Saturday, February 13, 2010

From Blah to Bloom

Tokyo definitely not at its best on this Saturday of colorless, overcast skies, intermittent flurries of snow and freezing rain. Altogether a cheerless and dispiriting day, the kind when a brightening boost is needed to turn the mind and the eyes away from morose thoughts and murky views. To help in that department I have cheated a little on the date and call this Saturday, the 13th my Fun Ink Day. And to make it even better, I’ve spent an hour or so sprawled on my sofa idling through the pages of a typeface and font book.

Pocket Blonde’s blog post for Friday, the 12th alerted me to the delightful idea that the day had been declared Fun Ink Day, with a link to the Cincinnati blogger whose idea it was. I can’t see any reason why it has to be Friday, February 12 only, so if you missed it, go ahead and get crazy with ink on another day. I did, and often do.

In addition to the ink, I followed a link on Everyday Correspondence with its weekly list of Friday Night Favorite Reads, and lost myself for a while in the The Oscars of Type recommendation. That prompted me to drag out a book, look through pages of typeface and think about some of my own favorite and often used fonts.

Fun Ink Day and The Oscars of Type were a great recipe for turning my cheerless day in one made happy with ink and typefaces.

I doubt that anyone could accuse me of being unadventurous in my choice of what ink to use, and hardly a day passes that I don’t write something in at least three different non-standard, business-ready inks. There’s always a pen with black, dark brown or blue ink on my desk, but I also alternate filling several fountain pens with ‘fun’ or ‘statement’ inks for a variety of uses. The three colors I have used today are shown in the photo here, but I’ll try to be more specific about each one.

The top ink is a Sailor Jentle Ink custom mix called ‘Green Tea’ which this week is in my large yellow Sailor 1911. I used it this morning to write a page in my journal, because the color felt right for my mood and my thoughts. The middle ink is Visconti’s ‘Bordeaux,’ relatively new to my ink shelves, and these days the favorite among my wine inks. I had some pages to edit today, and the Visconti was a good choice, standing out well against the pencil written pages I was working on. The pen used is another Sailor, this one a Professional Gear. The bottom ink is one in the Pilot Iroshizuku series, ‘Fuyu Gaki (Winter Persimmon) in a Lamy Safari. Didn’t do much with this one today, but had to leave a short note for someone, and the orange ink was perfect for the subject of that note. I also knew that the person reading the note would like the color.

The Oscars of Type link introduced twelve fonts chosen as The Best… I thought that was a great idea, but was unfamiliar with the winners. So I got the idea of looking through the mile long list of fonts on my iMac and picking out the five that I most enjoy using, and use frequently. I doubt that any are candidates for an typeface Oscar, but at least two of them (first & fourth from the top) are highly respected fonts. From the top, the five fonts I like are: Bembo Italic, Borg 9, Budmo Jiggler, Eaglefeather Regular Italic and Herculanum.

Thanks to Fun Ink Day and The Oscars of Type, a colorless day became brighter.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America