Posts in Fonts & Type
Tempting Tuesday!

Sometimes, it's the font itself that draws me in, and sometimes it's the added details, like today's Tempting Tuesday's pack! Who doesn't want to be complemented first thing in the morning? 

The BlueShift pack combines the playful drawl of a handwritten look, with a stylish display and has me tempted to play today! Totally charming, amazing and spirited, I feel inspired to create fun displays to show it off! 

The pack includes:

Bright colorful and whimsical! 

And a touch of handcrafted as well!

Click any photos to be whisked away to the site, and come be tempted along with me!

My New Answer: You Should Get Photoshop CC.

I get asked a lot of questions. (And I like answering them, so don't stop asking). Among the most common is this one:

  • What version of Photoshop should I get?

My Old Answer: Beginners Should Buy Elements.

For years (seriously, like 10 years), I've been answering this question pretty much the same way. If you are a beginner, you should get Photoshop Elements. It's like the sleek little brother to the big honking Mack truck that has features you don't need and that will only get in the way*. And it's less than $100. I don't think that anymore.

*This FEATURES YOU DON'T NEED thing has been the major change for me, because it has features you DO need now. Read on.

If you want to read on for the backstory and the reasons for the decision, please do. But I'll sum up right here:

You Should Subscribe to Photoshop CC.

Even if you are a beginner, I think you should subscribe to Photoshop CC. If you don't need any of the other Adobe applications (Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, etc), then your price is simple: You can get both Photoshop CC and Lightroom for $10 a month and you should go do that right now. 

Here is the link for checking out the Adobe Photographer Bundle. If you already know you like Photoshop, just subscribe. If you're on the fence, get the free trial and head over to take my beginner digital scrapbooking class. 


And now for the WHY.

Firstly: What the heck is Creative Cloud?

(The CC behind Photoshop CC).

Creative Cloud is the subscription-based delivery for Photoshop and the other Adobe applications. You subscribe, click the Install button and you get the full version of Photoshop installed on your computer. Every time you connect your computer to the internet (which is all the time for almost all of us), it checks whether there are updates and gives you the option to install them right away. 

The good news: You get updates as soon as they come out - no hunting, no extra purchases. Just your monthly fee. Which if you JUST want Photoshop, is $10 a month. So cheap. 

The bad news: You never get to actually OWN any software. If you stop paying for your subscription, it goes away. (You own all your files, of course - you just can't edit them unless you buy PSE or install your old copy of Photoshop).

It's actually this bad news that had most people really freaked out. Nobody likes feeling like they have no contingency plan. What if Adobe goes away? What if somehow things go massively downhill and I lose access to all my files? This is a whole life's work here. You might remember the furore over the whole thing. But I REALLY DO think you should subscribe. It's been 2 years now, and there's no sign of slowing down. And I have a few good reasons for changing my mind.

So. Now for WHY. Gonna do these in reverse order like Letterman:

Reason #3: It is Really Cheap to Own Big Mama Now

In the past, I've always treated Photoshop C+ as the investment you made when you knew you were serious about digital crafting/art/photo editing, etc. But about a year ago, Adobe released the package for photographers, with Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC. For $10 a month. Less than I pay for Netflix. Less than lunch at anywhere but fast food. And while for a long time my purpose was to get as many people using Photoshop as possible, Photoshop Elements was the best deal in town. Don't get me wrong. It still IS a good deal. You can get it at Costco in September for like $60. So if you upgrade every year, you'll pay $60-$80. If you subscribe to Creative Cloud, you'll pay $120 a year. 

