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GAP Trail / Mars Sightings (31 Oct at 23:21)
Hello! Only some light updates this month:

We ran the inaugural edition of the GAP Trail Relay, which is a 150-mile relay race on the Great Allegheny Passage, a trail that runs between Pittsburgh PA and Cumberland MD or Washington DC, depending on who you ask. Actually even reading the Wikipedia article right now I'm a little unclear as to whether the trail formally includes the section between Cumberland and DC or not. Anyway, this race was from Cumberland MD to Pittsburgh PA, and I previously did a relay race ("Ragnar") from Cumberland MD to Washington DC (another 100+ miles), so I've got it covered.

The way these things work, you have two vans of runners (and their smelly clothes and snacks), and you cycle through them in order three times, with one person running a segment and carrying some baton or object (this time a slap bracelet) that is the only true athlete that travels the full distance of the trail. For this one we were missing one of the contestants, so some of us had to run extra segments to fill in for that ghost, and I had to do two in a row in the middle of the night (aside from not being able to see, the night ones are extra annoying because they make you carry lots of safety things). Anyway, it was a lot of running to do in a 24-hour period, about 31 miles for me, but honestly the hardest part is the waiting around and not getting enough sleep! The chief selling point for me was that I got to run a single segment that crossed the Mason–Dixon line, which here is also the Pennsylvania–Maryland border, as well as the Eastern continental divide. As you probably know I have a weird fetish for running across borders and other notable cartographic features, so this was a good one for the collection. We managed to finish the whole race under 24 hours, which seemed like a nice round number.


One more unrelated fun thing. We have been watching through Veronica Mars, one of Rose's favorite nostalgic shows. In season 2, it seems that someone in the decorations department has installed my fonts in their quest to make very believable mid-2000s high school desktop publishing posters:

Veronica Mars S02E09
Veronica Mars S02E09


Here we see Action Jackson, my most popular child, advertising the bake sale with Kristen Bell and Alyson Hannigan not even caring about those sweet bake sale deals!

Veronica Mars S02E05
Veronica Mars S02E05


This one was exciting because it's a rare sighting of "I Suck At Golf". Since this one is less obvious and obscured by cast, I put some original specimens there for comparison. It does look like this one was hand-painted using the font as a reference (notice that the lowercase 'i's are a little different each time) but there are enough distinctive features in that font that I can be pretty confident of the provenance.


Finally: I have been experiencing some server trouble this month and I'm aware that it's sometimes giving an error instead of showing you the radar you came for. Unfortunately I'm beginning to suspect a problem with the host (producing extremely slow disk reads), but I haven't had a chance to really sit down and try to debug yet. Sorry about that.
Categories:  sightings  races (2 comments — a week ago)   [ comment ]
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Some more sightings (31 Jul 2013 at 23:48)
Ah, the month ends and another somewhat phoned-in post! I do have several good projects underway but none is quite complete enough!

This one concerns a few fun font sightings. Nels spotted these snack foods in Belgium and brought back two bags for me:



That's my famousest child Action Jackson fitting in with the graphic design perfectly. And what's not to love? The brand "Croc Me"? One called "Snacks" and one called "Boules"? And why do people so infrequently understand that the font is supposed to be a dark color since it contains shadows and stuff? They cost a whopping 49 eurocent each, so I'm not sure if I should eat them or save them as an investment...

Tombots tattoo


Someone else sent me this tattoo made from one of my Tombots. I think it's approximately the highest compliment when someone puts my art permanently on their skin, so that is exciting! I think there are about 3 Tom font tattoos in the world. If there are more I should know about, please tell me!
Category:  sightings (5 comments — almost 6 years ago)   [ comment ]
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November 2011 font sightings (29 Nov 2011 at 23:23)
I recognize my fonts like I'd recognize hypothetical children, so imagine my palpitations when I saw one of my hypothetical children hanging out in the battle-ripped warzone of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:

The word 'Bienvenue' in my font Antelope H, appearing in the Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer map SEATOWN

This is from the multiplayer map called "Seatown". The font is Antelope H, which I don't see as often as some others. Not only does this screenshot tell me that I'm LOSING, you can literally see me being shot (screen turns red with pain), holding the starting noob weapon with full ammo, as I do a double-take and capture a screenshot. I was super dead less than a second later. See what you made me do, kids?? Bedtime!!

