His Two Cents

Email from a reader:

Hello Donny,

I am the guy who just paid 0.02 $ for your book Professional Web Typography. This is not because that’s how much I think your efforts are worth. I’m in a difficult financial situation right now and what I paid for the book is pretty much all I have on my bank account.

I want to become a professional graphic designer specialized in type design and I can’t afford an education in that field so books like yours are life-saving for me. I don’t have a steady internet access so I needed that pdf version of your book to be able to work at any time.

As soon as my financial situation will get better, I will pay for this book. This is a promise.

For the incredible help your book has already offered me, thank you Donny.

I understand his financial situation. As long as it is not a spammer, I appreciate any support.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

By Dr. Seuss

The first time I heard of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was in a graduation speech at Vassar College delivered by Samuel L. Jackson. Mr. Jackson’s charisma drew me in. I bought the book when Đạo, my first kid, was born. I never imagined that I would apply it to myself, but here it is. I am sure you have read it many times already, but I still want to post the full text without the illustrations. Enjoy:

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Happy graduation!

New Low Price on My Book

Vietnamese Typography is now only $12 for a paperback copy and only $5 for the PDF copy. If you need a stimulating gift for someone special for the holidays, pick up a copy. I also would like to thank those who had purchased and supported the book.

Update: Thanks to Anh Hùng for ordering 10 paperback copies.

Offline Reading With Service Worker

Over the weekend, I installed Service Worker on Professional Web Typography after reading Jeremy Keith’s post and instructions. I am planning on doing the same with the forthcoming Vietnamese Typography, which will be useful for the upcoming graduate exhibition. I will be displaying my web-based book in the gallery along with the print edition and posters. Come to George Mason School of Arts on November 30 if you’re in the area.

Short Escape

Took a short family vacation to Punta Cana. The kids, including the one in mommy’s tommy, loved every moment of it. We stayed at the Royalton, which is the same resort as the Memories Splash we went to in February. The last time we were there, I was in the middle of writing Professional Web Typography. This time I worked on my Vietnamese Typography while the kids were sleeping. We had a great time, but it is now back to reality.

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

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.

Người Đẹp Không Nhà

Mấy tuần vừa qua ngày nào lái xe đi làm và về sao giờ làm cũng thấy một bà da trắng khoảng 40 đứng ở đèn xanh đèn đỏ xin tiền vì lý do không nhà. Nhìn bà ăn bận lịch sự không giống như những người rách rưới không nhà. Bà ấy đứng ngoài trời nóng (90 độ F) hơn 8 tiếng đồng hồ mỗi ngày không biết xin được bao nhiêu tiền. Không biết người đẹp có nhiều cơ hội lấy lòng người hơn hay không? Có lẻ cũng có ăn nên ngày nào cũng thấy bà ấy xuất hiện ở đó.

Sears’s Inescapable Promotion

Two weeks ago we went to Sears to buy a dishwasher. Less than half an hour we closed the deal. The salesman asked me for my email so that Sears could provide the status of the delivery and installation. I gave him my email, but emphasized that I did not want any email promotion and he agreed.

When we got home that day, I checked the old dishwasher and for some odd reasons it worked again. I went back to Sears to cancel my order. Everything went fine, except now I am stuck with endless sale promotions.

The first promotion from Sears read: “Get $10 off $20. Jump online today!” No, thanks. Unsubscribed. The next day, another one read: “Jump on it! Get $10 off your $20 online purchase.” No, thanks. Unsubscribed again. A few minutes later, another one came in: “;-) Seriously, you made the list! Since we think you’re awesome… Enjoy Super Summer Savings!” No seriously. Don’t wink at me. I don’t want to be on the list. Unsubscribed again. The next day, another one came in: “[SURPRISE!] You’re seriously going to love this: Cyber Monday NOW :-).” No seriously, I am not going to love it. I was surprised indeed that I had unsubscribed three times with the confirmation that I had been successfully unsubscribed and yet I was still getting promotional emails.

With frustration, I tweeted at Sears and its social media team were on it immediately, which was good. After providing my name and email, they confirmed that my email had been removed from all the mailing lists, which sounded great except today I got another one from Sears: “We’re not lying! ▷▷ You’ve officially hit it big: find tools & equipment by trusted brands.” No, you fucking lied. I sent a message to the social media team that I was still getting promotional newsletter from Sears and their response was: “Donny, it can take 7-10 business days for the messaging to stop. If after that time you are still receiving messages, please let us know.” What? It takes 7-10 business days to be removed from a fucking online newsletter? They have to go and track down the physical database or something? This is ridiculous. My only solution now is to filter anything coming from Sears straight into my junk box.

Podcast List

As much as I love listening to podcasts, I don’t have much time; therefore, I am very selective. Here are a few shows that I listen to these days on my commute:

DesignEDU Today: A fairly new podcast on design education hosted by Gary Rozanc. I am not quite feeling it yet because most of the guests are familiar, but looking forward to the next episode with Bob Gillespie, my classmate from La Salle University.

Fresh Air: I learn something new almost everyday listening to Terry Gross talking to all kind of experts.

Microphone Check: Keep me up-to-date on new hip-hop artists. The shows I like the most are the conversations among Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Frannie Kelley, and the rappers.

Real Time With Bill Maher: I always enjoy political humors on this show. I lost count how many time Maher made fun of Chris Christie’s weight.

Through Process: Hosted by Joshua Namdev Hardisty and Mitch Goldstein, this podcast gives me insightful tips on teaching design. I started listening to this podcast last year, but then I stopped. Just resubscribed a few weeks ago and caught up all the episodes.

Unfinished Business: I really like the new format the host Andrew Clarke has set up. In pairing up two guests with similar background and expertise, he recorded some of the most engaging conversations on web design.

The Web Ahead: Updates have been sporadic, but the episodes are top-notch. Jen Simmons is a fantastic host who carries the conversations on code and design with ease and clarity.