Free Stuff Tuesday (1/18/11 Edition)

Don’t you love how that implies that every Tuesday, I’m going to post free stuff? C’mon people, have we just met? That probably won’t happen.

But here are some free things today, just to make your Tuesday awesome for a reason other than it’s not Monday:

25 New Free High-Quality Fonts from Smashing Magazine

AND… yourfonts.com is having another day of making unlimited free handwriting fonts, in celebration of National Handwriting Day on 1/23/11. Just use coupon code CPN2011FUN on 1/23/11.

(I just thought they should really pay me for sending people to their site and guess what? They have an affiliate program. So using that link will now pay me a few bucks… except when you use their site on a free font day. But do it anyway…  I love mine and anything is better than Comic Sans in your courses.)

Free Custom Fonts of Your Handwriting

Most of you probably read the Rapid E-learning Blog, where Tom K recently recommended using handwritten fonts last year to add character to your elearning courses. There are lots of free ones out there, as well as ways to turn your own handwriting into a custom font.

I tried YourFonts.com a few weeks ago, thinking I might make a banner for this blog out of my own handwriting, but I wasn’t quite satisfied… with my handwriting, that is. The service was pretty freakin’ impressive. Still, my font isn’t there yet.

But I get another chance! On May 9, they’re running a special offer: Use the coupon code CPN4MOM2010 when you check out and you can make as many fonts as you like for free. This is only good on May 9, because… nothing says Mother’s Day like lots of free, custom fonts?

Arial vs. Helvetica

Small part of a visual comparison by Raynor

Small piece of a visual comparison by Raynor

Even though instructional design is not synonymous with graphic design (contrary to some employers’ beliefs), graphic design is obviously a pretty big part of what we do. Even those among us who have the luxury of not doing our own graphic design have to judge and vet others’ work. So it seems like it behooves us to at least talk the talk and spot differences in design and type, to what effect on the overall product.

I’m working on my graphic design and typography chops informally for the time being, which is why I’m grateful for bloggers, among them John Gruber at Daring Fireball, who recently posted:

So You Think You Can Tell Arial From Helvetica? Quiz

and Arial Versus Helvetica

Extra credit: Not new, but very interesting… Helvetica (the documentary). Enjoy!