, I was riding high on the wave of technology back in the 90s.

Originally I’d change the switch on my dad’s old Epson dot matrix printer to sometimes print in script or Courier. To start, we were using some basic word processing program on DOS. Then I got into this computer program called Creative Writer (Anyone remember? With that obnoxious skinny purple guy, McZee? Imaginopolis? The Vanishing Point? I’d give my right knee to be able to play that thing again.) where you could layout newspaper columns, mess with fonts, import clip art – and all hell broke loose. I handed in funky text every time; sometimes multicolored. I was the Punky Brewster of school papers. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was paving the way for Advokate.

I had little-girl love affairs with Flower Power and Captain Howdy. Me and Velvet had a thing in my late teens. An old friend and my ex used to use really small Verdana on their websites – I still do, in some places. More recently I’ve been a fan of Artistamp Medium, but now too many people are using it, most notably Crandall Public Library’s campaign a couple years ago that was done by Trampoline Design. Fontocide and I had a brief fling, but now I’m over that and on to more mature fonts like Century Gothic for Advokate and maybe a little Tuer’s Cardboard when I want something more old-fashioned. Semi-secretly, I really like Hand of Sean, but I don’t like the name so I don’t use it as often as I might, otherwise. Looks like we all agree that Papyrus is fired.

I’ve always gotten really excited when I can recognize a font somewhere. I recall a time back in the 90s when there was a bottle of some salad dressing in the grocery store that used Party and I jumped up and down and showed my mom. Same with the Crandall Library campaign – see how smug I was up there about that? That’s because I felt ownership over discovery of Artistamp Medium. It was mine and then it sold out, being plastered all over town like that. Even though I had it on my site before the campaign came out, I feel crummy about using it now; like it’s not my own any more. Trampoline rules at what they do; I respect them a lot. I just was bummed they found “my” font. It’s like a guy you liked being into someone else. I don’t want to hang out with Artistamp Medium any more.

Yeah, so me and fonts. We go way back. It’s pretty awesome that this is what I do now, with the design end of things.

Another thing that I go way back with? Teaching people stuff I know. Check this thing out, at left. Back in 2000 or so I put a step-by-step guide together to help the elderly with setting up email accounts, back when computers with the internet in libraries were kind of a new thing for us in Killington. My mom’s a librarian and I interned for a summer at her place, the Sherburne Memorial Library, and helped the snowbirds set up email so they could keep in touch with their children and grandchildren. I rocked it. I started right at the very beginning for them and walked them through it, from mouse and cursor to Hotmail account.

So here’s where that’s gone in ten years: Couple weeks ago I taught a class at LARAC on how to design your own website. On Wednesday I went to Fort Edward to help a quilter set up her Etsy account and learn to list things herself and do some basic image editing. It was the same thing; Start at the beginning, answer questions along the way, keep it cool and help folks laugh when they’re frustrated, and get them to feeling empowered and capable so they can do it on their own. I love it!

I’m feeling like where I am with Advokate is pretty perfect; the most logical place ever for a certain Kate E. Austin from Killington, Vermont to end up.




4 responses

20 11 2010

that’s wonderful! i like fonts, too… and you.

21 11 2010

Do what you love, love what you do, and success will follow you.

30 11 2010
Typestaches « Advokate's Blog

[…] I’m going to blatantly swipe this blog post in the name of sharing it with you folks over here at the Advokate blog. I was just checking out because they featured my buddy Casey the Candy Thief and scrolled down to see this, which I thought needed sharing, especially after my font post: […]

1 12 2010

Wow…I can totally relate to your love of type.

I, too, am guilty of going completely overboard in some of my first flirtations with newly discovered fonts….oh the memories!

I’ve also experienced the guilty pleasure of being able to identify fonts when I’m out and about! Though I might feel a little smug about it, other people in my life just seem to think it’s weird.

Great post 🙂

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