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Instead of Comic Sans, Why Not Try Something Else?

Comic Sans Pro Type Spec

The history of Comic Sans is interesting reading. Most designers hate the typeface. Personally, few things make me queasier than hearing someone say, “I like Comic Sans,” or worse, “I used Comic Sans in a recent design.” The typeface is poorly designed, and it has also become cliché. Yet it remains popular.

Many people love Comic Sans. I even had a teacher who printed out his math tests in it—and as strange as that sounds, taking a test that was not in Georgia or Calibri was refreshing. Comic Sans has become so popular that several years ago, Microsoft released the Comic Sans Pro font family, complete with additional glyphs, swashes, and other features.

Why do people like Comic Sans? It does have a quirkiness that’s different from Times New Roman, Arial, or other standard choices. Few other pre-installed Microsoft fonts both have a handwritten quality and are legible in a paragraph. (Ergo, Comic Sans’ appearance on my math tests.)

But we live in a world with hundreds of free fonts online, some of which are fairly well-designed. Instead of Comic Sans, why not try a better-designed typeface with neither historical baggage nor an outspoken base of designers who hate it?

If you like Comic Sans’ familiar rounded, legible, marker-like style, here are three similar options from Google Fonts, available for free download:

  • Itim is not as legible in paragraphs, but its style is very similar to Comic Sans.
  • Delius has legible, balanced letterforms with a bit of flair, though it includes few special characters or diacritics.
  • Pangolin is fairly legible in paragraphs, but it looks more handwritten and has a fun, puffy outline.

What do you think about these fonts? Have you found any better alternatives to Comic Sans?

Delius Type Spec from Google Fonts

Design to Change the World!

speaks at TEDGlobal 2017 – Builders, Truth Tellers, Catalysts – August 27-30, 2017, Arusha, Tanzania. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

How powerful design can be? Recently I watched a video in TED talk, where the designer Ghada Wail talks about her new project. The project goal is to change the idea about the Arabic language and the Arabs countries. Wail used LEGO to design Arabic letters to teach and spread the Arabic language through the world. To change the world to a positive, colorful and engaging world, by using design.

Wail used LEGO, something that we all play with, whether we are adults or children. Because of the image of “an innocent” that is incorporated with the LEGOs, it gave the project a childish look to it.

Watching this video made me think about design and how design is used to change perspective and correct ideas about many things, and how powerful design can be.

Creativity is a powerful tool in the hands of designers. Therefore, if it used wisely, design can make the world a better place.

The SmART Major

The SmART Major

Rita Mulugeta


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘design’? Close your eyes and think about it. Go on, just think about it.


Did you think about the design of logos, electronics, or fabrics maybe? Even if you didn’t, how did you get to the answer? Would you consider your answer the conclusion or the beginning? In the broad world of design, how can we encapsulate the origin?

These are the kinds of questions I tend to ponder on as a design student. As an art major, the past few Thanksgiving dinners have consisted of salt handed to me in comments for doing so. A seat at the table would go something like this…

  • “Does an art degree guarantee you a stable job? No, and let me tell you why my opinion is right…”
  • “I’m sure you’re a great artist, but do you even have enough money for a plan B?”
  • “Could you even make MONEY out of an art degree?”

All these great questions have been shoved down my throat in condescending flavors of doubt, pity, and bitterness ever since I decided to change my major to graphic design from boring—I mean business management. I respond with the fact that it is my only interest, and frankly the only thing I could tolerate doing 40 hours a week #yikes. Truth is, I realized— like many of us—  that my major did not reflect my interests, but were defined by my insecurities. I tried to mold myself into someone other than myself, and frankly, it was transparent in my work. Choosing a major that I enjoy is the smartest thing I have ever done.The emotional connections I make through creativity gives me a sense of identity that is impossible for me to emulate in any other field. Oddly enough, I enjoy the bittersweet feeling of not knowing where I am going to end up in my career. I admire the concepts of fashion design, fashion photography, and magazine illustration. These concepts of design speak to me the most because not one word must be said to project an message. The only challenge I see myself facing is believing that I won’t face any along the way.

