Unlike most of the projects I have started this year, this one has already been done. Someone has already designed and brought to market (albeit limited) eyewear that is designed from typography.
I first stumbled upon these many years ago probably in 2012 or 2011, and I remember it clearly because I was devastated. There is nothing more crushing than discovering that something thought you came up with in an original and unique way has actually been done before. I’m sure everyone has felt this in some way or another, it is frequent in creative fields, but I also experienced it a lot while completing my degree in mathematics — most of the times it had been done centuries before you were even born.
The collection called TYPE by Japanese eyewear company Oh My Glasses — which is an amazing name for a company — and are for sale only in Japan.
They have some pretty cool marketing.
The collection covers 14 different typefaces and hits most pet favourites including: Helvetica, Futura, Garamond, Din, Times New Roman, and others. They retail for 27,000 JPY which equates to around $300-350 AUD, which is about what you would pay for designer eyewear.
Why are you doing it then?
It can sometimes easy to feel that just because someone has already done the thing you want to do that it is not longer a virgin idea and therefore no longer worth your time. And well this is how I have felt for many years now, I’ve been waiting for them to open up to international delivery so I could get a pair. The glasses are something I want first, and something I want to design second. If I could get a pair the urge for me to do the project would have subsided somewhat. But if I can’t buy it, well then I might as well make it.
Secondarily, I think I could do a better job at the design. The designs to me look somewhat pedestrian, I would struggle to identify many of them to their derivative fonts without cheating. I don’t think they did a really good job at capturing the character of each typeface and converting that to a piece of eyewear.
This is Helvetica Regular, perhaps the most recognised typefaces in the world — one that comes with a cult following — yet I don’t see any of its iconic curves in the glasses. The stroke widths and the relationships between the thick and thin parts bear no resemblance to the regular and idealised glyphs of Helvetica. Two of the most iconic shapes of Helvetica, the leg of the uppercase “R” and the counter of the lowercase “a”, the whitespace in the hole are no where to be found. I’m not sure of the two dots on either side, not quite sure how they tie into the rest of the design.
Some are better than others however. The Din design does slightly better, but still is more like a standard modern piece of eyewear than it is an “inspired by” piece.
A monospace serif typeface like American Typewriter to me seems like the perfect starting point for a piece of eyewear, but again we have a pretty stock-standard and uneventful design. The unique serifs so characteristic of American Typewriter are no where, the closet we get is the nose arch resembles them almost.
Perhaps the most disappointing design is the one based on Times New Roman. The default font for Microsoft Word for years and years and in return it gets a Clubmaster clone. It feels like they ran out of eyewear shapes and needed to have a Clubmaster clone in there somewhere and Times New Roman got drew the short stick. The contrasting thick and thin strokes of Times New Roman that gives it the distinctive and iconic look are wasted on a gold chrome finish. It could be better.
Can I do better?
Believe it or not these are the only real commercial versions of this idea — at least that I can find. I believe there is a market for this outside of Japan and particularly in Australia, but also America and Europe. I want to create a character profile for each font I design for and make sure the most characteristic and iconic shapes are reproduced in the eyewear. I think stroke is going to be the most important aspect, glasses are a fixed form designed for a human face, there is only so much you can change and stroke is the most prominent. It is all well and good for be to critique this product that has actually made it to market and has been on sale for years, and another for me to actually do something better. Wish me luck.
This month I will do something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I will be designing my own glasses, as in spectacles for the face — but they will be modelled on fonts (or typefaces if you want to be fancy).
There has already been at least one of these glasses been designed before, but there are a number of issues with them — that I will go through another time — nonetheless I am excited.
The plan is to 3D print them at some stage and stealth send them to Bailey Nelson (or anyone else that makes eyewear) and get them instores and make a bunch of money and live happily ever after.
This past month has probably been the least productive month of my adult life. A large part of this is my failure to complete this month’s thing. I call it laziness but someone with a degree in psychiatry might want to claim it’s something else. I blame it on my appalling diet of this month, I’ve eaten more processed foods and transfats to last me a decade.