Reason #2: Sweet Features

Everything I've ever taught in Photoshop HAD to be available in Photoshop Elements, because that was what the majority of people were using. In a recent poll, however, the numbers are now neck-and-neck, with nearly 50% of people using some version of Photoshop CS or CC. So let's talk about Sweet Features. PS CC offers features like paths, the pen tool, better selections, better color management, better brush handling, and the BIG HUGE new deal: Glyphs. Which are almost single-handedly the reason why I changed my mind about what to recommend. Read on:

Reason #1: The New Glyphs Palette

This is a sweet feature and therefore kind of belongs in Reason 2. But it belongs in its own reason because it's such a huge game-changer. Glyphs are essentially the same as "characters" in fonts. But the Glyphs Palette (which has been available forever in Illustrator and InDesign) is what enables you to access all the alternate characters that are offered in those really nice, expensive fonts like Mercury Script and Samantha

Mercury Script. I die.

Mercury Script. I die.

Samantha Upright. I also die.

Samantha Upright. I also die.

And the fact that I myself no longer had to go over to Illustrator to get the pretty, and then bring it back in to Photoshop was reason enough for me to change my mind. I think that this is the best move all around, and we've been waiting for it for YEARS. 

So if you are on the fence about whether to wait for the next Photoshop Elements (probably coming out in September or October) or whether to dive in to the free 30-day trial of Photoshop CC, GO WITH THE BIG MAMA. 

I'll be offering a class on working with the new Glyphs palette starting next week! I can't wait to show you how AWESOME it is! And it comes with a FREE font you can use!

Love it. Go grab it. See you there.

xo,

-J

100 Fonts Everyone Should Have (part 7)

Hello there! I love fonts just as much (if not more) than the next person. I love to collect them. So I've compiled for you a list of 100 Free Fonts that everyone should have in their collection! I'll be posting them 10 at a time, so keep on the lookout for the next set!

100 Fonts Everyone Should Have (part 6)

Hello there! I love fonts just as much (if not more) than the next person. I love to collect them. So I've compiled for you a list of 100 Free Fonts that everyone should have in their collection! I'll be posting them 10 at a time, so keep on the lookout for the next set!

100 Fonts Everyone Should Have (Part 5)

Hello there! I love fonts just as much (if not more) than the next person. I love to collect them. So I've compiled for you a list of 100 Free Fonts that everyone should have in their collection! I'll be posting them 10 at a time, so keep on the lookout for the next set!

This One's for My Sis.

I have a beautiful sister. Her name is Julie. She is one of the most well-read and most sharply intelligent people I know. She served an LDS mission in New York City (speaking Spanish, no less), and has a master's degree in Education Administration. She is teaching at an amazing charter school in AZ called Great Hearts, and I am stinking proud of her

Tolkien is the Man.

She and I have a few things in common, and one of them is an unabashed love for all things Tolkien. I think it's only she that probably beats my record for the most hours spent dived in to the lore and - especially - the language of the Lord of the Rings. The words that Tolkien puts into the mouths of his characters have a bone-deep ring to them that transcends time and distance, and even race (speaking here of hobbits, dwarves, and elves, of course). 

And the girl even got a tattoo in Elvish. So badass. So nerdy. So nerdishly badass, which is even MORE badass than just plain badass. That's right.

And so it was that she told me one of her favorite lines, from a speech given by humble Samwise Gamgee, friend and servant to Frodo, and companion on his long journey. A gardener by trade, he's the stalwart and sturdy and earthy one, and the one who in this case speaks of hope in a gorgeous metaphor.

And so I did what any good Photoshopping sister would, and made her a poster like so, and surprised her with it:

Here's the entire piece from the book:

It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

For me, the most touching part of this, is that of all the amazing lines in that trilogy, this is the one that she chose as her favorite. I won't go into details on her life, of course, but I will say that she's had it rough in a lot of ways.

But she hopes.

She hopes fiercely, like Sam, in the knowledge that future goodness, just like the rising sun, will arrive to banish the current darkness. And when that darkness DOES disappear, how bright the sun will be! 

You can grab this Tolkien quote poster from my Etsy store if you'd like to put one in your own home. It ships flat, and is unframed. 

Your Turn

Do you have a favorite line from The Lord of The Rings? Post it here! You might just see a poster of it! 

