#67 Few & Far Between

67 Few & Far Between


#67 Few & Far Between
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Few & Far Between is said about a lot of things:

Fine restaurants in this town are few & far between.

Good movies are few & far between.

Gas stations on this highway are few & far between.

Jobs for a time were few & far between.

Our relatives are few & far between.

Exceptionally talented & professional designers are few & far between.

The expression “few & far between” originally was used very literally for physical objects such as houses appearing at widely separated intervals (mid-1600s). Today it is used more loosely.

Lately AmperArt releases have been few & far between (but I still churn out at least one per month).

What has been few & far between for you lately?

Comment here (or below if you see a big blue box).


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.

#94 Big & Tall

94 Big & Tall


#94 Big & Tall
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Big & Tall pertains to a lot of things.

Trees are Big & Tall. Buildings are Big & Tall. The Matterhorn (both in Switzerland and at Disneyland) are Big & Tall.

But the term Big & Tall will always remind me of the store that I had to go to sometimes to find a shirt with long enough sleeves, or a pair of socks that the big toe wouldn’t puncture, or a pair of shoes if they weren’t to be found in a department store. I wear a size 13, which is borderline. Some stores carry 13, some stop at 12. But no one carries 14 or larger. So I guess I lucked out in a way.

I have some women friends who would scream if they couldn’t purchase every style in vogue because the shoe store didn’t stock their size. But then, I’d stay clear of a woman who is wearing size 13 stilettos.

What does Big & Tall mean to you?

Comment here (or below if you see a big blue box).


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.

#72 Boldface & Italic…just like the Italic Tower of Pisa

AmperArt Boldface & Italic


#72 Boldface & Italic
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

#72 Boldface & Italic is about the two most common text variations in publishing—both used too much & too wrong.

Some writ­ers—let’s call them over­em­pha­siz­ers—just can’t get enough boldface & italic. If they feel strongly about the point they’re mak­ing, they won’t hes­i­tate to run the whole para­graph in bold type. Don’t be one of these peo­ple. This habit wears down your read­ers’ retinas & their pa­tience. It also gives you nowhere to go when you need to em­pha­size a word.

That’s no prob­lem for overem­pha­siz­ers, though, who re­sort to un­der­lin­ing bold text or us­ing bold italic. These are both bad ideas.

(The two paragraphs above, set in boldface & italic, are from Butterick’s Practical Typography. It is so well-stated—quite humorously & sadly true—about overemphasizers, many of whom I’ve encountered as overzealous clients, I couldn’t help but just reprint it nearly verbatim. More from Butterick’s below.)

Boldface & italic treatments are somewhat interchangeable, but they really do each have their own flavor of emphasis or character. Other variations for type are caps & small caps, but that’ll be the theme for another AmperArt installment.

Text that is nei­ther bold nor italic is called ro­man.

Roman? The Tower of Pisa seems to be italicized, doesn’t it? Oh—it’s in Pisa, not Rome.

Italic Tower of Pisa

Italic Tower of Pisa


Where to use boldface & italic

Boldface is great for subheads or anywhere you need to attract the eye.

Italics should be used for book titles, long poems, plays, television shows and films, artworks & song titles; titles of newspapers, journals, magazines & radio series; names of ships & airplanes; specific editions of sacred texts; legal cases.

For­eign words used in Eng­lish are some­times ital­i­cized, some­times not, de­pend­ing on how com­mon they are. For in­stance, you would ital­i­cize your zuppa Toscana & sfogliatelle, but not your lasagna & cannoli.

But that’s not all.

The Frugal Editor

For a complete list on how to properly apply boldface & italic, as well as a comprehensive reference for all other editing rules and tips, pick up a copy of Carolyn Howard Johnson’s The Frugal Editor, available at Amazon.com.

This book will save you hundreds of dollars in editing fees—& thousands if you do your own editing & you want to make sure everything is spot-on perfect before ink hits paper without any typos in the printed publications.

The Frugal Editor is worth every frugal penny you spend on it. The cover design is brilliant, too.


2 rules for boldface & italic

According to & paraphrased from Butterick’s Practical Typography (a free online guide):

Boldface or italic—al­ways think of them as mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive. That is the first rule. (So much for the title of this AmperArt piece, Boldface & Italic.)

The sec­ond rule is to use boldface & italic as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. They are tools for em­pha­sis. But if every­thing is em­pha­sized, then noth­ing is em­pha­sized. Also, be­cause boldface & italic styles are de­signed to con­trast with reg­u­lar ro­man text, they’re some­what harder to read. Like ALL CAPS, boldface & italic are fine for short stretches of text, but not for long ones.

Some fonts have both a bold style and a semi­bold style. And some have styles that are heav­ier than bold, like black or ul­tra. These weights are usu­ally in­tended for large sizes (for in­stance, head­lines) and don’t work well at the size range of most body text.


Suggesting boldface & italic the old-fashioned way

In the days of typewriters, emphasis was achieved in several ways, the most common underlining (you had to first type the words, then backspace and add the underline). This represented boldface & italic for emphasis, but always italic for indicating a book or film title. ALL CAPS was used to draw attention, or to indicate headings and subheads. And boldface achieved by actually backspacing the carriage and typing the text over two or three times until it was bold. In “modern” typewriters there were interchangeable balls and wheels that contained different fonts, another means of achieving boldface & italic.

