One of my favorite things about WordPress is its extensibility. We’re on the same platform today as yesterday, but have built new tools for writers and editors. Featured and pinned articles get expiration dates, so editors don’t have to go back and manually un-feature things. Selecting a post layout is as simple as clicking a button. Automated resizing of images means faster load times and fewer distorted photos. And choosing which articles go on the home page is a single-click affair.

Really loving the new design of TechCrunch. It is getting a lot of heat, but I like the change. Looks nice. Would love to steer Make in a similar direction.

via: Redesigning TechCrunch: We Picked This Logo Just to Piss You Off

Minimilist Typography Wallpaper

So, I went out searching for some wallpaper that I could use on my laptop that would be nice and minimal, while at the same time look nice enough. Not finding anything that I liked, and with some spare time, I made my own. Comprised mostly of web-safe fonts, and really nothing very flamboyant. I kind of like them.

How to tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial

I like to think that I love good design. Part of that, over the years has evolved into a fair bit of font snobbery. I may have even blogged about fonts before. So, when I saw this comic today, I had to pipe up about a battle Melissa and I have been having. I am totally unabashed in my love of Helvetica. I use it in design, on the blog, and even have watched entire movies dedicated to the typeface.

Melissa, (whom I would also call a font snob) doesn’t like it much because she said, and I quote, “It just looks like the default Excel font.”  (Arial) I mentioned that I liked it still, told her that Arial was a ripoff, and Helvetica had been around for a long time. I followed that up with how I couldn’t tell the difference, but great designers use Helvetica, and accountants use Ariel, because they don’t know the difference.

Well, this has caused a bit of a debate, so I want to pose a few tidbits of information about how to tell the difference. BC, everyone needs to know.

From Wikipedia:

Generic versions of Helvetica have been made by various vendors, including Monotype Imaging (CG Triumvirate), ParaType (Pragmatica), Bitstream (Swiss 721).

Monotype‘s Arial, designed in 1982, while different from Helvetica in some few details, has identical character widths, and is indistinguishable by most non-specialists. The capital letters C, G, and R, as well as the lowercase letters a, e, r, and t, are useful for quickly distinguishing Arial and Helvetica. Differences include:

  • Helvetica’s strokes are typically cut either horizontally or vertically. This is especially visible in the t, r, and C. Arial employs slanted stroke cuts.
  • Helvetica’s G has a well-defined spur; Arial does not.
  • The tails of the R glyphs and the a glyphs are different.

Nimbus Sans, another similar font family that incorporates fonts designed in 1940 (Nimbus Sans bold condensed, Nimbus Sans bold condensed (D)) and 1946 (Nimbus Sans Black Condensed, Nimbus Sans Black Condensed (D)), is produced by URW. Nimbus Sans L fonts were released under the GNU General Public License.

“Helv”, later known as “MS Sans Serif“, is a sans-serif typeface that shares many key characteristics to Helvetica, including the horizontally and vertically aligned stroke terminators and more uniformed stroke widths within a glyph.

When you get to know this font, you really start to see it everywhere. Snowbird, the bank down the street, American Airlines, NASA, and many others.

What are some of your favorites?

April WordPress Meetup

Wanted to invite everyone back down to my house for another WordPress Meetup this week. We had a great turnout last time, and though my basement might be busting at the seams, we will do it there again.


When: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 7:00 pm – whenever
Where: My house, 549 W. Goldenrod Way Saratoga Springs

Topics: Like last time, anything that you want to talk about. I just got a new TV that we can hook up laptops too, so bring your lappy, and examples of what you are working on.

Below are a some of the people that came last time, I hope that you all come again, and bring some friends too!

Feel free to bring a snack to share, I am thinking about looking for some exotic beverages… If you want to RSVP, just leave a comment letting me know you are coming. Then I can know how many chairs to steal from the church… Spread the word!

Utah WordPress Meetup

WordPress Logo A few weeks ago at the January Geek/Blogger dinner Thom Allen, Joseph Scott, Spencer King and I were all talking about how cool it would be if there was a time when WordPress developers/users/designers could get together and hash out whatever they were working on with the collective body of users. So, in the community nature of WordPress, I decided to put something together for next week. If you are new to WordPress, a seasoned vet, or somewhere in between, you would likely get something out of this meeting. If anything, come for the snacks. I am going to commit my wife to making some delicious bananna bread. (Will you honey?)


Location: Casa de Spurlock (My House)

Time: Wednesday, 18th of March 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Topics: Anything that you want to talk about. I just got a new TV that we can hook up laptops too, so bring your lappy, and examples of what you are working on. If we do have a good response, I will see about moving to a larger location, but we should be ok… (I know, famous last words…)

Event Registration on

Twitter hash tag: #utwordpress