This year I’ve been focusing on quality in my type design over quantity. Switching from Fontlab to Glyphs inspired a lot of new updates to existing typefaces. In fact, that was the easiest way to make the transition – learning a new application by seeing how it handles my old files. But after releasing Didactic […] Continue

A New Addition To My Collection

This year I’ve been focusing on quality in my type design over quantity. Switching from Fontlab to Glyphs inspired a lot of new updates to existing typefaces. In fact, that was the easiest way to make the transition – learning a new application by seeing how it handles my old files. But after releasing Didactic (which has made several “best off” and “must have” lists this year) I wanted to create a serif face with even more personality.


Above is a small sample of a new typeface I released today called Flabbergast. I’m proud to add it to my growing catalogue in my continued effort to make a living as a type designer.

I’ve begun to remove much of my work from Creative Market in favor of font sites like Hype For Type and (hopefully, pending approval) MyFonts. Unfortunately those big places take a huge percentage of the font sale, as opposed to self releasing something via Gumroad/Pulley/FetchApp etc. In a perfect world, everyone would buy my fonts right here, on my site. Maybe some day I’ll get there, but in the meantime I need to put my fonts where the people are.


Runner’s Beat

I dug out my GoPro again to document a trail run.

I’ve been experimenting with the best way to record my time in the woods, simply as a way to share it with other people (since it is easy to get lost and even easier to get uninspired/sick of the same routes). The head mount is smooth but not at all fun to wear, so I went with the chest mount, which is easier to forget about, but provides shakier video. The run was fun and a variation on some usual routes I take, but when I went watch the video I noticed something pretty interesting that had nothing to do with the visuals; my heartbeat.

If you start the video at around 6 minutes you’ll notice the usual noise that accompanies running (footsteps, breathing, etc.) but as I approach the water crossing and slow down, those sounds get quieter which allows the chest-mounted GoPro to pick up the thump thumps of my heart. You may need earbuds or bass-heavy speakers to hear it (on my laptop speakers it was very hard to notice).

Just skip ahead to 6:09 and wait until 6:20 (or whenever). I should note that I didn’t touch the video/audio in any way. I pulled the raw footage from the camera, uploaded to YouTube, and that’s it. As I re-watch it now I notice that even as I start running again after crossing the creek you can still hear my heartbeat. A definite unexpected perk to the chest mount. Here’s the trail map/stats/data from the run (I stopped recording at mile 4). See you on the trails!

Meet Louie

Just like with my initial tweet seeking artists/illustrators for Assumptions, a follow-up tweet for the first expansion pack artist led me to Louie Chin, a Brooklyn-based cartoonist/illustrator. After browsing through his amazing portfolio I not only wanted to know more about this talented guy, I craved more of his work. I asked Louie a few questions about him and his craft and (with permission) am posting that below with some of his incredible work.


What is your background in Illustration?

I drew all the time growing up. I would doodle on all the scrap paper I could find and come up with stories in my head. When I was younger, I wanted to draw comics for a living. I went to school for advertising and design. I took a lot of art classes there but they were mostly fundamental courses. Still, it was a great resource to learn more.

© Louie Chin - Fashion Inspired
© Louie Chin – Fashion Inspired

What was your first paid creative gig?

Let me see! I think my first paid gig was from an online comic competition. The winner for that month gets their comic published! I didn’t win but I did get paid. I didn’t know losers would get payment so that was nice!

What does your process look like for animation?

I am still learning with animation. Right now, I am doing a lot of rotoscoping to learn about timing and also play around with editing. It’s a nice change of pace when I get bored of “regular” drawing.

What artwork are you the most proud of?

The artwork I am most proud of is the illustrations of my family. It’s more personal, thus have a deeper attachment.

What social network has been most beneficial for you as an artist? What one is the most toxic?

I would have to say Instagram. It definitely offered me some great opportunities. I don’t know if any of them are toxic for “work” purposes. If I had to choose one, it would be Facebook, since I would get sucked into people’s lives. It got to the point where I had to delete/disable it.

© Louie Chin - Gifs
© Louie Chin – Gifs
© Louie Chin - Vanity Fair
© Louie Chin – Vanity Fair
© Louie Chin - Chinese New Year
© Louie Chin – Chinese New Year

Any advice for future artists/illustrators?

Practice! Practice! Practice! Aside from that, use the internet and put your work out there. Go and meet people at all the events out there. You don’t need to show your work (it’ll happen organically), but it’s great to build a connection with people in the field.