The good news I guess, is the project of this month Poppigami doesn’t have a hard due date until October of this year, so never fret it will be finished—just not now. Also, turns out the legality of creating a non-for-profit is much harder than one might expect.
Among the other things I should have done at sometime this month was to sort out my enrolment for University to finish off two degrees, a Splash Adelaide event, personal website, and national Fringe tour registration. Not a great time to be unmotivated.
We must continue and tomorrow I will announce the next month on the every continuing list of projects that get 90% complete. See you then.
The poster child of this project is the actual origami design that will become the poppy. Previously I said when I first tried to make an origami poppy there was nothing online, well it appears that has changed. A search on Google reveals there is a whole bunch of origami poppy paraphernalia.
I also found my origami poppy that I made in 2009, I told you it has a way of making it self known when I need it—or the more truthful answer: I was cleaning my desk and I found it.
I have contrasted it with a proper poppy that you can buy around Remembrance Day, overlaid on my somewhat dirty keyboard.
These origami poppies were not available when I wanted to make mine, so I had to choose a different design that I could fake as an poppy. The design I found was for a flower called camellia. The origami instructions are in the public domain as the design is listed as traditional and not copyright to any individual, which is useful. The design is not easy to build, but also not that complex, just very repetitive.
The camellia can look very similar to a poppy in real life.
There is a website called Poppy Time devoted to learning activities related to poppies, and there is a section on origami poppies.
Looking at the designs the website links to we have one created by Katrin Shumakov on Oriland. Which looks allot like our camellia design from before, except this one is much more complex to build. Not ideal when the target audience will be children in primary school.
I quite enjoy the look of these poppies, they look allot like the commercial ones you can buy. However, it is copyright and once again fairly complex.
There is another interesting one, that starts off with a hexagonal shaped piece of paper by Joost Langeveldor
Choosing the right design
I have an affinity for the original camellia design, even though its not technically a poppy, I think it has a nice geometric look and is reasonably easy to make. Crucially it has no copyright and is freely available in the public domain. I am starting to think I will need two designs available, on that is very easy to construct for the younger ones. The skill required for the camellia is low, but still high enough that I think it will be an issue with the younger students. I have been looking for flat origami flowers, but have not really found the right design that is both easy to build that also looks like a poppy. This Spanish Eye design comes close and might be the one I choose if I cannot find anything else.
This was helpful because it set a hard deadline for completion of the screenplay. A hard deadline I did not make, ☹️. The deadline was Wednesday the 3rd of May and at the time of finding out about the completion was about 2 weeks away. I still had two-acts to write, and was really getting bogged down with the Act II—spoiler alert, I still am. The reason I talk about this is because the day before it was due, I actually read the submission details and low and behold I only needed to submit the first 15-pages along with a synopsis and longline. And believe it or not I have (over) 15-pages of screenplay.
Alas I needed to write a one-page synopsis, I have never written a synopsis in my entire life and naturally I left myself with 5-hours to write it. Furthermore, I needed to write a logline, this was a word that was new to me. Basically it is a one sentence overview of the screenplay—the premise. Screen Australia has a really nice guide to help you write a synopsis and various other overviews of your screenplay. I had to a one-page synopsis, at first I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fill up an entire page, but as these things go I had about 3-pages I needed to little down to one. I won’t go into detail about actually writing it all, it’s not very exciting at all, but I did find the process useful and it got rid of some of my writers block.
Oh yeah, I also need to come up with a title for the screenplay to submit it. I have been trying to come up with a title for sometime now, but have been putting it off as much as I could. I still don’t really have a title, but I went with SUPERHUMAN (it’s my Fringe show, gasp): subject to change.
A down-on-his-luck and wanna-be superhero is confronted with his antithesis in the form of a girl who he must convince of his worth and validate his place in the world.
