Archive for August, 2012

Will You Be Printing Your Prescription Medication One Day?

English: RepRap v.2 'Mendel' open-source FDM 3...

As we’ve discussed in previous articles, the basic concepts behind inkjet printing can be applied to many areas outside of document printing. You’ll already be familiar with the concept of 3D printing, where small amounts of material are laid down in layers to form three dimensional objects. This technology is already available for consumers to buy, and many hobbyist 3D printing kits are on the market. In a recent development, scientists in Glasgow, Scotland have devised a method that, in the future, will allow drugs to be printed in the same way.

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Eight Great Resources for Web Based Art and Design

Attribution: Flickr/Mike Licht

Web applications have come a long way in recent years. With the introduction of HTML5 (in addition to existing Flash technologies) the complexity and feature-richness of online applications has come on leaps and bounds. Just a few years ago the idea of doing a quick photo touch-up or drawing online was unthinkable, but now we have a plethora of available services to choose from. There are numerous advantages to using web-based applications. They tend to be less heavy on resources than their desk-bound cousins and they are cross-platform, meaning they can be accessed from any of your devices that are capable of running a browser. This week we’re going to look at 8 applications or resources that you can employ in your artistic endeavors.

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7 Foolproof Principles for Perfect Font Combinations

Flickr/Adam Twardoch

In the last final entry of our short series on fonts, we’re going to have a look at an aspect of typography that most people are likely to have practical use for at some point: font combinations. Whether you are printing a memo, a label, an essay, or any other document, choosing the right combinations of fonts can make the difference between an aesthetically pleasing read and an eye-watering mish-mash.

Combining the right fonts can be tricky, there are many thousands of fonts out there to choose from. There are, however, a number of principles that you can apply which will almost always result in visually pleasing combinations. Keep in mind, these principles are not rules by which you must abide under penalty of being arrested by the font police. Choosing fonts for a document is an art, it takes a delicate discernment of the overall appearance of the page, but, you won’t go far wrong if you stick to these basic guidelines.

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Anatomy of a Typeface

I Shot the Serif

Attrib: Flikr/SOCIALisBETTER

In last week’s article we looked at the story of a font as it developed from the handwriting of a king’s librarian in Renaissance Italy to the go-to font for a modern multinational corporation. This week, we’re going to have a closer look at fonts themselves. We’re going to delve into the arcana of typology and hopefully develop some appreciation of the complexity that’s involved in creating those little marks on screen and paper that are all but transparent to most of us.

Next week we’ll round off our short series on fonts with a look at how the professionals combine different fonts to make a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing document.

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The Story of a Font

The original Garamond Typeface Punches (by Peb a)

When we’re scrolling through the list of fonts in our word processors, looking for the perfect combinations for printing, not many of us stop to consider where they came from. It might not seem a particularly interesting topic, but, cast your eye over the line of text you’re reading now. Each of the letters in that line had to be designed by someone; a decision was made about the thickness and height of every “h” and the size of the “hole” of every “o.” Each letter has to fit in with its brothers and sisters along the line. A good font is a masterpiece of design, and some of them have histories that go back to the birth of printing.

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