* * *

Louie is @loubot on Twitter and Instagram. The featured image is from First We Feast. He recently illustrated 15 new characters for the first Assumptions expansion pack.

Louie Chin
Louie Chin

Seinfeld Nostalgia

I got sucked into a bit of a 90s black hole when /r/typography shared a link to screenshots of every title shot from the show Seinfeld. Amazing.

I’ve probably seen each episode two or three times as it was a household staple, and reruns were broadcast gratuitously. So my first few reactions today upon seeing this were pretty startling: The Seinfeld logo is a hot mess of nostalgia that I equally love and hate. There is also some subtle greatness in changing the logo only so slightly each season, with the exception of the screenshot above which carried over the the logo from the previous season (that didn’t happen afterwards). It’s quirky, like the show. And yet I had no memory of how formulaic the show was for the first seven seasons, starting (and sometimes ending) with Jerry’s standup routine, with that wacky but lovable logo.

courtesy of Wikipedia
courtesy of Wikipedia

Above is the graphic you’ll get if you search for “Seinfeld TV series” which is strange, but also the only one I remember off the top of my head (ketchup and mustard colors). The “i”s inverted triangle tittle is the same color as the rest of the text here, unlike all other instances of the logo. It makes sense for consistency with a simplified treatment for all the packaging they did with DVDs of each season, but also kind of a sad loss.

The other thing that startled me was my recollection of reruns. It’s a concept that I’m not sure my son will understand, for better or for worse. We can’t pick up any TV stations over the air (even with an antenna) and will likely never pay for cable. But he’s well aware of Youtube/Netflix/Hulu. I haven’t even tried to convey to him that at one point in time before video was on the internet you didn’t have thousands (or tens of thousands) of choices of what to watch at your fingertips. You had several dozen channels, if you were lucky, each with their own shows and schedules that changed from year to year. It’s because of the time of day that Seinfeld reruns were back to back on TBS or NBC or whatever that I know and love these logos. It’s the reason that a few weeks ago during a hotel stay I flipped on the TV to find “Full House” on with an episode that I absolutely remembered and loved – Full House ended in 1995 by the way. Sure, maybe I should have been doing something else instead of watching a TV series that has been off the air for 20 years, but I had a great time watching that rerun. Again.

A New Breed of Ostrich…Not The Animal

*This was published at Medium on October 14th, 2015*

Hi, it’s me, that guy who made the font you hate, or love, Ostrich Sans.

It seems like people hover on one of those extremes it. Motherf*¢#ers get emotional about fonts, am I right Yeezy? You know what font I’m talking about (and I’m using the word “font” instead of “typeface” so you can tell I’m super down to Earth about my craft). It’s all over Pinterest but not in the cool DIY way. It’s on best of lists but only because it’s free.

Well guess what? I’ve got a completely redesigned and massively expanded Ostrich Sans, and it isn’t free. What’s different? Consistency, actual real lowercase characters, diacritics, logical kerning (as opposed to no kerning), and new glyphs. It’s not just better because I added a bunch of stuff, it’s that I have four years of ongoing experience between the first release and what I’m about to release. Oh and the new version doesn’t look like garbage. That isn’t to say the original is garbage, this new one is just better in every single way possible, no big deal.


Time For Assumptions

It is finally here. Assumptions, the game I Kickstarted, has been sent to over 500 people already, to countries all over the world. You can buy a copy (they are very limited) at for $25. Currently we are only shipping to the US and Canada, because we’ve been unable to make international shipping options less than the cost of the game. We’re working on that.


If you don’t know what Assumptions is, it’s like Apples to Apples but with people. One person flips a character card and holds it so everyone else can see (but the flipper can’t), everyone else plays 1 assumption from their hand (face down) that they think fits the character. The person who flips the card looks at everything, chooses a fave, and the fave’s owner gets a point. Simple. The illustrations were done by the amazing Lauren Baker – – who cranked out 100 characters in just over two weeks!

assumptions-graphic-promos-people assumptions-graphic-promos-cards

But seriously, what are you waiting for?

Check Out The Game

Introducing: Futch

For the past few weeks (while I waited for Assumptions) I’ve been working on a WordPress theme. Hint: you’re looking at it now. It is called Futch (pronounced: FEW-ch) and is everything I’ve really wanted/needed in a site design powered by WordPress.

