Tag Archives: web resources

3 Hot Links for the D.I.Y. Designer

I’ve been surfing the design sites for hot new web resources for the D.I.Y. Designer. Here are 3 hot links I wanted to share. In honor of Earth Day we’ll start with one that’s environmentally friendly too.

You know the drill. You find a stylish website full of gorgeous graphics, a few ads on the sidebar, and most importantly an article you’re dying to share. And by share I’m talking old school share, like ripping-it-out-of-the-newspaper style share. In other words, you have to print it. So you click the printer icon with great hesitation knowing that 10 minutes later you’ll be sorting through 5 pages of photos, ads, weather bulletins and html confusion to find the one golden nugget you wanted in hard copy. After you recycle the extra pages, shaking your head in frustration over the wasted ink and screaming at the one line of text that ruined an entire pristine sheet of copy paper, you realize there must be a better way. screen image

Here's the article I want to print, with all the graphics I don't

printwhatyoulike screen image

After I selected the text and removed photos, here's what's going to print.

Ah-haaaaa (golden ray of light shines down upon your computer) there is! I just discovered, a website that let’s you do just that. And it couldn’t be easier. Copy and paste a URL into their window and up pops the webpage you’re looking for. Then you can choose exactly what you want to print on the page, eliminate what you don’t, and print. I condensed a 5 page article into 2 with a few simple clicks.

Voila! Earth friendly printing, and a simple interface, all for my favorite low, low price: FREE.

It’s funny how sometimes you find just what you need when you actually need it. I was just having a conversation with one of my clients, who has jumped on the D.I.Y. Design train and handles some of her graphics internally. As our discussion entered the realm of typefaces she mentioned a growing frustration in attempting to select just the right one from the huge scrolling list filled with meaningless names and numbers. And I’m not talking about searching through Myfonts for a new resource (one of my favorite inspiration sites). Sometimes you just want to work with what you have…only you don’t know exactly what you’ve got. screen image

It's an online font viewer for your own fonts.

That’s where comes in handy. This online font viewer allows you to see exactly what fonts are available on your computer, organize them, sort them and test them out to pick the perfect one. Maybe you’re looking for a handwritten font, but you don’t know a slab serif from a slab of beef. Their font viewer give you a sample text window for side-by-side comparison. Or maybe you’re looking for just dollar sign, or a font with old style figures. Use the glyphs window to find exactly what you need. screen image

Type in any words and see them typeset in all your fonts

While there is software available that allows you to manage all your fonts, that’s a bit more complicated than the average D.I.Y. Designer needs. doesn’t require downloads, installation or fees for basic use. And if you get really into it, there are advanced options available for a fee.

Since we’re on the subject of fonts I couldn’t resist telling you about this one, even though I haven’t tried it out yet. screen image

Turn your handwriting into a font.

Have you ever wanted to get your handwriting turned into a custom typeface? Or maybe you’d like a special font that includes custom characters for your line of work, and a digital signature for approving files via email. Well this may be the perfect place for you. makes it easy to hand-write a custom alphabet and turn it into a font for less than $10. I can tell you that’s much cheaper than most professional fonts out there. And this would be uniquely yours.

Simply download and print their 2-page template, fill in the squares with each letter indicated, scan and upload it back to them. The website creates a custom open type font that can then be installed on your computers, Mac OS X or PC.

I’m definitely going to try this one. I’ll keep you posted on the results.

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Posted by on April 22, 2010 in Design, Quick Tips


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Font Resources

Font and image resources are key components every designers toolbox. One of the biggest mistakes a DIY marketer can make it to limit themselves to the fonts that automatically appear in their drop menus in Word. Why? Because EVERYONE has those fonts. If you want to create an ad that jumps off the page and screams, “Hey, I’m not-your-ordinary ad, I’m worth reading!” Do you think you can do that with Helvetica or Tekton? Give yourself an edge by mixing it up. Only rockstars, morticians and goth teens can get away with wearing all-black, all the time. The rest of us could use a little variety.

So, where do fonts come from? And how much is this going to cost? I’m going to share my favorite font resource, and a new one I just discovered. Think you’ll appreciate them both.

Favorite font resource:

I love because it always have everything I need. They source fonts from hundreds of font foundrys (font designers), so you get variety and quantity. Their search engine is fantastic. Let’s say you’re looking for a font for a beer company. Type in the term “beer” and you’ll get dozens of fonts that fit that tag. You can also search by more common font terms like san-serif, gothic or script, but be forewarned: you’ll get thousands of responses to sort through. If you don’t know quite what you’re looking for though, that can be great.

Cool feature: WhatTheFont. Have you ever seen a font in an advertisement an thought, “that’s exactly what I’m looking for…but how am I supposed to find it?” WhatTheFont is the answer. Scan in an image of the font and WhatTheFont will search their database and come up with matches based on the shapes of each letter. It’s amazing!

File formats: They support Mac and PC and offer Open Type, PostScript and Truetype fonts.

Cost: Like most font websites, the cost varies depending on the font. Their are packages available that may run several hundred dollars, and there are also fonts for under $10 or even free. This is a resource for professional, quality, commercial use fonts. That doesn’t always mean they’re expensive, but it generally means they are worth it.

New Font Resource: Font Squirrel

I just discovered this new font resource today. Normally I would test these out and see what’s so great, or not, but there’s one feature I think everyone will love: The fonts are free!

Free fonts are offered all over the internet and typically I’d say, you get what you pay for. Sometimes they’re knock-offs of original fonts, sometimes they’re pirated, and in many cases they’re just not licensed for commercial work. Font Squirrel is a website that has done the searching for you. They’ve found free fonts that are quality products and are licensed for commercial designs, like logos, ads and websites. Their selection is limited, but at least you can relax knowing there’s no scarlet letter around your neck for copyright infringment.

I’ve also had some luck with Their fonts are identified as either “personal” or “for commercial use” so you’ll know before you download. And they’re free as well.

So, next time you’re working on an ad, or thinking of changing up your packaging with some new fonts, check out these websites. They’re also a great resource for inspiration when you’ve hit a design roadblock and need a new direction.

Have you discovered some great online font resources? Share them with me. You know I’m always looking for a good tip.

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Posted by on August 17, 2009 in Design, Marketing


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