Swiss It Up

Visualgui gets another makeover in less than two months. Somehow I was having the urge to go for a Swiss design. What I still love about this style is the ability to reduce everything to the core. This redesign is a quick one because I took out things from the previous design rather than added anything new. I reduced the number of typefaces and columns to one.

Proxima Nova, by Mark Simonson, is the only typeface used in this version. I wanted to play with the wordmark a bit. On the desktop version, the wordmark changes to vertical display. I also wanted to use a sans serif typeface for body text, something I haven’t done for a while.

Another big change in this new design is white space—lots of white space. I am still obsessed with white space and simplicity. Even though I could have used the previous design until 2016, I just wanted to make the change before the start of the new semester, which is next week. I will be focusing on my final project, teaching, and doing a handful of projects at work and home. I just hope that I won’t stress myself out. Doing a redesign like this actually helps releasing some of the anxiety. I am going to bed and will spend all day tomorrow with the kids.


Recently Acquired Books

Even though my little bookshelf is packed, I can’t help scooping these books at bargain prices:

  • A-Z of Type Designers by Neil Macmillan
  • Creative Typography by Marion March
  • CJKV Information Processing by Ken Lunde (gift from the author)
  • The Field Guide to Typography by Peter Dawson
  • Manual of Typography by Ruari McLean
  • The New Typography by Jan Tschichold
  • Type in Use by Alexander W. White

Marion March: Creative Typography

The typesetting of the book itself has issues—justified text in narrow column—but it features some great typographic examples. Not a bad book to flip through to find inspirations from the past. Got it at a bargain price.


Demetri Martin: Live (At the Time)

Demetri Martin’s Live (At the Time) is a Twitter-style comedy. He had gone through an hour of one-liners like: “I want to see a snake eat spaghetti;” “Fall is the only season that has two names, as if it has gone through a sex change;” and “I think Jesus was one of the first scarecrows.” They are short, but  well-crafted. Though not a fan of quick jokes,  I still find this routine enjoyable.


Ken Lunde: CJKV Information Processing

Dr. Lunde has accomplished a daunting task of putting together a 900-page reference on computing text in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Like Robert Bringhurst who wrote the foreword, I find the book useful, particularly the coverage of the Vietnamese language.


His Name is Done

I am pleased to announce that one more boy will be joining our little family early next year. I nicknamed him Done because we’re done with baby-making after him.

I must confess. I was hoping for a baby girl—even the boys wanted a baby sister so that mommy won’t be outnumbered—but we are happy with what we get as long as the baby is healthy. He is doing great so far.

My poor wife has been going through quite a bit of challenges in the first trimester. She has been experience nausea and fatigue much longer than she had in the past. She bears all the pains in carrying a new soul. Mad love and respect.

Peter Dawson: The Field Guide to Typography

A breezy and beautiful introduction to the world of typography around us. Striking photography and brief design backstory make it a pleasurable and informative visual reference for both casual and serious typographic apprentices. Currently on sale on Amazon for $5.56. Can’t beat that bargain.


Family Reunion 2015

I’ve been back from our family reunion for a week already, but haven’t had a chance to blog about it. I had been busy at work, preparing the syllabus for my teaching engagement, and hammering away with my final project.

In any rate, this year’s reunion was fantastic. It was a whole week filled love, laughter, food, and liquor. Between Saturday evening to Wednesday night, we emptied one Johnny Walker, one Rémy Martin V, one Grey Goose, one Hornitos, one Don Julio, six Patróns, and cases of beers.

This year’s spot was phenomenal. We rented a house right by the beach in Destin Florida. The water was clear and warm. The sand was white. A typical day for me was waking up early around 7AM, went running, and dived straight into the beach. Read or listened to music until my wife texted to tell me that the kids had woken up.

I headed back home, took a quick showered, got the kids ready to join the big family for breakfast. Depending on the kids, we would either go to the beach or mini golf and arcade. After lunch, we spent the rest of the day at the pool.

Everyone then gathered back into the big house for dinner. After dinner the men made more food for drinking. We ate some more, drank a whole lot, sang karaoke, and even danced. The kids also showed off their singing and beak-dancing skills. Đạo even performed two songs. Pour Đán who could barely made it to dinner. Because of all the water activities, he crashed before had a chance to finish his food.

We drove from Virginia to Florida and back. Each trip took us two days, but I enjoyed driving.

This year the reunion in Destin was much better than San Diego last year. Those couldn’t make it this year really missing out. We definitely should go back to Destin for a reunion in the future.

ProWebType on Dr. Web

My book is featured on a German site: „Professional Web Typography“: Ratgeber für die perfekte Webtypografie. Thanks to Denis Potschien for covering it.

Robyn Blakeman: The Bare Bones of Advertising Print Design

An essential guide to create effective advertising design. From the creative process to typography to layout, Blakeman provides the foundation for designers to build upon on their own. It’s a good reference if you can get past the Copperplate headers.