Monthly Archives: May 2009

Comic Sans…blech!

WHO IS THIS MANand why do we care?

His name is John Connare and he is the designer of Comic Sans, one of the most maligned (deservedly so!) typefaces ever developed.

John Stossel’s report on three most common design mistakes, posted earlier on this blog, gives particular attention to Comic Sans.

A Wall Street Journal article says:

“Mr. Connare has looked on, alternately amused and mortified, as Comic Sans has spread from a software project at Microsoft Corp. 15 years ago to grade-school fliers and holiday newsletters, Disney ads and Beanie Baby tags, business emails, street signs, Bibles, porn sites, gravestones and hospital posters about bowel cancer.”

This is Comic Sans:


You can read the entire Wall Street Journal piece here.


Filed under Typography

Audit…of course!


CRAIG SHELDEN is a colleague, a member of the NuzBiz consortium of consultants I helped to found and one-half of a helluva web site design team with his wife Suzanne (she does great design, he makes it all work).

Craig’s a naturally curious person and once in a while sends along a heads-up about something exciting he has come across.

Here’s his latest valuable tidbit:


I don’t know if you get editors or designers looking for ways to improve their craft, but limited on funds.

Here’s an opportunity for them to get access to some terrific curriculum for the price of the books and the time spent working on the course.

The catch—and there is one: No college credit and no direct interaction with instructors.

On the other hand, if one is seeking knowledge and skills, does college credit really matter?

Here’s the main consortium page:

All for tonight,



Well, Craig, now they know!

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Filed under Other

Good news for small newspapers


MICHELLE RAFTER, creator of Word Count—Freelancing in the Digital Age, recently commented on my post exclaiming that small newspapers are not really endangered by blogs.

Michelle is the author of a very interesting piece on small newspapers doing quite well in Oregon.

For those interested in the future of community newspapers, it’s certainly worth a look.

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Redesign wins first place!


SOME EXCITING NEWS to share with you!

A paper I recently redesigned, The Western Catholic Reporter in Edmonton, Alberta, has just been honored as the best designed church paper in Canada.

The Canadian Church Press (CCP) awarded The Western Catholic Reporter its top prize at its annual awards banquet May 15.

The judge, Gordon Preece, art director for the Winnipeg Free Press, said The Western Catholic Reporter had “a sophisticated presentation of news through images, design and typography. Every page is a surprise, interesting in its treatment yet easy to read.” The Western Catholic Reporter is “a paper to be proud of,” he said.

I spent a week in Edmonton redesigning The Western Catholic Reporter last October. During my time there, I worked closely with Editor Glen Argan and News Editor Lasha Morningstar. Our focus was primarily on the physical redesign but our time together gave us the opportunity to review design approaches and techniques that would work well for a newspaper that’s put together by only the two of them.

We spent our first few hours together reviewing content and organization as well as capabilities and resources. I was immediately impressed by the commitment of Glen and Lasha to their newspaper. For them, their work on The Western Catholic Reporter is more than a job—it is a mission.

As the week rolled along, we discussed design possibilities and reviewed mockups to be sure we where doing everything we could to take advantage of their presentation skills. Among the major changes we made was a commitment to the use of the spread (the WCR is a tabloid) for the lead feature story in each issue. It didn’t take long to convince Glen and Lasha that they could do a knockout piece here.

Glen and Lasha asked great questions…and their readiness to change was a key to our progress. It was an exhilarating experience.

We were delighted with what we accomplished and now our work has received top recognition from a respected judge.

It’s a delight to share the good news with you.

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Filed under Awards

John Stossel on three most common design mistakes

JOHN STOSSEL FILED this report for ABC’s “20/20” some years ago. I’m not sure about numbers 2 and 3…but number 1 sure works for me!

Stay tuned…more on Comic Sans to come soon!

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Filed under Design

Mind-blowing stuff!

I STOLE THIS from the blog of a friend, Larry Timbs, a J-prof at Winthrop University right here in li’l ol’ Rock Hill. Larry got it from a colleague, Haney Howell. I’m guessing Haney got it from the internet—I remember seeing it there a few months ago.

This is gonna rock your world, so get another cup o’ joe, sit down, turn up the volume…and be amazed.

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