Check it out on Creative Market

Or, just cruise around the demo site site some more. I’m really proud of the image gallery integration, using WordPress’ default Add Media option. It lays things out really well. Here’s a link to a demo page that has tons of images but the layout was all done within WordPress

Dear Jonah, July 2015

Dear Jonah (view series),

We’re on the final days of a great vacation (meaning that we left Ithaca) in the middle of summer. After five days in Maine visiting family and friends we made our way to Vermont where you ate almost an entire pizza before we missed the ferry across Lake Champlain and drove to the Adirondacks to spend a night on a farm. You loved the cows.

But today you hiked your first real mountain, Cascade; one of the 46 high peaks. We had a nice big breakfast and got to the trail around 10am. We set off far too quickly, though, and you were huffing and puffing before we even got half a mile in (it is 2.4 miles to the top, with 1990’ of elevation gain). First you shed your Minecraft backpack (with a 3 pound hardcover book inside that you felt like bringing up a mountain) and then your Minecraft hoodie (which went in the backpack that I ultimately carried up the mountain). Still it wasn’t enough. About a mile in you were ready to quit. You were upset, and challenged, and miserable.

Then you ate CEREAL! And after that you were a new dude. You practically ran up the trail (you actually did, at times). And about 2 hours after we signed in at the trailhead, the clouds replaced the trees and we approached the exposed summit.

You’ve hiked in the past, but not like this. We’ve done five and six mile gorge hikes in Ithaca, but Cascade was different in that the payoff was huge. You loved making it to the top, and I never doubted that you could do it. You ran around (careful to stay off fragile grass), smiling wide, and found a spot to settle down that was somewhat protected from the strong winds.

After more food, you did, in fact, pull out the book I carried up and read a bit of it. Another hiker that we talked to during the ascent even came over to congratulate you, acknowledging that he couldn’t have climbed Cascade at your age (you’ll be 10 in two weeks).

As we turned to go down the mountain, the skies cleared, showing you exactly how high up we were, and how there are even taller mountains all around us. We took it in with the goal of making in down the mountain in an hour (which we did). You gave high fives to everyone heading in the opposite direction (they appreciated it). And once we stumbled back to the car we drove as quickly as we could to get ice cream.

Assumptions – Soon

A few months ago I Kickstarted a game called Assumptions. The photo above is of the final prototype that I was sent and approved! It was tons of fun to conceptualize, design, fund, and create. I hired illustrator Lauren Baker to bring 100 characters to life (45 men, 45 women, 5 somewhat gender androgynous people).  The game is very similar to Apples to Apples/Cards Against Humanity, but with people. One person flips a character card, and everyone else gets to play an assumption card (from their hand) that they think fits the character (0r doesn’t/is funny/whatever). The person who flips picks their favorite, laughs, etc. Watch the vid preview:


Yeezy Display

I’m very excited to share something I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. It’s a typeface inspired by and made for Kanye (not that he requested it or anything). I present to you: Yeezy Display (I also designed and coded the website).



sursly dot com - in its final state before retirement - 2009 – in its final state before retirement – 2009

I made this site in 2008. It got a lot of attention (that I know it didn’t deserve) and people are still visiting my site today because of blog posts, “best” lists, and tutorials about it. In 2009 I wrote about how people stole the code/design. In fact, that one company is still using the same site! Ultimately I redesigned, eventually made the switch to and put the old source code for the horizontal scroller on Github

This morning I got an email from someone who wanted to know how to to x, y, and z with the template. I hadn’t looked at the site, or the code, since 2012, when I gave it away…needless to say I dug through my dropbox, FTP’d it back up to my server, and cringed. So here it is….

Here Is The Original Sursly Side Scrolling Website

Now, some things I still think are okay about it:

  • colors: black/white and a highlighter yellow…solid
  • type: Helvetica and the first version of Blackout
  • simplicity:  its a very condensed one pager, just enough info, not a lot of junk

And the things that are not so good:

  • bulk: no preloader, 3+mb of data
  • that ridiculous self portrait (mustache game is strong though)
  • design skillz: this could have been so much better (stupid “go” and “home” buttons, among other things)
  • portfolio: not enough pictures (and small ones at that) in each project

I designed and coded it on a 12″ Powerbook (resolution 1024×768) at the same time the first iPhone was released. Webfonts weren’t really a thing (aside from unknown support in IE!) and I rarely updated it. I also never expected people to steal it over and over. Now I don’t even make websites (aside from this one), I use my phone more than my computer, and my kid is almost 10. Funny how things change.

More Posts