Up periscope: Giving Thanks (AND a free font!)
Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 9:40PM
Cameron Blazer in design, design, font, life, type

In my household, we have a saying: "So. That happened." This saying gets put to use in those situations for which an explanation would be either unavailable or unilluminating. All I can say for the last month is, "So. That happened."

So here I am coming up for air and a look around. Thanksgiving? What? Wasn't I just kvetching about the last swim of the summer a few days ago? But so it is. 

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Some people climb Mount Everest. Some swim the English Channel. Some tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon. Some jump from perfectly good airplanes. These people generally have something in common: a really lame explanation for why they do what they do. "Because it was there." "Why not?" "To see if I could do it." Me, not so much of a danger fan. As in not at all.

And yet, on some level I do understand these people. Though my leisure pursuits don't require oxygen tanks, neoprene suits, steel cables, or parachutes, I understand the drive to accomplish something simply to see if I can do it. And, as a designer, my Everest, my English Channel, has always been creating a typeface.

There are lots of reasons I am nuts for type—the cases of pied type on the wall in my parents' print shop, my mother's amazing handwritten script, my early exposure to the brilliant graphic design of William van Hettinga and Gil Shuler (Charleston, represent!). Any of those factors would probably have resulted in a fascination with lettering and design. But I think the deal was sealed in 1985 when my parents brought home our first computer: a Macintosh 512K. With typefaces named after the world's great cities—Chicago, Geneva, Monaco, San Francisco—the sky seemed to be the limit. I was hooked. And, of course, in the go-go 90s, like so many others, I surely took my love of type too far. I've since learned that when the word "whimsical" is used to describe a typeface, that is almost always a bad thing.

With that in mind, I humbly present my first font, Easy Slant:

One of my favorite things about keeping a blog, and using it to make connections with other people, is that it puts me in touch with my most thankful self year-round. Because while you, lovely readers, have been amazingly warm when I have shared my low moments, let's face it: you don't tune in to read me whining. You tune in to feel happy for a minute or two. And here's the thing: when I force myself to see the world with an eye toward making other people happy, if only briefly and insignificantly, it makes me happier, too. You egg me on in my wild flights of fancy, and for that I'm infinitely grateful.

So. Thank you.

As a token of my gratitude for you, for your comments, your emails, your encouragement, and your patronage, I'm making Easy Slant available for free download here. This is by no means a professionally designed font, and it may not kern or track properly in some word processing applications. The technical aspects of font creation are not for the faint of heart, so your mileage may vary. You're free to use it in any non-commercial way you like.

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There are more free fonts where this one came from, but for now I will be making them available only to people who're signed up for the Cottage Industrialist newsletter. The next issue will go out in early December and will include links to at least two more fonts. C'mon! Everybody loves a joiner!

Happy Thanksgiving. I have much for which to be thankful, and I am grateful to you, o blogland, for helping me to realize that.

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Article originally appeared on Various and Sundry Things (http://cottage-industrialist.com/).
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