333 free handwriting and hand-drawn symbol fonts

I’m currently designing a logo where the client wants to use a font that looks handwritten and fun, but still professional and sophisticated. I’m not a big fan of most handwriting fonts, as they are often too messy or cutesy looking to do anything practical with them. It’s been a struggle to find something I think will work.

Luckily, I ran into a large source of free handwriting fonts called Fonts for Peas, part of the kevin & amanda blog. These are fonts that are meant to be used for scrapbooking, family blogs, and the like, so most of them are pretty cutesy. But, with 333 to currently choose from, you’re bound to find a few that you could use. All of the handwriting fonts are based on actual handwriting samples that readers of the blog send in, so they’re pretty diverse. I downloaded a couple dozen myself and am excited to try them in my logo comps.

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I’m on Twitter now. Yes, finally.

I am not embarrassed or ashamed to say that I have only been on Twitter (@zomigi) for two days. That’s right: two days.

I’m not an early adopter of technology unless it is really going to make my life easier or happier. I’m also not one to give up on something old, if it’s working for me, just because there is something newer and trendier out there. And, I’m not a fan of clutter—virtual kinds as well as physical. I have ADD tendencies, so I have to be careful to not overwhelm myself with too much “stuff.”

I started hearing about Twitter in 2007. At the time, I didn’t see any need to be on there. There weren’t that many people on there that I would have wanted to keep up with. I didn’t and don’t have the time to get caught up in people’s personal, day-to-day lives—just give me my practical articles and tutorials and I’ll be on my way. Blogs could do this for me (and still can), and they kept me plenty busy/overwhelmed as it was. Also, I was working as an in-house designer, so I didn’t need to be marketing myself very heavily either. (Plus, Twitter wasn’t this totally essential marketing tool back then.)

Now, 2008 would have been a good time for me to get on Twitter and network, since I was working on Flexible Web Design and needed to get my name out there more. But, 2008 was seriously the busiest year of my life. I was working a full-time job, writing a book, renovating my kitchen, setting up a nursery, moving/re-setting up my home office, preparing to become a first-time mom, and being pregnant and tired. Twitter would not have helped me accomplish any of these important tasks I had going on last year. So I didn’t do it. It’s as simple as that.

Now that the book is done and I’m working freelance, I have more time for Twitter as well as more need to use it. I’m going to keep my tweets mainly focused on professional things, stuff related to design, as a supplement to this blog. So I hope you’ll follow me. And I hope you’ll forgive me for taking so long to jump on the bandwagon. :-)

Me at The CSS Summit online conference

I just gave my talk Designing CSS Layouts for the Flexible Web from my own little basement office for The CSS Summit online conference. Yes, yes, I’ve given this presentation before, but of course I had to do a little bit of updating and improving, especially because this is the first time I gave it online instead of with a live audience. So, here are the new and improved slides for your downloading pleasure:

Designing CSS Layouts for the Flexible Web (PDF, 5.5 mb)

Yes, it’s a big file—there are a lot of graphics in the PowerPoint. But I didn’t want to compress it very much and have all those graphics look distorted, since examining the graphics is the main point of the presentation.

There’s a little CSS in the presentation, but if you want more in-depth tutorials on the techniques alluded to in the presentation, I’ve written up many of them on this blog:

Free registration for CSS Summit

You have until tonight at 9 pm EDT to register for The CSS Summit online conference that’s going on tomorrow, July 18. Registration is just $179 for an individual and $479 for a meeting room (meaning, you can get a bunch of people together in one place and all attend the conference). Use the code CSSZOEMG when registering to get $25 off. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.

But, if $179 is still too steep for you, I’m giving away one free admission! To win, just post a comment saying what you most want to learn about  right now (in general, not necessarily a topic that is being covered tomorrow at the Summit). I’ll pick one commenter at random at 6 pm EDT tonight, so make sure you post your comment by then.

The liquid web site motherload

I feel like a kid in a candy store. A nerdy kid. Because I’ve hit the liquid web site motherload: Nomensa’s portfolio.

Nomensa is a web agency specializing in accessibility and usability. Their own site is a nice example of a liquid design, and I’ve had it bookmarked for a while, but I finally got a chance to check out the sites in their portfolio. There are dozens and dozens of them, and almost all of them are liquid. (They also have a few elastic ones, and a few fixed-width.) Unfortunately, Nomensa doesn’t provide links to all of their work, but only a select few as case studies. But, you can google the names of the non-case-study clients, and you’ll find that most of these sites are liquid as well.

Now, I grant you, many of the sites are not terribly stylish. But they still are really useful to look at to get ideas for how to handle content and layout in liquid layouts. You could easily use the same techniques they’re using with a bit more spit and polish added.

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