My Love for Rooms

There is a lot to design. So much of it too! Interior Design is my favorite of all. I find when rooms are designed, shaped, and sized differently to be more enjoyable to be in. Color is very important as well. Color is what brings a room together. You need to find the right color for a room, and you need to make sure that the color will match the things you plan on putting in the room. A key thing to considern rooms is lighting. I like a room with LOTS of natural light, which means there needs to be either lots of windows or one very big window to capture lots of sunlight throughout the day. We all want to get that sun-kissed selfie 

I am actually working on redesigning my room at the moment and,these design aspects are things that run through my head when I’m thinking of what to do in my room. As of right now my room is green and blue and I’ve had these colors for so long now. I just recently went to Home Depot this weekend to buy paint. So I have decided to go with the VERY brightite that I can possibly find. I want my room to basically glow when I walk in. I also bought a smaller can of a dark green paint. I plan on painting banana leaves on one of the walls with that green paint. (I hope I have enough patience and time now that school has started.) I am still thinking of how I am going to be rearranging things in my room especially the fact I have two beds and I only sleep in one. Until then I cannot wait till my room is complete

Design and Technology

Nowadays, to continue pleasing our clients and people who appreciate our designs, we must always be aware of technological changes and how they affect our work as designers.

I am sure that 50% of my class has an iPhone (including myself) or a product related to Apple. But why people prefer ios over android? The answer is easy: we like to keep being fashionable, we are interested in a phone that has a faster software, and we like good-quality technology that has reviews recommending which device is the best option for us as a generation. Also having a laptop or Ipad is a requirement to keep communicating with our friends.

However, according to Liza Enebeis in 14 biggest challenges in design, Creative Blog, these technological changes have been a challenge for designers because each year companies launch better versions of products while designers are busy with creating websites, posters, and books covers. Adapting to those changes allows graphic designers to improve their job so they can exceed customers’ expectations.

Design is Everywhere, but no one Appreciates it

As a designer I look at the many advertisements, billboards, and commercials on TV. But the rest of the joes who aren’t designers  just look at the design of an ad, maybe process that image for a few seconds then move on with their lives. There is no real appreciation for these designs. Of course why would any regular person have any appreciation for design or advertisement, when the majority of ads persuade them to buy, watch, or to join something. When I was in middle school I loved to look at car magazines, especially DuPont Registry. Of course, at that age you just look at all the exotic cars and pick your favorite ones. Now when I pick up a magazine I do so much more than just look. I see the different types of typefaces used and the layout of the spreads. I start to dissect the magazine and visualize what it would look like if I designed it. Soon I forget why I even picked the magazine. To me it kind of sucks that no one really feels the same way about the design in general, not just magazines. No real sense of appreciation for something that is pretty much everywhere. When you go to Starbucks and they have some designs on the cup, it goes unnoticed. The design talks to them, but they don’t reply. The design and flow of a magazine unnoticed by a regular reader. There is no escape from design, the computers we use have design in them, for example the icons for Google Chrome, Spotify, Adobe, and the logo for the computer. As a designer it does sometimes get a little hard to create something new and original to persuade or gain interest of the people. I think it’s one of the reasons I like graphic design—the challenge to create something and have it all around us so it can be appreciated.

Wartime Propaganda Graphic Design: The Finger Pointing

Amount All the themes of the hand gestures propaganda designs, the finger pointing is another common element of these posters. The finger pointing posters usually futures a well-known person pointing directly at the audience with his or her index finger, the most popular and iconic design of this category is the Uncle Sam poster


in this poster, the personification of the United States is presented by an older man with silver hair and beard, the man himself was dressed in red, white, and blue color schemes on his clothing. Since the abbreviations for Uncle Sam and the United States are both US, also the color schemes of the U.S. flag are red, white, and blue, which allow this poster to have a clear message that the United States is talking to its citizens directly.

The finger-pointing style is another common element of the hand gestures propaganda design, it is designed to help with recruitment, volunteer rates, and other war-related causes. The messages behind finger pointing style are usually emotive and direct since the governments of war participating countries are basically making patriotic appeals to the citizens that who’d listen.


