Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Comic Sans

Following is a diddy I recently wrote for my Book Design class. Just might be my favorite class so far:

"Comic Sans" written in Comic Sans typeface.

Where did it come from? And why has it become the laughingstock of the typography world?

Comic Sans MS (often referred to as simply Comic Sans) was designed by typeface designer and former Microsoft employee Vincent Connare. This is the typeface that has gained the most attention, though he also designed Trebuchet MS, as well as helped to finalize the design for Marlett and Webdings (the one that was launched along with Internet Explorer).

Connare studied at the New York Institute of Technology, and got his master’s degree in Type Design at the University of Reading. He created the Comic Sans typeface while working for Microsoft, when he was working with a team on a children’s software program called “Microsoft Bob.” The programmers had created a test version of the software with a welcome screen that featured a cartoon dog speaking in a speech bubble. Much to Connare’s travail, the speech bubble featured text that appeared in the not-so-comical Times New Roman font. He decided they needed a font that mimicked what you could find in comic books. He proceeded to pull out some comic books that he had on hand in his office, used a mouse to draw the font on his computer by hand, and created the typeface in less than a week. He originally named the font “Comic Book,” but decided “Comic Sans” sounded more like a font name, and almost all of the letters (besides the capital “I”) were “sans” (without) serifs. 

Comic Sans has gained most of its notoriety, however, as there have been movements against the use of Comic Sans - claiming that it is a disgrace to the typography world. Websites such as Ban Comic Sans (a campaign specifically designed to do away with the typeface), Comic Sans Criminal (a website dedicated to helping people use Comic Sans appropriately), and even an Inappropriate Comic Sans tumblr account have allowed designers from all over to unite in their mockery of the typeface. One designer even took the time to outline why it’s a painful font, citing offenses such as mismanagement of visual weight, poor kerning, but ultimately coming to the conclusion that “the story of Comic Sans is not that of a really terrible font, but rather of a mediocre font, used incorrectly on a massive scale.”

An article in the Wall Street Journal illustrates Connare’s feelings on the Comic Sans controversy: “Mr. Connare has looked on, alternately amused and mortified, as Comic Sans has spread from a software project at Microsoft Corp. ... to grade-school fliers and holiday newsletters, Disney ads and Beanie Baby tags, business emails, street signs, Bibles, porn sites, gravestones and hospital posters about bowel cancer.” 

The best hope for Comic Sans is that it can be used when appropriate. To quote the Comic Sans Criminal site, these situations would be:
  1. When your audience is 11 years old
  2. When you’re designing a comic
  3. When your audience is dyslexic and has stated that they prefer Comic Sans
That’s it!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

An Ode to Mom

I'm always so daunted by Mother's Day. How do you begin to thank the person who literally brought you into this world? I mean if she did NOTHING else for you - who else (divine beings aside) has done something like that for you? I've not been pregnant, but from what I've heard, it's no easy feat. Then there's that whole raising a child thing. Nbd.

That said, I would like to try, though it be inadequate, cheesy, and a bit braggy (it's socially acceptable to boast about one's mother, correct?), to describe why my mom is the best mom:

She loves everyone. 
Like EVERYone. It's impressive. You show me someone who would drive anyone else absolutely nuts, and my mom will be able to find no less than five redeeming qualities in that same person. I'm willing to bet on it.

She's the best cheerleader. 
Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders listen up - you could learn a few things from this lady (plus she's hotter than all y'all). Every time I have a new idea, a new direction I want to go with my life, a new business I want to start, a new spiritual path I've decided to take, she's like, "I think you should go for it." She's always encouraging me. Believing in me. I could tell her I'm running for president of the United States, and she'd get out her computer and start making campaign posters. 

She feels my pain. 
From scraped knees to broken hearts and lost dreams - she hurts when I'm hurting; she cries when I'm crying. She can't take the pain away (though I know she wishes with all her heart she could), but she can take me in her arms and do that soothing thing that she's so good at. Man she's good at that soothing thing. 

She's steady.
Like a rock. I've seen this woman go through some really tough stuff. And I'm sure I don't even know the half of it. But I've never, not once, seen her faith waiver. I've never once seen her lose her hope. I'm over here losing hope all the time like no one's business, but that's just not her style. It gives me hope that maybe someday I can have hope like she does.

She's just so dang fun.
I'm going to repost a video at the risk of getting in trouble, but I think it's worth it. I can only get in so much trouble now that I'm an adult, right?

See that? Not every mom can get down like that. She's a zip-lining, adventure-loving, late-night-chatting, expert-shopping, down-for-whatever kind of mom. She's not only my mom, she's my best friend. And one that I just can't get enough of.

So. That's my attempt. Thank you, Mom, for being my mom. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Yesterday morning it was raining.

I've tried (not that hard) to be one of those people who likes rain. One of those people who doesn't grumble the entire time her glasses are getting speckled with raindrops while simultaneously fogging up. One of those people who loves it when she forgets to wear the right shoes and has wet socks all day. Yay, rain!

However, I am reading a book that suggests looking for the good in everything - to find at least one reason to be grateful for everything. 

