Font Inspiration: MyFonts

Boycott Image DemoI am not big on fancy fonts and such but I came across a website this week that had a great top 10 list of what they considered the best fonts of 2006.

It is not that I am against fonts or anything like that, I like a nice font. But fancy unique ones have their limitations. For instance if you have a font installed on your machine you can use it all you like, print a letter with it without any problems. But send a document to someone and they don’t have it on theirs and it will bork. They won’t see it. Same goes for a web page. It has to be resident on the machine for the user to see it.

One way around this is to create an image that uses the font. But that changes it as well, it is now an image and is treated as such. Creating a header or logo using a fancy font is not so bad because within the html you can edit the text to reflect the content on the page. This raw html of the page is what the web spiders crawl for indexing.

I heard a podcast this week where there were open questions and one podcaster was wondering why her content was not being indexed. It turned out that the whole page of text that she referred to was an image. She wanted the page to look nice and so that the visitors could see it she made the whole block of text an image. Google does not index the content of an image as far as content is concerned. In all honesty I am after content crap can still look good and some of the ugliest web sites have the best content.

I should also mention as a side point that having a massive number of fonts installed is notorious for slowing down your machine. So be picky with what you install and maybe review them once in a while and cull out the ones you don’t use any more. Saving them to disk is a great idea as you can always install them again if you ever have the need.

So now that I have trashed fonts… I found this nice collection of fonts this week. The Best Fonts of 2006. While I am not sure what the best is based on they are a nice collection. They are from a site called MyFonts and I would suggest that these are what they consider to be the best fonts as opposed to being judged or voted on. You can see the whole collection as an alphabet and you can purchase them if you wish. Must be hard to develop fonts because the ones I looked at range in price from $19.00 to $40.00. But they have some great specials as low as 10 bucks! Cool. What is the going rate for a font anyway? Still worth it if you are after something unique in my opinion.

Looks like a great site by the way lots of fonts and styles to suit anything that you would want to do, 52,454 at last count. I really liked the “more like this” feature that selects fonts based on the one you are looking at. These fonts definitely have a place for the designer and artist. But remember that they have a place and more importantly when and where you shouldn’t be using them.

Best Fonts of 2006


Helipad: Think Notepad but Better

Helipad LogoThis new on-line note taking service looks good. Although “note taking” seems a very bland way to describe a service that looks and feels as good as this does.

Helipad is a note service, however there are few things that make it so much better than the standard Windows notepad. I use notepad a lot, it is great for stripping HTML and a quick way to jot a note. But then you end up with all these .txt files that have really weird file names that you thought made sense at the time. They don’t now. Helipad makes creating, editing and finding those notes very easy and fun.

It has a “widget-like” look to the main page with the Ajax type interface. Obviously you can create a new note or document very easily. However, the one feature that sets this apart from others and especially notepad is the ability to tag your notes. The tags create a “tag cloud” at the top of the page which makes finding related notes easy. Other features include an auto save, live searching, different themes and plug-ins, sharing of documents and changing fonts in preparation for printing. There is a plan for the ability to export documents as a PDF as well as a drop and drop interface.
The site also makes available the API for developers and a separate one to write add-ons for the service. It will be interesting to see what applications can be generated and the “inventions” that people come up with.

So you are nowhere near your PC or laptop and get a surge of inspiration. No problem, whip out the mobile or something like a Treo™ and access Helipad from the mobile friendly web-page. Very cool. If you can access the Internet you can access your documents.
If you don’t like the look of the default theme or others you can also customise the colour and add functionality to it. But I must admit I am a fan of the K.I.S.S ideology; Keep It Simple Stupid. Notepad is simple and that is what makes it good. Helipad does this but does it better.

Mac users keep an eye out for the downloadable version that is coming soon, enables you to work offline.

No word on the site or their blog exactly how they are going to make money from the service. It would be great to see it stick around, it deserves to. All this costs someone something, so I hope that they either have heaps of cash or someone else that has heaps of cash and that they are doing it for the love of it. Great ideas and originality seem to be able to stick around, especially with the API made available. Perhaps some bright spark will come up with some way to implement it into MySpace or something like that.

Good luck to them though as it looks like a good idea and one that has huge potential for lots of applications and uses.

Helipad Homepage Screenshot