FontBase

Being a designer and in love with typography over the years I have collected a TON of fonts. I used to keep lots of them installed at once, it’s just nice to have all of them ready to use when prototyping logos and such.

But recently I started to use a font manager, as it can really free up system resources when you don’t need them all. After a bit of research I’ve settled with FontBase (I’m not affiliated with them). Even in its free version it’s just nice and fast. It scans a folder for new fonts added, and the possibility to install Google Fonts with a click is a plus. Great piece of software.

Affinity Publisher Beta

I’ve been using the Affinity Publisher Beta for a few months now, and I can say that even if it’s not on par with inDesign yet (or maybe it will never be), it can certainly do 95% of what is needed. The final version could be definitely used for professional work. It’s a good thing that finally there’s fresh competition in the desktop publishing world.

Huawei Cloning Apple Parts

An earlier Apple-related incident, according to one source, involved Huawei copying a 2016 connector design used to make the MacBook Pro hinge thinner while linking the display to the logic board. A similar component then appeared in Huawei’s 2018 MateBook Pro, something achieved by shopping Apple’s schematic around to various suppliers — most of which recognized the design and refused to build it. Eventually the company found a willing partner.

Not a fan of Huawei.

Openbook.social

Last summer I discovered Openbook.social on Kickstarter and I decided to backe it. I stopped using FaceBook long ago, as most of my friends. I was bothered by the constant notifications to others about anything I did, any comment I made, on photos or communities. Ok being social, but this is too much. OpenBook also has a different business model, not based on exploiting personal information, but paying for optional Premium services. Its source code is also open. I hope dearly it succeeds. 

Light Roast Coffee

I’m a bitch for good coffee. Knowing I am Italian you might think I love espresso, and I enjoy it from time to time, but espresso is actually my least preferred method of brewing coffee. I discovered that what I really love is filter coffee. Coffee brewed by percolation and filtered with paper is so much cleaner and enjoyable.

But it’s not only about extraction method. There’s this movement, the third wave of coffee, which in recent years is trying to treat coffee like an high quality product. No more “blends”, no more grouping like “Colombia” or even worse, generic “Arabica”. Imagine something more like: I want to drink that coffee, of that variety, made by that farm. Just like a fine wine.

After finding great coffee, you can’t just utilize the espresso roast for everything. Filter coffee needs a gentler roasting process of the beans, also called “light roast” or scandinavian/nordic roast. Then you brew it with some manual or automatic device (I go manual alternating an Hario V60, an Aeropress and a Kalita Wave). The result is a coffee which is not bitter, and taste like fruit and flowers instead than chocolate and nuts. It has been a game changer for me since I discovered it some years ago.

Problem is, in Italy it’s very hard to find light roast specialty coffee. Almost no one knows (or like) this “style”. The shops or roasters who try to make light roast coffee roast it too dark, which means ruining it. But there is hope. I found a couple of great artisanal local roasters and I’ll try to post some info about them.

The State of LinkedIn

I’m not a big user of social networks in general. The problem seems to be that in all social networks, sooner or later, everything is going to be exploited for revenue or other interests. People will not post quality content because in the end it doesn’t matter, there will always be someone who will “engage” in the content. You lose honesty and truthfulness searching for likes and comments, and in the end what is left is just noise and manipulation. Facebook is the perfect example of this, but in recent years LinkedIn has become the same. Boring or useless articles, trite thoughts which sound smart but are just ordinary, shallow quotes like in the worst motivational posters of the 80s. I kind of think less of people who do this, but what surprises me is that this must work for them, one way or the other.

The “New Ugly” School of Design

Graphic design can only progress if practitioners continually look for unconventional methods to approaching a brief and challenging aesthetic ideas. “If you stay true to always asking ‘Why?’ and ‘Why not?’, you will always stay ahead,” he says. “It is always change that will evoke change.”

The critical design aesthetic is becoming popular, along the brutalist one in web design, and it’s great. I wonder what will be next.