And there was the two-color ribbon, red & black. That emphasized more than boldface & italic combined!


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design & typography—including plenty of boldface & italics.

Most articles will cover various aspects of design, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.

#78 His & Hers featuring Word of the Year & Color of the Year

#78 His & Hers


#78 His & Hers
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

New word & colors for your Valentine… whoever they are

Don’t you agree it’s always been awkward, when you didn’t know the gender of the person in a sentence, to have to write “he/she” & “he or she”? AmperArt #78 His & Hers was inspired by this situation. (Frankly, I usually just write “it” whether it’s a person, animal or slice of pizza.) So we’d usually say “they” which up till now was not proper grammar, especially in writing.

But it is now. “He/she” can now be properly referred to as a singular “they.”  As in “Whether his is a tie or a tablet, or hers is a necklace or a notebook, give them a gift they can really use.” (You could also give them a subscription to AmperArt which is absolutely free.) 

According to the Washington Post,

“We know about singular they already — we use it everyday without thinking about it, so this is bringing it to the fore in a more conscious way, and also playing into emerging ideas about gender identity,” said linguist Ben Zimmer, language columnist for the Wall Street Journal, who presided over the voting…”

Full Washington Post article here.


Word of the Year & Color of the Year

“They” has been named the Word of the Year for 2016.

Again, from the Washington Post article:

Singular “they,” the gender-neutral pronoun, has been named the Word of the Year by a crowd of over 200 linguists at the American Dialect Society’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Frankly, I never heard of a Word of the Year till now. But I do know there is always a Pantone Color of the Year—except for 2016 it’s plural (not singular like “they”); there are two Pantone Colors of the Year:

Rose Quartz & Serenity

Rose Quartz & Serenity are Pantone’s Colors of the Year for 2016. I like Pantone’s decision to feature two colors — just like His & Hers — so we can have fun with more ampersands. And these two colors are perfect for Valentines Day. (I dare you: go ahead and express your love with a bar of soap, in the appropriate color of course, and see just how much they love you back.)

More about Pantone’s Colors of the Year (all years shown—lots of fun) at Pantone.com.

Various shades of each color were used for the bathroom tiles in this month’s AmperArt #78, His & Hers. The wire towel holder is just one use for this fun & functional ampersand accessory. It can be configured as a wine rack, photo frame, jewelry holder, and more. Eventually I’ll be featuring this in the online AmperArt gift store, but for now the patent is pending and can be made to order in a variety of materials & finishes. Please inquire.

To Do & To Don’t List

AmperArt-TO-DONT-LIST-2016-227w

Here’s a fun & functional TO DO & TO DON’T LIST featuring the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016 to help keep his & hers goals on track for 2016.

The new design features the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity.

Download the TO DO & TO DON’T list here and print out several copies for your friends.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. There’s lots for both his & hers interests—designers, typographers, copywriters, artists, photographers, just about anyone in the creative field … whoever they are.

Most articles will cover various aspects of design, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving. (more…)

#80 Believe & Achieve in 2016 – Happy New Year!

80-Believe-&-Achieve-wm


#80 Believe & Achieve
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Happy New Year

First, have a blast celebrating 2015! Then use these tips to keep your New Year’s resolutions.

If you haven’t made any resolutions yet—because you know they are so excruciatingly hard to keep—read this wonderful advice from a friend, Tammi Brannan. You might even want to rethink your New Year’s resolutions and actually look forward to keeping them in 2016!

When choosing New Year’s Resolutions that you want to achieve, make sure you do these 3 things:

  1. Identify 2-3 areas in your life you’d like to improve.
  2. Pick one action item for each area that you can do now to exact change.
  3. For 5 minutes, 3 times a day focus on each action item, whether you’re saying it to yourself as a promise or you’re taking steps towards accomplishing that action.

The 2 reasons why folks fail when it comes to their New Year’s Resolutions is because they:

  1. Pick Resolutions they don’t care too much about achieving, and…
  2. Sit by in hopes their New Year’s Resolution will come to them, instead of taking active steps to achieve them.

If finding the perfect occupation or business is one of your 2016 goals, Tammi Brannan offers career development coaching for individuals & teams. She says, “Live a life that is truer to you.” You’ll find lots of insightful videos & articles at her website, InstinctiveLife.com. I endorse Tammi as a person of high integrity & genuine concern for individuals.


To Do & To Don’t List

AmperArt-TO-DONT-LIST-2016-227w

featuring the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016

Here’s a TO DO LIST guaranteed to simplify your life. It’s actually my specially designed TO DO & TO DON’T list. This is brand-new artwork in the two Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity. Download the TO DO & TO DON’T list here and print out several copies for your friends.


chaz sez ...

My favorite quote about dreams & possibilities is by Walt Disney, who really accomplished some astonishing feats. (Did you know Disneyland was built in less then one year from groundbreaking to opening day?) Walt said:

 “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

And he did. Birdies sing & flowers croon.

(more…)