Sunday, October 30, 2011

How to Design a Font that Really Sucks

If you had asked me, a few years back before I was heavily into incorporating text as an integral part of my daily routine of artsy what-nottery, if a font could suck, I mean really suck, suck to the point of drawing all goodness out of the project in which it was used and make me want to stick sharp objects in my brain as a result of its absolute unmitigated suckery, I would have said no. I would have likely said “pffffft, of course not, it’s just letters, it may not be exactly what you want but how can it actually suck?”

Little did I know. So very little. There are fonts in this world that exist at a level of sucking that Stephen Hawking, Stephanie Meyer and James Dyson can only dream of someday understanding.

But if you too dream of creating something that really really sucks, it doesn’t have to remain merely an impossible dream. You will be well on your way to Hall of Fame Sucking Greatness if you can design a font that includes any or all of the following characteristics.


Few things thrill me more, when I am trying to lay out a block of text as a single block rather than a dozen separate lines, than using a font with padding that exceeds the size of the letters themselves coded into it. Seriously. I love a 12px pad on 10px characters. It rocks. I have specially choreographed happy dances for just these little moments. To Ricky Martin songs, even.

Then there's...


Go ahead, call me old-fashioned. When I type letters, I like the letters I type to look like the letters I type. So it’s a little wake up call for me, a much-needed nudge into the present, when I find a font that makes, for instance, a lowercase ‘k’ look exactly like a lowercase ‘f’, and the ‘f’ look just like a ‘t’, and the ‘t’ like an uppercase ‘I”. This is not a bad thing, in no way a flaw in the font. II’s me, clinging Io a pasI IhaI has no place in Ihe now, insIead of loofing torward inIo a brighIer Iomorrow.

And finally, a recently discovered favorite...


When I first encountered the “craaazy” font that manifests its craaaziness in the form of adding extra characters to text, characters that the user didn’t actually type, my initial impulse was to drive to my mother’s house and slap her for not letting me know sooner that my life could ever be so good. It was like every wordy dream I never knew I had coming true all at once. Particularly when my text included a URL and I was just giddy imagining all the fun people would have trying to find my website! They wouldn’t know which of the craaazy mystery characters was the extra, it could keep them occupied for days! Why do we not play Hide & Seek on the Internet more often? What is this insistence on making businesses so easy for people to just waltz into? WHERE’S THE CRAAAZY FUN IN THAT?!

And that, boys and girls, is how you make a stupid font that really sucks.

This post is dedicated with gratitude to the creator(s) of Monotype Corsiva, my new go-to font. Mr. and/or Mrs. Corsiva, I heart you with all of my heart.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dear State of California...

Dear State of California,

Thank you for being so much smarter than I am. I know you must be because there are things that seem to make perfect sense to you that are, sadly, completely beyond my ability to grasp.

A car was brought into an automotive repair facility this morning, needing minor work done in order to be able to pass a smog inspection for registration renewal. This automotive repair facility is certified to perform smog inspections; however, the vehicle registration renewal form specified that only a smog certificate from a Test Only or Gold Shield facility would be accepted.

Even though those facilities use the same equipment in the same manner to read the same emissions and issue the same certificates as our repair facility. And there is no regulation stating that the smog certificate can’t be issued by a facility where the vehicle in question is having other work done. The only reason we are not able to obtain the smog certificate at the facility where we have already taken the car is the verbiage on the registration form.

So I’m sure you have a good and sound and logical reason to require us to pump a few more fumes into the environment by transporting the vehicle to yet another facility in order to ensure that the vehicle is not pumping too many fumes into the environment.

No, don’t tell me what that reason is. I probably wouldn’t get it anyway.

A Native Californian

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Balance, Perspective, and Why I Love My Life

As many of you know, I recently submitted a photo to the Pinup Doll of the Month contest. This is the photo

and as you can see, there is butt. It’s what I do, you should know that by now.

When I first submitted a photo to this contest, the page owner replied that she loved the image I sent but was concerned about it being reported and did I have something a bit more Facebook-friendly. Now, the image I first sent was already on my own FB page and hadn’t created any problems, but I understood and appreciated her concern, so I sent the above, more modest version of the same shot. She said she still had concerns but would add the photo to the contest and hope for the best.

It was up for a week before it was reported and deleted. The stats for that week are as follows.


2 “Nasty”, 1 “Gross”, 1 “Tacky”, 4 “Sexy”, 3 “Hot”, 3 “Gorgeous”, 2 “Beautiful”, 1 “Sensual” and 1 “Oh My Dick” (which I know is three words but it made me laugh so I’m including it)

TOTAL – 14 Positive, 4 Negative


Disliked – 2 people who called it “nasty”, 1 person who called it “gross”, 1 person who called it “tacky”, and one person who felt the need to report it and have it deleted

Liked – My mother, 4 of my sisters, 1 of my goddaughters, 8 of my personal friends, and 91 random strangers whose support I greatly appreciate

TOTAL – 105 Positive, 5 Negative


Report the photo to Facebook and have it deleted – 1

Go to my shop and shell out $20 for the first 2012 calendar sale of the year – 1

TOTAL – 1 Negative, 10 Positive (because people who put their money where their mouth is count 10 times more than people who hide behind Internet anonymity and report things they don’t like rather than just looking away)

This is the first time I’ve had a photo deleted on Facebook, and while it stung for a moment, what I found particularly amusing about the experience was trying to figure out what people find offensive. Let’s compare sections of the photo currently up on the FB page, the winner of last month’s contest, and the photo that was reported and consequently deleted.

Clearly, what bothers people is not exposed skin, which both photos have. It is not cleavage, because the first photo quite obviously has a great deal more of that. No, I have given this careful thought and believe I have determined what it is that strikes fear in the hearts of Internet users, causing the knee-jerk “report & delete” reaction.

The sight of butt crack is deeply and irrevocably linked in the subconscious to the idea of costly home repairs, and this is the fear to which people react, without even realizing it. It’s not nudity that people have a problem with; it’s plumbers.

That’s the only explanation I’ve found that makes any sense, when people go to a page with the name “PINUP” in the title and are shocked to see skin. If you have other theories, I would love to hear them.

(The first photo in the above comparison is of Pinup Doll Ashley Marie, and please do not take anything in this post to mean that I don’t like her. I do, she is gorgeous and you should go HERE and lavish all sorts of praise on her. While you’re at it, go HERE and Like the page, and HERE to continue your admiration and praise-lavishing on Naomi VonKreeps, founder of

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ooooh, Pretty Flowers...

The pretty flowers you now see as the background on this blog are a pattern I downloaded from PatternCooler. The name of this particular pattern is "Harlean's Sunflowers", but I actually loved PatternCooler long before they did something as sweet as name a background after me.

PatternCooler is amazingly awesome. You go there, pick out a pattern, customize the colors, resize it to suit your needs, and presto, a seamless tile is generated and made available for you to download.


The gentleman who runs the site is a great guy named Harvey. See how great he is?

As you can see from the photo, Harvey spends so much time making PatternCooler awesome that he doesn't even have a spare moment to shave. And sadly, most of his wig budget has to go toward covering all of those pesky website-hosting-related whatnotities that can really add up at the end of the month. So while PatternCooler is indeed a free service, if you do use it and are able, please consider making at least a token donation to thank Harvey for all of his hard work and awesomeness.

And maybe someday they'll name a pattern after you, too.