100 Free Fonts Everyone Should Have (Part 4)

Hello there! I love fonts just as much (if not more) than the next person. I love to collect them. So I've compiled for you a list of 100 Free Fonts that everyone should have in their collection! I'll be posting them 10 at a time, so keep on the lookout for the next set!

100 Free Fonts Everyone Should Have (Part 3)

Hello there! I love fonts just as much (if not more) than the next person. I love to collect them. So I've compiled for you a list of 100 Free Fonts that everyone should have in their collection! I'll be posting them 10 at a time, so keep on the lookout for the next set!

100 Free Fonts Everyone Should Have! (part 2)

Hello there! I love fonts just as much (if not more) than the next person. I love to collect them. So I've compiled for you a list of 100 Free Fonts that everyone should have in their collection! I'll be posting them 10 at a time, so keep on the lookout for the next set!

100 Free Fonts Everyone Should Have! (part 1)

Hello there! I love fonts just as much (if not more) than the next person. I love to collect them. So I've compiled for you a list of 100 Free Fonts that everyone should have in their collection! I'll be posting them 10 at a time, so keep on the lookout for the next set!

Register for Type-ology today!

Hi there! My newest class, Type-ology: Designing with Fonts & Type is now available as a self-paced class! When you register, you'll receive instant, permanent access to the course, which includes more than 6 hours of step-by-step video instruction, gorgeous PDF companion sheets, and lots of extras! 

Here is the syllabus, which includes EIGHT beautiful projects, including seven posters and a gorgeous mini-album you'll design and create yourself:

  • Lesson 1: Details Poster: Getting acquainted with the anatomy of letterforms
  • Lesson 2: Type as PatternSlab serif and outlined type creates a pattern for a poster or a card
  • Lesson 3: Mixing Fonts & BrushesUse block sans and script with watercolor brushes
  • Lesson 4: Exploring & Collecting FontsUse tags and albums to identify, collect, and compare fonts of various styles at Myfonts.com
  • Lesson 5a: History of Type, 15th-18th Centuries
  • Lesson 5b: History of Type, 19th Century
  • Lesson 6: Wood Type Poster: Create a poster using fonts patterned after 19th century wood type
  • Lesson 7: Font Mixing, Forever Young PosterSelectively mix fonts from different eras and add ligatures
  • Lesson 8: Font Management for the Hoarder, er, Hobbyist
  • Lesson 9: Love Poster: Use Photoshop patterns on type, and create a grid for a poster
  • Lesson 10: Cricket CollageCreate a collage using an offset grid and LOTS of layers to mimic a paper from Cosmo Cricket
  • BONUS LESSON: Collage Mini-album: Use a grid and the Cricket Collage to create a quick and beautiful mini-album

Here are some of the projects you'll create as part of this class: 

From Type-ology, Lesson 1

From Type-ology, Lesson 3

From Type-ology, Lesson 6

From Type-ology Lessons 9 and 10

n this class you'll learn about the history of type, the anatomy of letterforms, how to mix elements like Photoshop Brushes and patterns with fonts, and how to manage your ever-growing font stash. This is a must-have class for any digital scrapbooker, digital crafter, or designer! It's available at a special limited price of $45.00 (14$ off!)

You can register today for instant, permanent access, with over 6 hours of video instruction that streams to any device! This makes it easy to view the class on your phone or tablet, and create the projects on your computer.

As always, if you find this class isn't right for you, simply contact me and I'll give you a full refund. Register for Type-ology at JessicaSprague.com today!

Type-ology Lesson 3 Sneak Peak

Lessons 1 through 3 are live and so much fun! I hope you're along for the ride! If you haven't seen, here's the sneak peak of Type-Ology Lesson 3!

Lesson 3 teaches :

Mixing Fonts - Block Sans + Script

  • Create contrast in a design using a block sans serif and a brush script font
  • Use abstract brushwork and a structured typographic layout