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April 25, 2022Fonts / Tips & TricksThose “in the know” know one thing for sure: Don’t use Com­ic Sans. Don’t use it on your web site. Don’t use it on your sign. Don’t use it on your pho­to­copied lost dog notice. Don’t use it on your com­ic. This could be over­ly dog­mat­ic think­ing. Com­ic Sans was cre­at­ed for a Microsoft app in order to give a more “human” dimen­sion to the type. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, due to overuse from ram­pant dis­tri­b­u­tion, design­ers and oth­ers “in the know” have shunned it. Much has already been writ­ten on the sub­ject. For instance, this post at Design for Hack­ers goes into a lot of typo­graph­ic, his­tor­i­cal and soci­etal details about Com­ic Sans. Also, evi­dence exists that Com­ic Sans and oth­er hard­er-to-read type­faces work well for read­ers with dyslex­ia. Still, it is some­times hard to jus­ti­fy select­ing a type­face with such a neg­a­tive rep­u­ta­tion. Com­ic Sans alter­na­tives Per­haps you have a project which demands a casu­al hand-writ­ten look. In your font menu Com­ic Sans lurks, but a lit­tle online search should reveal some viable alter­na­tives. Here are some I have come across:  1. Dol­cis­si­mo Script Fun and free-spir­it­ed with some strokes loop­ing back on them­selves. 2. Dyna Pro This one is a more styl­ish casu­al script with let­ters that look like they want to dance. 3. Soli Px O.K., here’s a cute one with a slight back­ward angle. 4. Tait Note And final­ly, our own Tait Note. It is some­what sim­i­lar to Soli, but more angu­lar and quirky. This is based on Jamie Tait’s scrawl­ings on var­i­ous mixed tapes from back in the day. So there we have it for now. Keep your anten­nas up for alter­na­tives to overused type­faces and your project will have a more unique look. Stay tuned, I may post more casu­al hand­writ­ing fonts as I stum­ble across them. […]
Octo­ber 5, 2021Down­loads / Edu­ca­tion / KidsNow that every­one is back into the rou­tine of work and school, we can take stock of things that might help us and our kids. One thing that we have been think­ing about is engag­ing our kids in sub­jects that have a “dull” rep­u­ta­tion — like math. Accord­ing to a 2018 Stam­ford Uni­ver­si­ty study, a pos­i­tive atti­tude toward math will result in bet­ter achieve­ments in math class­es in chil­dren. This is not a big sur­prise. “Hav­ing a pos­i­tive atti­tude acts direct­ly on your mem­o­ry and learn­ing sys­tem,” the lead author, Lang Chen, PhD, said about the find­ings. How to get pos­i­tive Of course, the next ques­tion is: how do you cul­ti­vate that pos­i­tive atti­tude? This, I’m sure, depends on the child in ques­tion. Suc­cess in math requires log­ic, orga­ni­za­tion and pre­ci­sion. Also, there exists a more sub­tle and qual­i­ta­tive aspect to math­e­mat­ics. For instance: do the num­bers have asso­ci­a­tions, emo­tions, or per­son­al­i­ties? These asso­ci­a­tions will aid in mem­o­ry.  Sports as a mem­o­ry aid My son is a big sports fan and has a very good mem­o­ry for sports. Speak­ing to him about this, we real­ized there are some num­bers he knows very well: Ath­letes’ jer­sey num­bers. The num­ber 99 belongs to one man: Wayne Gret­zky. It is also 9 x 11.  And so, for sporty kids, we devel­oped a down­load­able mul­ti­pli­ca­tion table using the jer­sey num­bers of hock­ey play­ers. We’re going to offer it free here on the site for a cou­ple of months for now. We hope teach­ers and par­ents will find this help­ful for young sports fans.  Asso­ci­at­ing play­ers with math facts may pro­duce that pos­i­tive atti­tude kids need. Per­haps “Orr times Coffie equals Giroux” is a first step for young math stu­dents to get to “4 x 7 = 28.” Print­ed and framed Jer­sey Num­ber Mul­ti­pli­ca­tion Table. Thanks to Cade Askey for his ideas and research on this project. Check out his hock­ey card blog! So far, two sizes are avail­able in the down­loads sec­tion: an over-size poster 36 x 24 inch­es, and a tabloid-size 11 x 17 inch­es. Let us know what you think! Down­load 36x24 Down­load 11x17 Jer­sey Num­ber Mul­ti­pli­ca­tion Table Close-up, […]

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