Welcome back, serifs

I’m a font nerd. I’m constantly working with (and sometimes against) clients who want a particular “look” for their website or app or presentation and trying to push them to look ahead. One of those conversations typically has to do with fonts.

One client I didn’t have to fight with was Guy Sayles. His new site is one of my favorite designs I’ve done in a long while. Part of that has to do with the font Adamina that was used for headlines. It’s whimsical and full of motion but also conveys wisdom and experience. It reminded me a great deal of Guy’s personality, so I had to use it. I think it looks just beautiful on the new From The Intersection site, and I’m glad he trusted my push to use a serif font for the design. We just launched the redesign this week.

The “design world” has been quickly re-adopting serif fonts for ads, apps, and websites over the last couple of years after they were mostly maligned in the early to mid 2010’s. However, as “mid-century modern” has come back into vogue stylistically for furniture and dress, we’re seeing the resurgence of serifs.

I installed iOS 12 betas on my iPhone and iPad this week for testing, and low-and-behold there are serifs! Apple is famous for its attention to detail and its use of Helvetica and then its own San Francisco font. Apple lead the way on San-serif fonts (such as the body text here), so it’s wonderful to see the serifs returning to apps like the renamed Apple Books (formerly iBooks), which makes sense. Apple has even created a new font titled “SF Serif” to mark the occasion.

So, keep in mind that even though you might think you know what “modern” is, there’s always a corner to turn. Find a good guide. And never ever use Comic Sans or Impact. For anything.

A few images from my Apple Books collection showing the new font:

Overwriting Monuments with AR

I do think augmented reality and voice-first computing (Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant etc) will get us out behind computer screens and keyboards and into the “real” world. What “real” means is subjective, and that will only intensify in the coming decades as computing comes full circle to being something that we naturally do with our voices and thoughts and without the need for a keyboard and mouse.

Now we just need a good pair of AR glasses from Apple or Google or some startup we haven’t heard of yet that’s working hard in a garage to change the world…

Last year, Movers and Shakers assembled a team of coders, artists and designers who use augmented reality technology to do their work. Their goal was circumvent the city’s decision by replacing the statue and similar monuments with digital ones of other historical figures — namely, people of color and women. “I think we have an opportunity to harness the storytelling capabilities of this technology,” said Glenn Cantave, founder and lead organizer, when explaining the group’s motivations. “Who’s going to own our narrative?”

— Read on theoutline.com/post/5123/movers-and-shakers-digital-sculptures-new-york-city

iOS 11.4 with Messages in iCloud

Lots of good updates today for your iPhone and iPad, but Messages in iCloud is definitely something I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced last year. Better late than never.

Messages in iCloud is also now available as part of iOS 11.4. This feature lets you keep messages across devices in sync sort of like modern email. If you delete a message on one device, it will go away on all your devices. And if you set up a new device from scratch, your messages will appear without needing to do a full restore from an iCloud backup.

— Read on 9to5mac.com/2018/05/29/ios-11-4-airplay-2-homepod-stereo-messages-icloud/

Apple Watch and My Health

I’ve owned a couple of Apple Watches in the past and always appreciated the design and constant alerts. But after a while, I would look at the Watch on my bedside charger in the morning and think “Do I need to wear you today? Nah.”

So, I’ve been skeptical about the Apple Watch and thought of it as little more than a constant buzzer to keep you tuned in to the latest Trump tweets or emails from Staples. But all that changed recently.

I’m turning 40 this year, and I realize it’s cliche and pretentious to write such things on the internet being a privileged white male who has a relatively comfortable life… but, I wanted to hit 40 in stride and in good shape rather than having a George W. Bush hangover-inspired epiphany after an all-nighter. As a result, I’ve dabbled in diets and moderate exercise and even keeping of track of my steps with Fitbits and an Aria Wifi scale and using MyFitnessPal on my phone(s) over the last year or so. None of those stuck. I’m fickle and it takes a lot for anyone or anything to make their way into my life as a steady constant.

I picked up an Apple Watch Series 3 back in March on a whim (don’t @ me… I acknowledge my privilege as I’ve said and these things are tools I use in my career) not thinking much would come of it. However, Merianna had been saying good things about hers and I was intrigued by the cellular communication since it meant I could take calls, listen to music (with AirPods), and have a number of functionalities without having to carry my phone everywhere. Little did I know it would be those damned rings, not the cell connection, that would win me over.