So I tried with the rain.

I gave him a chance (I don't know why he's masculine - just go with it).

I didn't want to go with the OBVIOUS reason of it doing something like helping the earth, cause that's too easy right? 

So, with that reason aside, the next one I came up with was "Hey, this means fewer people will want to make the trek across campus to go to the lunchtime yoga class!" Good job, Anna. That's the yoga spirit. Wouldn't want other people cramping your zen.

I tried to come up with a few others (I get to wear boots..??) and finally came back to the earth-helping qualities of rain. I looked around at the lush greenery on GW campus, breathed in the fresh-smelling rainy air, and just accepted the rain and the good that it was offering. 

I also made my confession in said yoga class, and luckily no one (outwardly) judged me. One girl even suggested, "Just think of this - the rain helps you to appreciate the sunshine."

I guess having other people in your yoga class isn't so bad.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sometimes the only way to create something new is to go all the way back to the beginning

So, yeah, it's 1:00 am in the morning, and here's what I'm thinking:

I'm not really big on New Year's resolutions... not that I don't think they're great. They're great. I'm just always making resolutions for myself, so there's nothing super special about making them at the beginning of the year as opposed to any other time.

However, there is something about looking forward and realizing that you have a whole year ahead of you, and that this year could be dramatically different than the last. And sure, there are lots of factors that could affect the next year... but it's pretty cool to think that you are ultimately the one who can make it different.

So, I have a lot of things that I want to do differently this year. But I mostly want to write about one, because I want to make a public statement about it - forcing myself to be more accountable.

I am going to get healthy. I've gone through periods in my life where I'm really focusing on eating healthy, exercising, etc., and it just makes me happy. I know it's cliche. I know it's nothing new. But I am going to rededicate myself, and I'm going to blog about it. And then I'm going to pretend that a bunch of people are reading about my success and being motivated by me, so that it will keep me going (whether or not that's actually true doesn't really matter).

So, when you see me, get ready to see a happier, healthier me. Because this year is going to be different. It doesn't matter how many times I've failed in the past - because I'm starting fresh. [Insert cheesy motivational closing line here]

P.S. I'm going to be looking real hot, so keep yourselves under control.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Runnin' Runnin' and Runnin' Runnin'

Okay, so I might actually start writing on my blog again! This is pretty exciting. My life has been a bit crazy lately, and to help curb some of the stress, I've started running again.

I've realized why I love running. A lot of the time (and yes, this is something I'm working on), I find that I beat myself up... I get mad at myself for eating that brownie, or for leaving my room a little too messy, or for slacking on exercise.

BUT when I run, I transform. I suddenly become this awesome coach/friend/motivational speaker. When I start feeling the burn, I hear myself saying, "It's okay, you can get through this." When I feel like I can't go any further, I tell myself, "Okay, just make it to the next stoplight." Then when I make it to the next stoplight, I hear myself saying, "It's just two more miles. You can do two miles easy." And when I finish, it's like I'm handing myself a gold medal and hoisting myself up on my own shoulders... I couldn't be more proud.

You should try it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wrong Number?

So, I've made it a goal in life to never give up a good wrong-number text conversation. If you're not sure what I mean, reference this blog post... Eli is pretty inspirational with his command of wrong-number text conversation. Anyway, here was my attempt:

Me (thinking this was my friend, Ashley): Hey what are you up to tonight?:)

"Ashley": Not much who are you?

Me: Anna!:)

"Ashley": Anna who?

Me: B. (obviously I spelled out my last name... but to avoid stalkers, I will stick with "B" on my blog. But those of you who know my last name know that it's pretty unique and this person can now easily Facebook stalk me. Don't worry, though, my settings are super private... I think)

"Ashley": Do I know you?

Me: Anna B... from Provo... maybe this is the wrong number. Is this Ashley?

Mystery Person: This is the wrong number.

Me: Sorry!

Mystery Person: Are you hott? (We can now assume this person is Mystery Boy...)

Mystery Boy: How old are you?

Me: Super hot

(Keep in mind that at this point, I get a random call from an 801 number: "Hello." "Who is this?" "Anna." "Anna Who?" "Anna B." ...and they hang up.)

Mystery Boy: How old are you?

Me: 54

Me: That too old?

Mystery Boy: Nope its perfect :) you didnt sound 54 though

Me: I know... I sound and look young for my age. How old are you?

Mystery Boy: Im 55

Me: Oh nice. What do you like to do for fun?

Mystery Boy: I like to watch byu football and go camping (Come on, seriously? Get a little creative...)

Me: I like to play with my 10 cats and knit.

Mystery Boy: I love cats. Did you go to byu?

Me: Yes I did go to BYU back in the day. I was quite a looker back then... I must say. I lived in Helaman Halls and was a Cougarette. Did you go to the Y?

Mystery Boy: (at this point... the guilt must have set in...) I am right now I'm 22 i just got back from a mission from washington state.

Me: What??!! You mean you have been making all this up??? ;)

...no response...

Dang it... I probably just blew it with my soul mate, huh?