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Font Fizz

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Typeface Memory

Put your font of font knowledge to good use with a round of "The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog," a typographical take on the card-matching game of Memory. Created by Fábio Prata and Flávia Nalon of Brazil-based Ps.2 Arquitetura + Design for BIS Publishers, the game includes 25 variations of the letter "A" in typefaces ranging from Akzidenz Grotesk to Zapfino. Players attempt to font-match their way to a win, along the way sharpening their knowledge of subtle differences between say, Univers and Helevetica. Up the educational factor by reading the fine print (font fun facts) on each card or delving into the companion booklet that examines the evolution of type design, locating in history each one of the fonts used in the game. For any design buff, it's a match made in heaven.

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Identifont

You can spot Helvetica a mile away and have an entire theory about why Woody Allen can’t bear to make a film without deploying Windsor Light Condensed, but where do you turn when confronted by a typeface of unknown provenance? Try Identifont, the Web’s largest independent directory of typefaces. Among the site’s multiple ways to filter information from hundreds of font publishers and vendors is its tool enabling users to answer a series of illustrated multiple-choice questions about the appearance of a particular font (even if a sample is restricted to a handful of letters in a logo or heading). What type of tail is the uppercase “Q” sporting? How is the question mark dotted? Click to provide answers and before you can say “ascender serif oblique,” Identifont will have winnowed down the nearly 10,000 possibilities to the very font you're seeking to name.

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Type Connection

Will Avenir live happily after in the strong yet graceful arms of Adobe Garamond Pro? Can Martha Stewart-y Archer ever make it work with Eurostile? See for yourself by playing Type Connection, a fontastic online dating game created by designer Aura Seltzer. Choose a single and get ready to mingle by selecting one of four strategies for finding a good match for your bachelor or bachelorette typeface. In addition to honing typeface-pairing skills, players explore typographic terminology and brush up on type history. Meanwhile, you'll never look at Gil Sans the same way again -- the British octogenarian is revealed to be an emotional eater who wears quirky spectacles.

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Comic Sans Criminal

Next time you encounter an egregious misuse of Comic Sans (i.e., pretty much anytime the font is used), get the offender into typographic rehab with Comic Sans Criminal. London-based designer Matt Dempsey created the cheeky online primer to explore the myriad inappropriate uses of the widely loathed font. Visitors get a bit of backstory on Comic Sans, a quick review of its acceptable and unacceptable contexts, and finally, the opportunity to pledge that they will exercise caution in all future use.

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Typeradio

"Type is speech on paper. Typeradio is speech on type." That's the mantra of the must-listen-to radio channel on type and design. Tune in -- via the Typeradio Micro FM broadcast, MP3 Internet radio stream or podcast -- for font-themed questions, answers, performances, events, and talks online and onstage. Recent guests on the broadcast include leading creative minds from around the world, such as Rick Poynor, Paul Sahre, Simon Garfield and Irma Boom.

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Cooper Hewitt

The New York City-based Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is set to reopen to the public on December 12 after a major, multi-year renovation. In the meantime, you can admire the museum's bold new logo, designed by Eddie Opara of Pentagram, and signature typeface. Created by Chester Jenkins of Village and unveiled this week, the Cooper Hewitt font is a bold sans serif that can be downloaded free of charge as installable fonts, Web font files and open-source code.

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Type on Screen

The extraordinary Ellen Lupton follows up her smash-hit primer Thinking with Type with a guide to the flickering, ephemeral world of type on screen. Published this month by Princeton Architectural Press, Type on Screen "surveys new design principles born of screen-based communication while drawing on traditions of form and function that have evolved over hundreds of years," writes Lupton in the book's preface. Pick up a copy to brush up on the finer points of web fonts, logotypes and animation alongside inspiring case studies.

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Codex

Summer reading alert! Font fans will delight in Codex, a journal-magazine hybrid "for people seriously in love with type." Founded by writer, designer, and publisher John Boardley, the visually entrancing periodical celebrates and analyzes "the people, tools, and type associated with this craft, from the man carving beautiful cherubim into wood blocks in the 1400s to brilliantly formed modern interpretations and departures." The latest issue includes a beautiful foldout of Gastrotypographicalassemblage designed by Lou Dorfsman and Herb Lubalin for CBS.

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Helveticards

Swiss style. International fun. That's the promise of Helveticards, a deck that plays it sleek with the help of Max Miedinger's famed typeface. The king, queen, and jack are dethroned (and defaced) by capital letters—K, Q, and J—while two corners of each card feature not numerals but words ("Five of Clubs"), a touch that creator Ryan Myers describes as "a tongue-in-cheek celebration of Bauhaus-style Swiss design." As for those that grumble about the cards' aesthetics trumping their functionality, the designer takes it all in stride. "Design for design's sake? Sure, to a certain extent," says Myers. "What isn't? If that weren’t the case, we'd all be driving tear-drop shaped cars. But, we appreciate individuality and beauty in color, texture and shape."

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Comic Neue

Three years ago, digital designer Craig Rozynski set out to save Comic Sans, the blacksheep of the font family. The self-described "font philanthropist" has emerged from his hobby project with Comic Neue, a makeover of the awkward glyphs of the font that everyone loves to his hate. Free to download, Comic Neue aspires to be "the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy." It's the perfect choice for lemonade stand signage or passive-aggressive office memos. "Best of all, Vincent Connare, the creator of the original Comic Sans, told me it ‘should be more casual,’" says Rozynski. "The criticism has come full circle."

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