It’s Bad

The day that I have been fearful the most being on my watch has finally come. It’s a disaster and I don’t know if I can recover from it. The whole thing has collapsed from a tiny error. The responsibility is all on me. I am fucked.

Jabra Move Wireless Headphones

I bought a pair of Jabra Move wireless headphones over a year ago. The design is simple, comfortable, and surprisingly durable. It still looks new after a year. What I enjoy the most is the sound quality: crisp tremble and pounding bass. What I am not so pleased is the weak Bluetooth connection, which gets static the further I move away from my phone. Nevertheless, the price and the sound quality beat the minor flaw of the Bluetooth. My two older sons will start online school next month and they would need a pair of headphones for their virtual classes. I repurchased two pairs since Amazon has a 41% discount for $59.13 each.

George Mason Owned Slaves

President Gregory Washington responds to George Mason’s legacy:

Should we then now continue to recognize George Mason and other founders as brilliant and devoted patriots? Or should we condemn them for ignoring the basic ideals by which they defined this country?

We should do both, because Mason is the very embodiment of the duality of America, which we celebrate for its insistence on liberty and justice for all, even though it enslaved and segregated millions of its own people for most of its history.

We’ll see how this will play out.

The Down Side of FutureFonts

I purchased a handful of fonts from FutureFonts. Unfortunately, most of them are incomplete; therefore, unusable. Their creators have abandon them. The fonts I invested in have no italic yet and only Name Sans supports Vietnamese. In fact, out of the entire FutureFonts catalog, only three fonts include Vietnamese.

Seeing how Stephen Nixon completed his excellent Recursive family, I have high hope that he will complete Name Sans as well. Other than Name Sans, my hope for the fonts I have bought to be usable beyond display typography in English is diminishing. As a result, I have been refraining myself from making anymore purchases from FutureFonts.

Yesterday, I could not resist the temptation from a beautiful serif text face; therefore, I bought Loretta, by Nova Type Foundry. I did a bit of research into Joana Correia’s work and she had completed Alga. She even added added diacritics to Alga, which is also one of the three fonts that supports Vietnamese in FutureFonts catalog. I hope she will complete Loretta with Vietnamese as well. We’ll see.

The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free

Nathan J. Robinson writes in the Current Affairs:

[T]he New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the New Republic, New York, Harper’s, the New York Review of Books, the Financial Times, and the London Times all have paywalls. Breitbart, Fox News, the Daily Wire, the Federalist, the Washington Examiner, InfoWars: free!… This doesn’t mean the paywall shouldn’t be there. But it does mean that it costs time and money to access a lot of true and important information, while a lot of bullshit is completely free.

We wonder why people picked up fake news and spread lies. They don’t want to pay for content; therefore, they rely on free shit.

Robinson on ads:

It’s hard for small media institutions to figure out the right balance of depending on ads, paywalls, and donations. The money has to come from somewhere, after all. A lot of the times, that means a heavy dependence on ads—the traditional model of magazines has been ad-revenue based, not subscription-based—so that paywalls are actually the less corrupted model; a podcaster who sells their product on Patreon rather than giving it away but filling it with mattress and “box-of-shit-a-month” ads has an important kind of freedom: they only have to please the audience, not the sponsors.

I am experiencing with magazine-style advertisement on this site and I will avoid selling it mattress and “box-of-shit-a-month.” I want to sell ads that actually like seeing myself. We’ll see how it goes. If it doesn’t work out, I can just take down the ads and replace them with pretty pictures.

Let’s Talk About Ads

I have been blogging vigorously for seventeen years and I still love doing it. The only downside is that I have not been able to make just enough money to pay for the hosting and the domain name. I tried Google Adsense, Amazon Affiliates, text ads, and small graphic banners, nothing worked. I even tried support from readers. That hasn’t worked either.

Back in May, which seemed like ages ago, I started adding photography to accompany the blog posts on this blog. The photos don’t have to be related to the blog posts. My goal was to add rich visuals to the layout. It had been a fun experience selecting the photos and I could always rely on Unsplash Source to load up random images. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog posts and looking at the photography.