And speaking of kids, I really like the popular series of videos called Kid History which are stories narrated by kids but acted out by adult humans. (Episodes 1 and 6 are by far my favorites.) I was showing my family these over Thanksgiving break and it continued on to this "Kid Remix" those same guys made, which features Action Jackson in a few scenes:

The phrase 'Kid Re__x', which we presume is 'Kid Remix', in my font Action Jackson, on some bricks with a sporty looking dude in the foreground.

It's not quite a Kid History sighting but close. And while we're on the topic of youtube videos that I really like but that don't actually contain my fonts, I think my all-time favorite is bad lip reading (almost all of them are amazing, but my favorites are Dirty Spaceman and Black Umbrella). Make sure you watch the original videos for the musical ones, to fully appreciate it.
Categories:  sightings  fonts (11 comments — almost 7 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Oh by the way my font is on the cover of the new Of Montreal album (30 Jan 2011 at 11:31)
The fonts I made in high school and college show up all over. It means that everywhere I go, some part of my brain is continuously devoted to recognizing these guys anywhere that words appear, sort of like scanning for long missing children in every crowd. Some of my friends have become similarly afflicted, e.g. Nels who spotted them up on the jumbotron and now on the back cover of the new Of Montreal album False Priest:
Action Jackson on the cover of Of Montreal's album False Priest


What's exciting about this is that this is a band I really like, a quality of a sighting perhaps only matched by Tombats on Adult Swim. This particular design is in the genre "Circus of Bad Typography", though I think it fits in quite well with the artwork, which I like a lot. Mine is the first font up there; I like to think that the designer started by replacing Default Font with mine, and then was inspired like Oh yeah, now I just need to find twelve more amateurish sharewares to complete the look. Though if I were able to pick which song to render in my font, it would be Enemy Gene, Sex Karma, Famine Affair, or Around the Way. Maybe Casualty Of You, though that one seems too uncomfortably scooped by Jeff Buckley's 'So Real' to get my full endorsement. The whole album is quite good, I recommend it.

Also bonus nearby photo on my phone, this more average sighting of AJ on a budget toy in Target:
Some budget toy that uses Action Jackson too
Categories:  fonts  sightings (2 comments — almost 8 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Tom 7 Brand Kids Vitamins (12 Dec 2010 at 12:29)
Hey did you guys know that you can now get Tom 7 Brand kids vitamins, which allow you to put vitamin 7 in your kids or in yourselves?

Tom 7 brand vitamins
Actually these were made by a company I have nothing to do with, but the labels are covered with loads of my drawings from the Tombats series. All the characters are mine, plus that moth, plus the sun in the logo. Though on the site, the characters all have names: The cat is "meeka", the guys on the right are "Jupiter" and "Pete" (maybe in homage to the Three Investigators? I approve), and the robot is Mister (actually FYI he has a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction) Sparks. The labels look really good, designers, if you happen to see this. Thanks for the sighting, "PinkSodaPop"! I'm not sure how current it is, but it looks like you can get free samples of vitamin 7.
Category:  sightings (3 comments — almost 8 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Action Jackson MS (12 Nov 2009 at 09:00)
It was a special shame/privilege (tried to come up with a good sounding portmanteau expressing this sentiment; failed; any luck?) to find myself looking at cplusplus.com and to see an animated Microsoft Windows VII advertisement that uses my 13 year-old font Action Jackson:

Action Jackson MS


It is truly my most popular child. I looked around: It turns out that the font is actually part of Microsoft's current enterprise software branding campaign "the NEW efficiency". You'll see it in whenever they try to sell their expensive stuff by the hundreds to CTOs; e.g.