“SUPERHUMAN” is a drama told over three thirty-minute acts that run in real-time. Set in an alternate present day Australia where superheroes are common place, the story of two characters with mundane and unremarkable superpowers are told simultaneously one in chronological order and the other in reverse chronological order.
Marcel Mercury is a man who has fought his way through life burdened with power to be able to always turn the shower on to the perfect temperature of 44.6º no matter the shower. Working as a cleaner at The Department of Superheroes and Emergency Services he is subservient, hateful and jealous of the traditional superheroes known as ‘The Calvary’ who keep law and order. Marcel’s antithesis is Bryn Bridgette a perky manic-pixie-dream-girl-esque university student who travels through life like a warm knife goes through butter. She has never waited in traffic her entire life — the lights turn green in her presence — unaware this is a superpower she like most people idolise The Calvary. They both suddenly find themselves in the middle of an emergency situation. Rather than wait like Bryn for The Calvary Marcel takes the opportunity to right a lifetime of wrongs as tries to save the day but — as his life has taught him — falls short (literally) of being the hero.
Act II opens with an older Bryn being shepherded by her friend Kate to attend a meeting of Superheroes Anonymous, an anti-superhero support group founded by Marcel for those with mundane and unremarkable powers. Bryn begrudgingly joins the meeting where she meets Marcel for the first time. The two quickly realise they are diametrically opposed in almost every way. The meeting serves as the boxing ring as they yield their words as weapons and trade blows of perfectly crafted sentences that would put the Harvard debate team to shame. The melee of word vomit ends with Marcel storming out of the room unable to control himself.
The final act begins with Marcel as a child being bullied by a group of boys who would go on to become The Calvary. This childhood trauma is what causes Marcel to hate superheroes and start Superheroes Anonymous. At the same time we see a graduate Bryn who is thrust into an emergency situation that begs uniquely of her powers. This is the emergency from Act I, where Marcel failed to save the day, because it was Bryn that moment was made for.
Am I super impressed with my synopsis? No. Am I super impressed with my logline? Not really. But I had a deadline and I wrote (day and night) like I’m running out of time (because I was) and submitted it. Now before I could even submit I had to become a member of the Australian Writers’ Guild who run the competition in partnership with the Adelaide Film Festival. I should probably give the name of the completion it is the INSITE Award billed as,
Established to unearth unproduced feature film screenwriting talent, the Award is presented to the writer of a screenplay which has not yet secured a producer or funding. INSITE’s proven formula will see the 2017 winner meeting industry directors and producers with a view to moving the project forward and onto the screen.
The winner of INSITE will receive:
A three-day pass to the Adelaide Film Festival, as well as flights (interstate) and accommodation to attend the Festival.
A minimum of three meetings with producers to discuss their script.
Eligibility for entry onto AWG’s Pathways Program.
I already live in Adelaide, so I don’t get the flights ☹️.
I joined the AWG (I am member 17422 #baller) as a student which meant my joining fee was waived and my annual fee is reduced to $85. Upon entering the completion I had to pay an entry fee of $50 also, it was quite the costly endeavour. Nevertheless I am now entered I should probably finish the rest of the screenplay just incase they like it and I need to submit the the full thing.
In preparation for entering I also went through the first 15-pages and made some notes and adjustments. I sat myself down at my favourite coffeeshop (Cafe Bang Bang) and entered a new state of hipster as I edited my screenplay inside a coffee shop. I had my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil out ready to make notes, which as a side note: was quite enjoyable.
As you can see I can’t even spell properly.
Small shoutout to PDFExpert which I used to write all over my pdf. Also, please admire my penmanship.
If you would like to you can read my 15-pages here and download my synopsis here. There are some other competitions I may enter, and I will keep you updated if I do.
It is now May 8th, I was hoping to do work on another project this month and was waiting for an email to confirm some details. However, the email came and was not positive—at least for now. So for the month of May I will create a non-for-profit organisation.