Today, I am extending this concept with paid advertising after thinking about it for several months. Because of the prominent space, which takes up at least half screen of my site, I have to be careful in choosing the right clients and their messages. My ideal ads are from products or services I care deeply about. Although I am not limiting the kind of ads on my blog, I would rather promote things that I enjoy such as typefaces (with Vietnamese diacritics), books, brand recognitions, and digital products.

This is an experimentation. I am not sure if I can make it work, but I want to give it a shot. I emailed several type designers to see if they were interested promote their typefaces with Vietnamese language. As much as I felt uneasy cold-calling people, I was surprised and relieved to get their support.

If you have a product or service you would like to promote to Visualgui readers (over 170,000 pageviews per month), get in touch.

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Name Sans Supports Vietnamese

I had the pleasure of working Stephen Nixon on adding Vietnamese diacritics to the latest expansion of his Name Sans. Nixon writes:

By popular demand, Vietnamese is now supported! Thanks to Donny Trương for his excellent resource on Vietnamese Typography, as well as for his specific review of the Vietnamese characters of Name Sans, which helped reveal some opportunities to make them more natural & unified. This was a push, but totally worth it for all the people it will enable to make use of Name Sans! This adds Áá Àà Ảả Ãã Ạạ Ăă Ắắ Ằằ Ẳẳ Ẵẵ Ặặ Ââ Ấấ Ầầ Ẩẩ Ẫẫ Ậậ Đđ Éé Èè Ẻẻ Ẽẽ Ẹẹ Êê Ếế Ềề Ểể Ễễ Ệệ Íí Ìì Ỉỉ Ĩĩ Ịị Óó Òò Ỏỏ Õõ Ọọ Ôô Ốố Ồồ Ổổ Ỗỗ Ộộ Ơơ Ớớ Ờờ Ởở Ỡỡ Ợợ Úú Ùù Ủủ Ũũ Ụụ Ưư Ứứ Ừừ Ửử Ữữ Ựự Ýý Ỳỳ Ỷỷ Ỹỹ Ỵỵ, plus the relevant stylistic alts (e.g. stylistic set 1, Rectangular Caps).

The new release also comes with a variable font that holds 33 font files from display to text. Name Sans is still a work in progress. If you are a type nerd and have’t licensed Name Sans yet, get it now before the price goes up in the next release.

Thư hồi âm

Đúng, lúc ra đi anh rất giận. Không phải vì em làm anh mất hứng mà em đã…

Nhưng thôi giờ đây có nói gì cũng vô ý nghĩa. Thư hồi âm anh viết rồi anh lại xóa đi thôi.

Goodbye Chris Dang

In the early 2000s, when I began my career in web design, I wanted to know if there were other Asians, particularly Vietnamese, in the same field. Then I came across Chris Dang’s website. His futuristic artworks combined with typography, especially his Halovision series, in his designs blew me away. Every time he redesigned his site, I was just in awe. I envied his talent. While his artworks were awesome, his words were mostly angry. He wrote about his life, his parents, and his online girlfriend at the time.

As time passed, he stopped updating his site. I went on to establish my own sense of design. I could never make the futuristic artworks that he had created, but I took the minimalist approach from him. Although I was no longer following him, I always remembered his name and his artworks. Early last year, I googled his name. His portfolio came up. He was an art director at some company. Although he was no longer designing his own site (he was using Squarespace instead), his illustrations were still amazing. It looked like he had done well balancing his artistic vision with his design.

Yesterday, I was not sure why I googled his name again and his obituary page came up and it read: “Christopher Hong-Dat Dang was born on February 20, 1983 and passed away on October 22, 2019…” I was shocked. He was only 36 years old. I scrolled through his public tribute Facebook page, but couldn’t find out the reason for his death. I never met him and never contacted him, and yet he had a profound impact on me through his art. RIP, Chris.