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The quotable Seth Godin

I’ve been thinking about what it is that makes some bloggers, tweeters, and sundry other social media mavens so popular. Apart from some obvious tricks, such as being Stephen Fry, what can we mortals do to emulate them?

Without resorting to devious SEO tactics, the best way is clearly to have good content. But I think it needs to be a certain type of content. Reading through my work blog the other day I discovered that, although I’m quite proud of the points I’m making, there are very few pithy, quotable, lines.

Contrast that with Seth Godin, whose blog posts never fail to make me want to quote them, tweet them, and send them to everyone I know. It’s all about making a point (often a well-established point) in a pithy, “sticky”, quotable way. He has a knack for making me think “yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to say”. God I hate him.

The lesson for me, and most bloggers,  is to keep working at quality content but also learn how to package ideas like a marketing genius. We can’t all be Seth, but I suspect we should try. In many ways we have less to learn from what he says than from how he says it.

Filed under: Blogging, , ,

Lux – a

So I’m finally making some progress on my typeface project. I’ve decided, wisely or not, to start with the lowercase a—a tricky letter if my sources are to be believed. Why? Because it seems to me to be one of the letters that is crucial to setting the tone and character of a typeface.

I knew that I wanted a typeface with an old style feel, so I started by playing around with a calligraphy pen to get a feel for the shapes and angles.


I liked the thick-thin contrast, but clearly that would have to be toned down a bit for a usable text face. I also liked the spiky tail and the sharp angle at the top. Time to start doodling in the Moleskine:
Hmm. Not great, but I think I know where I’m trying to go—just my drawing skills letting me down.

Next I took the last sketch, scanned it in and starting smoothing it out in the Gimp. When I was reasonable happy I autotraced it in Illustrator, then imported it into Typetool for some tinkering.

Having spent the next week moving editing points backwards and forwards I fear this is going to take the rest of my life to get right. Oh well. Here is my latest effort, still very very rough:

Filed under: Typography, , ,

More “Words in Their Hands”

Some more scans from “Words in their hands”.



not one of all the uncanny controlling-devices has even a flicker of the expressiveness of the human hand

Caster operator

Caster operator

lifting that one particular ‘matrix’ (intaglio master-letter)
out of that row in the loosened matrix row

Filed under: Typography, , , , ,