About a month ago, I really started taking Apple’s Activity app on the Watch and iPhone seriously. I looked at the calendar and realized I only had a few months left to go in my 30’s and I needed to make the most of them. It started innocently enough with occasional jogs around the living room at night to close the Exercise Ring or parking at the far end of the lot on yet another trip to the grocery store or hardware store to get more action on my Move Ring. Then I realized the Stand Ring was actually helping me be more productive as I tend to go down deep rabbit holes with a client site or marketing strategy and I can completely overspend my time budget without noticing it. The Stand Ring has become a sort of egg-timer of “getting things done” as silly as that may sound. Little by little, the rings have crept into the Congress of voices that fill my head and speak very loudly and authoritatively throughout the day and drown out the “but I don’t wanna go for a jog or do another P90x workout!” detractors.

It’s really been something of a revolution in my head.

I’ve always been a sporadic eater and frequently skip breakfast. Merianna has been an amazing partner with her choice of meals and prep work to keep me honest with my food and drink as well as putting up with my late night exercise sessions (potty training a 2.5-year-old and running your own company will severely limit your time to work out during the day, I’ve found but I’m working on that as well). My next goal is to turn those late night sessions into early morning ones.

I would go into a deep dive of which apps I use, but I’ve included a screenshot here at the top of the article and Frederico Viticci has done a much better job outlining his similar experience than I ever could. You should go read this in all of its entirety:

I suppose it’s only natural that a renewed commitment to getting back in shape eventually led me to completely reevaluate the role of the Apple Watch in my life. After just a few months of daily commitment, I’m now at the point where I get irritated if I don’t dedicate at least 30 minutes of my morning to working out. I’m constantly keeping an eye on my rings to make sure I hit all three goals every day, and I’m always thinking of new ways to push for harder workouts and mix them up with different exercises.

Source: Second Life: Rethinking Myself Through Exercise, Mindfulness, and Gratitude – MacStories

I’ll report back in a few months to see how things have progressed. I’m down 10 lbs within a month already just by a few lifestyle changes. I know that pace won’t continue, but my body is giving me positive feedback already with my endurance and mind/body relationship.

Should Americans buy Hauwei phones?

The Mate 10 looks like a pretty amazing device and I’ve wondered at times whether I should pick up a Hauwei device to make sure I’m staying on top of things. Last week, U.S. intelligence officials warned citizens about buying devices from Chinese companies such as Hauwei and ZTE over concerns that there are potential “back doors” allowing for the Chinese government to eavesdrop on Americans. Given all that we do on our mobile devices in 2018 (I literally run my company from my device), it’s easy to see why there might be concern.

However, the U.S. government hasn’t put forth any evidence of tampering or back-doors and Americans who do own devices from these companies haven’t been able to detect any intrusion or suspicious traffic. I’m not asserting that the concerns over Chinese devices isn’t warranted but I have wondered all week whether these warnings were a result of politic-economic motivation.

Great write up by Jerry Hildenbrand here:

Huawei is the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world behind Samsung and Apple. It is also the ninth largest technology company (by revenue) worldwide with 180,000 employees and an average annual revenue of $78.8 billion. In other words, Huawei is as “big” a company as Microsoft. That’s good news for Huawei, and usually seeing a company move up the ladder to challenge the market leaders is good for consumers, too. Officially, Huawei is a subsidiary of Huawei Investment & Holding Co., Ltd. in Shenzhen, China and that’s where the real issues the U.S. has with Huawei start.

Source: The U.S. government’s beef with Huawei isn’t really about phones | Android Central

Googling Inside Your Church

Fascinating piece on Google Maps history and possible directions…

So Google likely knows what’s inside all of the buildings it has extracted. And as Google gets closer and closer to capturing every building in the world, it’s likely that Google will start highlighting / lighting up buildings related to queries and search results.

This will be really cool when Google’s/Waymo’s self-driving cars have AR displays. One can imagine pointing out the window at a building and being able to see what’s inside.

via Google Maps’s Moat