Thoughts on Art, Design, & Life


Musings #018

©2011 Alma Hoffmann

The case of the A and its desire to conform… The commuter train has small metal coat hooks next to the window seats. Often I hang my coat, scarf, or hat there. I have been doing this for a while now and it never occurred to me to look at the lettering in the metal […]

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Musings #016


Is it bombshell or is it bombs hell? Yesterday I went to my favorite’s stylist to cut my hair. I had not been there for quite a while. She was now working in a new place, so I was excited to go and see the new place in a nice booming area. As I walked […]

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Musings #015


Mistaken Identity Today I got up like any other day. I went to the kitchen to prepare my breakfast and there it was. A case of mistaken identity so serious I wondered why I had not noticed it before? My niece— who comes over fairly often— left behind a water bottle by the kitchen window. […]

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Musings #014


The Delicate Art of Kerning… Yesterday I encountered two incidents of bad kerning. However it was not the obvious, screaming in your face kind of bad kerning. No, this was the subtle kind. The one that you have to look at twice and perhaps only typography nerds will notice. I can only aspire to be […]

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Why I have been away… from my blog


Hi all! It has been a month, an entire month since I last wrote in this blog. I had all these plans to write consistently and every other day but things changed a tad drastically for me this last month. On February 17th I started teaching an online class titled Advanced Typography. The first week […]

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Musings #010


To believe that any font will do the job of communicating content and enhancing its meaning, is like believing that just because one can type on a keyboard, one can design. To think that just because fonts are ubiquitous they can be used indiscriminately is utter ignorance of typographic principles. Fonts like attires, have a […]

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Just how big is your "X"?


One of the advantages of teaching the basics of typography to new students is that I get to review and relearn the basics. There is always something new to learn. As students grow as designers the ability to distinguish among the visual clues to identify a typeface becomes second nature. Thus, reviewing terms, parts of […]

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The Papyrus controversy


The other day a good friend of mine, Paul Bruski who is also a design professor at Iowa State University posted a link on Facebook with the tag “Every font has its day?” The link would direct you to a blog called Pr*tty Sh*tty and a open letter to James Cameron regarding the use of […]

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But your letter q looks like a person!

I teach a class titled Design Issues at Harrington College of Design in Chicago. This semester the class is more like an Independent Study because there are only two students. However, every Wednesday night we engage in lively conversations and it is rare that we leave the room on time. We have a good time […]

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"Well chosen words deserve well chosen letters…." Hype for Hope…

“Well chosen words deserve well chosen letters…” This is one of my favorite quotes. I read this quote in Robert Bringhurst book, The Elements of Typographic Style. I took it and still take it to heart. I strongly believe that words that have been well chosen deserve well chosen letters. Not every font is worthy […]

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