• Top Ten Windows 8 Apps

    The Creative Bloq App Generator Contest was sponsored by Windows 8 and was a chance for UK developers to be recognised for their excellent work. I was very pleased that my app Font Picker was one of the top ten winners, particularly because of the high quality of the other winners. Here are the all the winners of the contest.

    Grand Prize Winner

    Didlr – Rich Holdsworth

    Didlr lets you draw and share your pictures.

    Top ten prize winners

    These are in no particular order, except I'm biased so mine is at the top.

    Font Picker – Richard Garside

    Font Picker is an app for designers that makes trawling …

  • Record breaking fonts on vinyl

    Font Sunday is a weekly twitter phenomena where the typographically obsessed share examples of fonts around them. The theme this week was 'Fonts on Vinyl' and this turned out to be a theme that got people excited and it was the most contributed to week we've ever had.

    The Design Museum started Font Sunday and set the theme each week. I help out by collating the contributions on a Pinterest board.

  • Windows 8 Excellence Labs

    Font Picker at the entrance to Microsoft Reading

    Developing for a new platform, particularly one that's not finalised yet can come with a bit of a steep learning curve and a number of frustrating moments. It's also exciting and I can't wait for Windows 8 to come out and for my app Font Picker to be available in the new Windows Store. Something that has blown me away has been the support from Microsoft. The documentation is great, there have been roadshows and you could even get one on one time with a Microsoft engineer to fine tune your app and get it ready for the store. These were the slightly cheesily named 'Excellence Labs'.

    The …

  • Living off the long tail

    A long tail

    What is the long tail

    In his original post and the following book The Long Tail Chris Anderson explains the modern economic phenomenon of the long tail. Selling goods through the web, particularly digital goods is offering the consumer an alternative to the hit driven culture of the past:

    Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.

    The basic premise is that in the past a shop could only carry so much stock. In a physical shop space is limited and also costs rent. …

  • Launching Font Picker for mac

    Font Picker for Mac was waiting for approval in the Mac App Store when I agreed to talk at LSxCafe. Luckily it was approved the morning of the LSxCafe on Tuesday 6 March 2012, so it became my 'high profile' launch.

    Font picker is my first mac app and I'm really excited that it's now available for sale. I made the original version of Font Picker in 2008. It's popularity gradually grew and I started to get really nice feedback emails and ideas for new features. I really wanted to improve it and add those extra features, but I couldn't afford the time. The new Mac App Store (hopefully to be …

  • Top five ways to invest your spare freelance time

    Wish I had a time machine

    Since going freelance I started to view my time as an asset. When I’m working for a client I turn my time and skills into money and also a project that I’m proud of and can add to my CV. Between client projects I like to take some time out to work on a small project for myself. I see this time as an investment and it’s essential that I invest this time well if I want to continue doing well with my career.

    The problem is there are so many possible time investment opportunities that it’s hard to know what the wisest investment is. Here are five possible ways you can invest your spare freelance …

  • 15,000 people have downloaded Font Picker

    I created Font Picker to solve a problem I had and released it in September 2008 hoping that other people would find it helpful. Since then 15,000 people have downloaded it and its page has had 57,000 unique views. That makes it by far my most successful personal project so far.

    Font Picker is a simple AIR app that helps you choose a suitable typeface for a project. It's down to word of mouth and the wonders of the Internet that so many people have found it. I got my first peak in traffic when it was mentioned in a Boag World podcast. I'm really greatful for that as it the break that lead to …

  • Choosing a font

    When I do a piece of design that involves typography I spend ages choosing the right font. The font that will endow the work with the right feeling and the font that is most similar to the one I've got pictured in my head.

    This normally takes ages, but I've written a Font Picker program in Flash to help me do it. It shows you a sample of your chosen text displayed using all the fonts on your computer. You can then whittle down this list by removing unsuitable fonts.

    The best thing is that this works straight from your browser and still displays the fonts that are on your computer. I've also …