The NEW Efficiency


I like to imagine some guys in suits trading whitepapers. The most surreal is their launch event hooha which has extremely boring videos of señor people giving powerpoint presentations which include this branding. For example, join them for the launch event (warning, you need Silverlight and then you gotta wait to download a LOT of this animated lady that's going to be your personal liaison).

(In old, non-ironic sightings news, Tadbot spotted One Constant used on the Scribblenauts site, which game looks awesome.)
Categories:  sightings  fonts (12 comments — almost 9 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Crap Art: Daegu (29 Mar 2009 at 13:03)
Annyong! In 2001 I wrote the Crap Art Manifesto and left it lovingly unupdated since then. The only thing I've really ever done for that is the (fairly successful) Album-A-Day Project (why not make a project into a Movement? all it takes is a manifesto!), but from time to time I hear about things that others have done, which I think is great. My favorite so far is "Crap Art: Daegu", a 24-hour creation festival held in Daegu, South Korea a few weeks ago. Here's their poster:

Crap Art: Daegu


Basically they got a bunch of space and art materials, then for 24 hours (Friday the 13th) anybody could come and participate in free-form collaborative or individual art in various rooms in this place, then the next day they had a showing of that art with some bands playing too (Pi Day). The money raised went to charity. It sounds like it was really successful. They've got a bunch of photos and video from the event that's collected on their blog. My favorite is a local television piece about the festival. (Click on 2009-03-21 and fast-forward to 36:00 or so.) It's mostly in Korean but there are a few interviewees speaking in English too. I find it very surreal and it makes me wish I was bilingual. (screen grabs for lazies)
Category:  sightings (7 comments — almost 10 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Merry Christmas, Action Jackson (26 Dec 2008 at 23:28)
Two independent sightings of my font Action Jackson in the same week! It's having a good Christmas. First Moira sent the following totally sweet Pterodactyl t-shirt on her nephew:

Pterodactyl shirt with Action Jackson


That's my font at the bottom. The shirt looks pretty pro but the hollow insides of the letters are strangely filled in with yellow. I don't really understand how that mistake is possible. Still if they make it in Kid's X-Large I gotta get me one of these. Next Nels spotted and then kindly returned to take photos of the font being used in New Orleans Arena at a Hornets pro-basketball game. Here it is up on the big screen and also scrolling annoyingly in every addressable part of the periphery:

New Orleans Hornets big screen with Action Jackson
1024×768 version


(It occurs to me that with a name like Action Jackson, the popularity of this font might just be from its abecedarian advantage.) Anyway I love sightings to the max, so please send them if you snag 'em!
Categories:  sightings  fonts (19 comments — almost 6 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Old book bindings (29 Jan 2008 at 00:32)
Since voting has ended, I can now brag that one of my photographs was a finalist for the Wikimedia Commons (this is the part of Wikipedia that hosts free-only graphics for the project) Picture of the Year competition. Predictably, mine didn't win—some of those other pictures are way better. Still, it was a nice surprise to find myself in the finals (out of 500+ images that were featured this year) and to finish in the middle of the pack.

By the way, if you're an amateur photographer, and especially if you've got a fancypants digital SLR, I recommend Wikimedia Commons as an outlet for your best work. You do have to use a free license (meaning that anybody can use your work, subject to some conditions), but unless you're expecting to sell your photographs this ought to be easy to get over. It's (1) a nice way to contribute to a useful resource and (2) a good way to get visibility for your work. For me these kinds of chance encounters (like spotting one of my fonts on a poster somewhere or seeing my photograph appear in a Wikipedia article I didn't work on) are probably the most fun possible outcome from making something.
Categories:  sightings  contests (8 comments — almost 11 years ago)   [ comment ]
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PG Article (16 Aug 2006 at 10:12)
There's a nice article about our programming contest in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (The print version has a bit more in it, like a code snippet from one of the programming languages.)
Categories:  sightings  contests (10 comments — almost 13 years ago)   [ comment ]
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