Favorite Things of 2012: Typography

With 2013 just around the corner, I wanted to share with you all a rather new obsession of mine that I know will keep me busy during the new year: typography. Typography is more than just creating a pretty font. It’s about branding. It’s about marketing. And it’s playing more of a role than ever in terms of sustaining the print medium and adding that extra touch to websites and apps. An excellent font sometimes means the difference between an average product and an extremely attractive and marketable one. Here are a few of my favorite typefaces from 2012…

F37 Bella

If I were to nominate any typeface to be the savior of magazines and newspapers, F37 Bella would be that typeface. Designed by the talented Rick Banks, F37 Bella is based on the letterforms of American typographers and adds a classic feel to anything this font graces. Though F37 Bella will cost you a pretty penny, it’s an elegant typeface that is unmatched and is definitely worth purchasing.

Typometry

A font that Emil from Behance made for a school project, Typometry is a geometric work of art. With subtle and sleek contours, the alphabet has never been more grateful to be given such a typeface makeover.

Frontage

Frontage is a typeface that could easily be used for a classy menu or the logo for a cutesy cafe. Made by Juri Zaech of Paris, this font can be used and changed in various ways to create stunning visual effects.

Deco Neue

Another talented student by the name of Jonatan designed this versatile font for his typography class. With its unique look, Deco Neue could be used in just about anything – from magazines to clothing brands.

Goon

If you are a user of the Over app, you might recognize this fun and crafty font. It’s a featured font on the app and makes for a great way to spice up any photo as well as any letterhead. Made by the creative Jeremy Booth, it’s a typeface that is sure to stay around for many years to come.

And with that, Techvolo’s “Favorite Things of 2012” series has come to an end. Was there another topic you wanted to see more of? Do you have any type face recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a happy new year, everyone!

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Favorite Things of 2012: Apps

It should come as no surprise to past and current readers of Techvolo that I am head over heels in love with apps. This love affair started when I traded in my chunky flip phone for a thinner and more technologically in-tune smartphone. It was definitely love at first sight. The minute I brought my smartphone home, I ran upstairs and started downloading apps in droves. I browsed the app store as if my life depended on it.

Here we are, about a year later. I think back to when I had my old phone and wonder at how I was able to maintain friendships and keep up with the news. So this post goes out to my smartphone, the world of apps and the advances made in technology thus far. Because even though anxieties regarding technology seem to be brought up more frequently than ever, technology is also helping us more than ever as well. Which brings me to introduce:

Best of… apps!

Google+

It’s no secret that Google+ has been the butt of a ton of social media jokes lately. The fake Mark Zuckerberg account, @notzuckerberg, tweeted on Christmas day, “This morning, good kids got presents, naughty kids got lumps of coal, and very naughty kids got Google+ accounts.” Sure, it’s harsh. But Google+ is going to have the last laugh. With a newly revamped interface, Google+’s mobile presence has never been more beautiful or easy to use. As more and more people hop on board the Google+ train, they are going to stick with it, especially for its great UI.

VSCO CAM

VSCO CAM is easily my photo app of choice. Instead of opening Instagram or the native camera app on my smartphone, I go straight to VSCO CAM when I see the perfect photo opportunity. The filters are professional-looking and editing a photo is as simple or even simpler than editing on  Instagram. Not to mention, VSCO CAM is any UI enthusiast’s dream come true, with its swipe-friendly menus and nav bars.

ScoutMob

Undoubtedly one of the quirkiest foodie apps out there, ScoutMob offers nearly too-good-to-be-true deals to its registered users. Though the restaurants in Los Angeles are just starting to get into the whole “ScoutMob” trend, long-established epicurean cities like Manhattan have many, many places at which to use a ScoutMob deal. Useful and full of personality, the ScoutMob app is definitely the way to go for tech-minded foodies on a budget!

SpellTower

SpellTower is hands-down one of the most gorgeous games I have downloaded thus far. From a marketing perspective, SpellTower isn’t all that great. Its only source of revenue is from downloads ($1.99 per download). But from a UI/UX approach, SpellTower is exceptional. No superfluous in-game currencies, complex rules or necessary internet connection. Just spell the words, score points and stay in the game all while admiring the beauty of the layout.

Minù Timer

It might sound a bit silly to put a kitchen timer app on this list, but the Minù Timer is not your ordinary timer. It’s probably one of the best designed apps I have ever seen. This app requires no instructions because a user’s intuition is usually correct. Even though you may not be one to use timers, it’s definitely an app to have on your phone.

Over

Made with just the one purpose of adding typography to photos, Over does it in style and in the most marketable way possible. It’s sleek, easy to use and gives photos a personality that photos without text can’t quite exude. What I love most about Over is that it feel likes a community. Follow Over’s Instagram @madewithover and see all the user submissions that have been made with over! Want to see your own photos on the Over Instagram? Tag your Instagram and Over masterpieces with #madewithover. You get it all with the over app: a great community, a great app and a great design.

Pandora

This app does not need very much lauding, since the name already implies quality. Started back in 2000 as the Music Genome Project, today Pandora has taken over the realm of online and mobile music-streaming. Users are able to create 100 unique “stations” and enjoy each and every one. The app itself is just as easy to use as the online version. Sure, there are advertisements, but I think it’s fair trade if you are not paying for an ad-free subscription.

Instead

Whenever I discuss mobile interfaces with other app enthusiasts, I always bring up the Instead app. Though the app still has not quite caught on, Instead has so much potential to be a big hitter in the philanthropic app category (is there such a thing yet?). It’s swift interface and “easy-to-donate” design will make it a successful app in the near future.

Figure

Figure may be one of the most creative music-making apps out there. With a colorful interface, intuitive design, great sound and much more, this app makes creating rhythms and beats as easy as 1-2-3.  It’s fun and simple and well worth the 99 cent investment.

Have I missed any great apps on this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Next up… Techvolo’s favorite websites of 2012!