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Font Aid IV: Coming Together

Categories: Extra-curricular

I follow Ellen Lupton on Twitter (@ellenLupton) so saw a recent tweet of hers about Font Aid IV: Coming Together.

The US-based Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) are putting together a font made entirely of ampersands, designed by loads of different designers from around the world. (Hence it's name, Coming Together.)

They'll then sell the resulting font via MyFonts, with all proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders who are one of the many organisations helping out in Haiti at the moment. SOTA are on the hunt for submissions at the moment, so I had a go …

My contribution is based fairly closely on the 'et' from which the ampersand shape derives and is (loosely) made up of a heart shape and a kiss. Ahhhh!

I tried to make it simple but with a bit of thought behind it – though only time will tell if it's good enough to be part of the font or not.

If you've got the mad Illustrator skillz, why not spare half an hour or so to create an ampersand?

Here's what you need to do to take part:
> Submit a black and white "ampersand" icon.
> It should be a vector image file, not a bitmap.
> Keep it simple, not too crazy.
> Send it in EPS format to by 01/29/10.

(Remember to check back on MyFonts and buy the font once it's ready!)

Chewing the fat about fonts

Categories: Events, Extra-curricular

Following on from the first event back in June, last night James, Sophie (our intern) and I went along to the second Birmingham Chitterlings supper club – again held at The Vaults in the Jewellery Quarter and organised by the lovely folks at Type.

Chitterlings is essentially a smallish (there were 16 of us) gathering of folks interested in design-related things, who get together to listen to a guest speaker, then have a chat over dinner. It’s all very civilised, don’t you know.

Our guest speaker last night was John Berry, a designer, author, President of ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) and program manager at Microsoft Typography. John recounted how he found his way into typography (serendipitously) and told us a bit about his role at Microsoft, banging the drum for good, legible typography on-screen. (Incase you’re wondering what the secret is – it’s all about space.)

Just like the previous Chitterlings (properly pronounced “chitlins”, John informed us!) it was a fun, interesting and enlightening evening; good food, good chats and good people.

Oh, and we were each given a calligraphic artwork of our name too, expertly penned by calligrapher Paul Antonio.

Besides all that, I was chuffed that Caroline from Type asked me to design the menu/nameplace/programme leaflets for the event. Although there’s not much scarier for a designer than designing for other designers, it was great to have a play around with Baskerville and some grub-related quotations. Typography and food – two of my favourite things. (And my design even got a compliment from Mr Berry, so I was very relieved. Phew!)

A little change

Categories: Extra-curricular


Our next Likemind coffee morning (on Friday 18th September) is going to be a little different from usual …

We’ll be part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning; a UK-wide series of events raising money and awareness for Macmillan – a charity working to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

Alongside the usual coffee-drinking and natter, Saint Caffe will be sporting some cheerful green posters and balloons, we’ll have a collection box set aside incase you’d like to give a bit of change, and anyone who donates will be encouraged to adorn themselves with a cute coffee mug themed sticker – while stocks last!

So, we’re really hoping that September’s Likemind will be an especially good one – coffee, conversation and the feel-good factor? A Friday morning never looked so good.

Likemind (in support of Macmillan) – Friday 18th September 2009
Saint Caffe, St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1QS
From 8am until 10am-ish

Hope to see you there!

(Sign-up for coffee morning reminder emails on the Likemind page)

Huge thanks to all who donated so generously at the coffee morning the other week, and those who pledged to donate online to Macmillan. With what we raised, we’ve helped fund a support worker for an hour, and helped two cancer support groups hold their first meetings. Brilliant!

On this day ...

Categories: Extra-curricular, Jewellery Quarter

in 1453 the One Hundred Years’ War ended, with the French defeating the English at the Battle of Castillon.

in 1717 King George I of Great Britain sailed down the Thames River on a barge with 50 musicians who premiered Handel’s Water Music.

in 1917 the British Royal Family adopted the name of the House of Windsor in place of their German family name, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

in 1955 Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California.

in 1957 TV presenter Fern Britton was born (and today also happens to be her last day on This Morning).

in 1975 The spacecraft Apollo docked with Soyuz 19 and, through a hatch, US commander Thomas P Safford shook hands with his Soviet counterpart Aleksei Leonov.

in 1999 New Scientist magazine ran an article about the health benefits of a nice cup of tea.

… and on this day in 2009 Likemind Birmingham celebrated its second birthday with coffee, tea, chat – and cakes!