The Hand Lettering Explosion

Hand lettering. I’m sure you’ve seen it everywhere: boutique logos, bullet journals, wedding invitations. How can some mere, pretty handwriting be taking over the world? Paired with watercolor backgrounds or embossed with gold leaf, this dainty form of typography has become a trend that keeps expanding and consumers are eating it up.
Perhaps we can look to the traditions of age-old calligraphy and how high of an art and design form it is. Stemming from the writing practices of ancient Chinese characters, Islamic Kufic, and German blackletter, our modern-day, Western writing has plateaued in style. The resurgence of traditional writing and art is coming upon us in full-throttle. The growth and expansion of the hand lettering and calligraphy practice seems to be correlated with the explosion of the digital era. In a world surrounded by digitized and sans-serif fonts, people’s hearts are aching for the authentic and personal form of letterforms! Letters, words, and numbers can be as intricate, measured and even include illustrations along with it. They can also be as simple as a single-line, 3-letter word. Whatever the case, hand lettering promotes a connection between words, art and design. When used intentionally, it can create powerful emotional effects. For example, when a bride sees her name written in an elegant style on her wedding invitations, she can’t help but feel special and excited for her special day. Whether it’s a pen, brush, or whatever writing tool they prefer, the artist or designer has a voice, mark, and style of their own.

Is Graphic Design a Dying Field?

“Why do you want to be a graphic designer? You need to consider changing your major to something else, something more stable and with a good steady salary.” This was a question I heard numerous times, but I am inclined to see the bright side of being a Graphic Designer. In the last few years I have been concerned and a bit terrified about my future career. Many non-designers and professional graphic designers have doubts about its future. I have read many stories about the struggles of being a graphic designer and getting a job with a design degree. Yes, graphic design is an insanely competitive field, yet too integral to vanish from our lives.
There are many factors why graphic design has been in a gradual decline. With the explosion of the internet, powerful design software, and professional-like templates you can purchase, puts graphic designers in a tough position. At this point anyone can create a website and buy prepackaged logos and templates from large design companies like Wix or Squarespace putting small design agencies in peril. Remember, a designer still had to make those templates.
People don’t realize that we are surrounded by design, from our road signs to our smartphone packaging. Graphic design is an essential tool to convey a message to people in an effective and aesthetically pleasing way. In the business world your brand says who you are and what you stand for. That is something you cannot buy from prepackaged template site.  If you want something unique and in-line with your brand identity, you will need more than a computer and some cheap templates. What you’ll need is a Graphic Designer.

Sustainability: How Can Graphic Designers Contribute?

Questioning our environmental impact is becoming a larger issue today. I try to find relevance with graphic design and environmental sustainability. Finding the significance is difficult because I have not experienced many conversations about environmental sustainability in the graphic design field.

When looking at images of landfills I think about the fact that so many designers’ works lay there, which is both a bit sad but also a part of a product’s life. The waste that is produced through the creation of a design can be disheartening to think about. Work is being produced to quickly be wasted in landfills.

Reducing, reusing, and recycling is something we are taught about in grade school ,but these systems are not always possibilities when we still need to produce. An alternative solution is to design and integrate a process that involves sustainability prior to the production. In the book Cradle to Cradle William McDonough writes about how recycling is post production when it can and should be thought about preproduction “Recycling is more expensive for communities than it needs to be, partly because traditional recycling tries to force materials into more lifetimes than they are designed for.”

Environmentally sustainable graphic design products include:

-Transportation: Where are we sourcing materials to be used to make a product? Is there an ability to choose a product that is local, reducing emissions from transportation costs?

-Materiality: What makes up a product? How many different parts are there? Are we using dyes and color processes that waste large amounts of water?

-Life: How long are these materials supposed to be used for? How much longer past their life will they last? How long will the materials take to decompose?

These questions are just a start to this never-ending discussion. There may never be a single defined answer to the waste production we are facing. For now, we can maximize the resources and technology we have available.



McDonough, William. “William McDonough Quote.” A-Z Quotes,

Press, Associated. “The US Government Grossly Underestimated How Much Trash We Throw in Landfills.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 21 Sept. 2015,