Art Blanc
Personal website of Art Blanc


This is where I write for the web.

Posts in Notes
Busting Major Myths Around elementary OS

Daniel Foré making the case for elementary OS (a Linux distro):

“elementary OS is for noobs or dumbs down their apps”

I think this stems from the idea that features require complexity. It’s a cultural belief in poor design. But we think that clear, easy-to-use apps are good for both new users and pros. Usability is for everyone and truly usable apps help, not hinder. Keyboard navigation is an example of something that is a priority both for pro users and users with special accessibility needs. An interface works best when it is transparent and empowers users to get things done.

I think Linux community need to pay more attention to usability, accessibility, and ease-of-use for their platforms. elementary OS have a pretty sweet HIG though, gotta love it.

Digital Relief

Craig Mod:

Web projects often lack hard edges. They begin with clarity but end without. We want to close with clarity. To properly bookend the website. Sometimes web projects exhaust themselves. Outlive themselves. Are allowed to stagnate, be forgotten. Resources dry up and then one day — poof — they’re gone. This has happened countless times, Geocities being one of the foremost examples. We don’t want this to happen with

At the same time we understand the moral duty we took on in creating — in opening it up to submissions and user generated content. There was an implicit pact: You give us your stories about place, and we’ll give you a place to put your stories. This was not an ephemeral pact. is not Snapchat.

We can’t call this age as “Information Age” if we do not think and do something about how we can preserve those information.

Absorbable Change

Horace Dediu thinking through on what it means to be great:

This quandary came to mind when looking at the performance of the latest iPhone, the 6S. Observing it closely, we lose sight of it. We see only minute changes between versions; marginal changes which can’t be weighed. And yet these changes have a more important attribute: they are absorbable. A change that is ignored is not only valueless, it may actually destroy perception of value. It creates clutter and confusion. A change that is absorbable is valuable. It is meaningful.

Another one:

Improvements which are not asked for but which change behavior suggest that the product is valued because it changes the buyer. I believe this is what causes us to pause and appreciate them. We feel we have been improved by the thing we bought though we did not ask to be made better by it. Collectively, multiplying by millions, the improvement we feel compels us to anoint the product as great.

Renting Fonts with Fontstand

Fontstand is a new Mac app and web service from type designers Andrej Krátky and Peter Biľak that allow you to try and rent fonts for use in applications. You can try for an hour at a time every fonts in their catalogue or rent them monthly. Sounds good right?

The best part of it is that you can have full licensing option for your rented fonts if you have had rented them for twelve times 30-day period. So you can have the fonts you rented as if you have purchased a full desktop license.

They priced the rental fonts1 at 10% of their full price for a 30-day period. It’s a great model, you can use many typefaces without the overhead to pay its full price. The more you rent them the more likely it will be added to your Fontstand app for good.

Because you don’t have to rent it consecutively to have it for good, think of it like an instalment model. You pay 20% more for the typefaces you often use and after twelve times renting it you stop paying for it and use it indefinitely. Well, at least during the lifetime of Fontstand. Read more about it in their licensing help page.

Currently they offer typefaces from many of my favorite foundry, albeit not with their full portfolio. From the big names like Typotheque, Fontsmith, Commercial Type, and TypeTogether, to indie favorites like Letters from Sweden and House Industries. In total of 334 families from 21 foundries.

I love the idea and the execution of Fonstand, the app is beautiful. I’m hopeful that they can grow to be a sustainable business so I can keep renting great typefaces without costing me an arm and a leg.

  1. They have no webfonts offering, yet

Fontcast is Back

Fontcast is Fontshop’s short video interview series about typeface designer, and it’s now back on screen after a long hiatus of 5 years.

The latest episode is a good one, featuring Georg Seifert the designer and developer of Glyphs a font drawing and authoring software for Mac which is still in my wishlist.

Now I kinda hoping they would put it out as an RSS feed and have it as a self-respected podcast, so I wouldn’t missed it.

NotesArt Blancfontcast, video
Neue Haas Unica

The original purpose behind the creation of the typeface Haas Unica was to provide a sympathetic update of Helvetica. But now the font designer Toshi Omagari has decided to make this typeface his own and has thus significantly supplemented and extended it.

It’s Neue Haas Grotesk + Helvetica + Univers so it’s called Neue Haas Unica, get it? Silly name aside, I like it, it’s sturdy and versatile, a great riff from the original typefaces, a great remix that blends the best of both Univers and Helvetica.

Trust Engineering

I have been catching up to past episodes of Radiolab and this one caught by attention, I listen to it a couple more time to understand it better, it’s about online interaction and how Facebook run some experiments to better “engineer” social interaction, fascinating to say at the very least and well worth your eardrums.

Also start listening to some Radiolab now it’s that one of the best podcast out there, and If I may recommend an episode to start your journey to the wonderful storytelling chops of Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich with this episode on color and also the one linked above.

Yellow Everybody

Some of my friends have asked me why did I pick yellow as the main color of my site. My answer is simple, yellow is the most cheerful and the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. It’s the color that captures our attention more than any other color.

Just look at the Squarespace’s Cover Pages landing page looks like, Meerkat the video streaming app that have been making waves lately, and also my new favorite site The Thread. All of them are yellow, gorgeus and cheerful, so cheers!

NotesArt Blanccolor, yellow
Hello World!

It’s past midnight March eleventh and I finally did it, my new website, after give or take six months trying to build my own site from scratch and to no avail, it’s a long story I will elaborate on that later.

So, after forking up my money I build my site using Squarespace —no regrets, they’re awesome— you can now point your browser to my domain and arrived here, first of all I want to welcome you to my humble site one of many gazzilion sites you can browse on the Internet and yet you are here, thank you.

I will semi-regularly post to this blog every month, ranging from my opinions mainly in design, typography, and probably some blurbs, or random things that I found interesting or intriguing from all around the web.

If you want to see my so called portfolio, it isn’t ready yet, but you can look at my Dribbble profile to see some of my past work, I put the link at the top labelled “worrrk” until I finished prepping my portfolio and put it here at this very website. Once again, thank you for checking out my site, hopefully you can get something out of it.

NotesArt Blancwebsite