Art Blanc
Personal website of Art Blanc


This is where I write for the web.

Coherence Loop

John Gruber:

Coherence in product design leads to coherence in product marketing. And vice versa: incoherence in product design leads to incoherence in product marketing. If the product isn’t logical and consistent throughout, how can it be marketed in a logical and consistent way?

Oh yeah, he’s talking about Apple Music, hopefully it’ll get revamped soon on WWDC. It’s kind of a mess as it stand today.

LinkedArt Blanc
Traditional Technology

Vogue interview Tim Cook and Jony Ive:

“Both the hand and the machine can produce things with exquisite care or with no care at all,” says Ive. “But it’s important to remember that what was seen at one time as the most sophisticated technology eventually becomes tradition. There was a time when even the metal needle would have been seen as shocking and profoundly new.”

Pay for Fonts

It’s safe to assume that most people have no idea that fonts, like music or movies, are protected by intellectual property laws, they usually come with a hefty price tag, and they are uncommonly vulnerable to unjust adaptation and outright theft.

It’s amateurish to pirate fonts.

LinkedArt Blancfont, piracy
Ten Fingers and a Pencil

Khoi Vinh:

Answering the question of how much to emulate desktop apps will likely take some time to sort out, but for me, it‘s self evident that the way we want to work on an iPad—even on a theoretical, professionally augmented iPad—is clearly not the same as the way we want to work on a Mac. Rather than providing full access to the work done on a desktop, especially when it can be as complicated as what desktop design apps produce, what’s needed is to give the user the most meaningful access, the subset that will yield the most productivity for designers working on the iPad, without all of the baggage of the desktop.

In Macs you can only have one cursor, in iPads you can have up to eleven fingers! Also keyboard shortcuts will be an unnecessary interaction model, because you can almost physically interact with your work on the screen.

LinkedArt Blancipad, design, tools
Checkout Dilemma

We were wrong about the first-time shoppers. They did mind registering. They resented having to register when they encountered the page. As one shopper told us, “I’m not here to enter into a relationship. I just want to buy something.”


LinkedArt Blancux, commerce
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.

Measure Once, Gut Check Twice

Evan Williams:

Numbers are important. Number of users is important. So are lots of other things. Different services create value in different ways. Trust your gut as much (or more) than the numbers. Figure out what matters and build something good.

LinkedArt Blancmetric, product
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

Ryan Singer on Interfaces as a Sets of Jobs

Ryan Singer:

What is at the core of an interface design? I think of the design not as a collection of screens or buttons or pixels, but as a collection of jobs that the user wants to do. In this article I want to give you a feeling for how to think of interfaces as made up of jobs, each with a beginning, middle and end.

I first read this in his site Felt Presence, now he repost it in Medium. Medium have been killing it lately, so many smart people started publishing their writing there.