This is an idea I have had for about 7 or 8 years, something I used to do in high school. Overtime I have developed it into something quite interesting and hope to this year launch it. In Year 9 (I think) it was November 10 and I hadn’t got a poppy yet for remembrance day, so I decided to make one—out of origami no less.
What I thought would be a readily available design was not to be the case, turns out there is not really a design for an origami poppy. Instead I searched for various flower designs and chose one that was close enough to a poppy-esque flower to work. It was quite nice, and people seemed to enjoy the whimsy. In later years I would reuse the same poppy, I still have it somewhere, miraculously every November it exposes it self on my desk despite the literal metric ton of shit that calls my desk home.
So what does this all have to do with a non-for-profit I hear no one ask. It’s an educational piece, in primary school the foreign language we learnt was Japanese, which mean lots of our learning was bootstrapped to some form of origami. I also went through most of primary school never been explicitly taught about The World Wars in any meaningful way. In Australia, Anzac Day falls on a school holiday every year which really only leaves Remembrance Day as an ‘event’ to use to teach students about the Anzacs. I do remember (no pun) each Remembrance Day having a minute of silence at 11 AM. This project serves to create a curriculum and lesson plan for the two hours preceding this. A Trojan horse to teach younger students about the tales of sacrifice and horrors of the wars that have occurred and continue to occur. I have lofty ambitions to partner this with other established organisations and help raise money for veterans causes such as RSL clubs and the like. I hope to create a resource that can be used and expanded upon by individual teachers all with a shared common goal.
I still have some more posts to write about the April project to make a maths blog, but it is now May 1 and the due date is now so the blog is now live. Check it out, www.themaths.blog.
For the most part the development side of things is complete, I need to clean up the code and get rid of all the commented-out lines from the development and rollout the LaTeX-style CSS into a seperate project called MathsBlog.css. As far as content goes there is a little bit I had hoped to write but don’t have live yet. This includes the podcast, some long-form pieces, and the style guide. I had also hoped to have some post lined up in the queue so I don’t have to think about content for a few weeks. These things are easily fixed and can be knocked out when I have a free day to spend on it. Overall, I am happy with it and glad I have an outlet for the nerdier things to write.
A trend thats popping up on websites these days is the “Buy me a Coffee ☕” in the footer of websites. It’s basically the Web-hipster.0 (that was a Web 1.0/2.0/3.0 joke, if that wasn’t clear) version of the Donate button. Kind of like how everyone all of a sudden had “Made in [city] with ❤️”. Naturally I wanted both of these on my new website.
Buy me a ☕
There is of-course a start-up that provides this button as a service, with an equally start-upie name, Ko-Fi. The button looks like this,
It’s pretty nice and appropriately Web 3.0 looking. However, I have issues with it. It’s just a link to a website, and the website has allot going on.
Like, I’m not sure why there is an option to add comments as if it was a Facebook wall. Being an external link it’s jarring and reduces any incentive for me to give money. I was hoping the website would be a super minimal and just a simple form to donate a few bucks. It also uses PayPal as its payment platform, and if I can avoid it I don’t want to ever use PayPal again. Then it dawned on me, I was hoping it was a Stripe dialogue (click the button).
This is really what I wanted when you click the “Buy Me a Coffee” button. So I looked into adding Stripe to my website, while it is pretty easy it’s not as easy as it is to add say a PayPal button. There is some server-side code required and the Stripe documentation is more targeted to making an e-commence platform, I just want to take one-time payment and not store customer details. And honestly, I didn’t want to add cognitive load I have to implement Stripe on my server. I will eventually probably make this button but for now I wanted a service to do this for me.
I started looking for Stripe-based-buy-me-a-coffee buttons, but sadly they don’t exist. There was a few out-of-date Wordpress plugins. Instead I looked for Stripe-based donation buttons that I could adapt into a button. Eventually I found DonorBox, a service designed for non-for-profits to accept donations. It ticks the right boxes, Stripe integration and has a lightbox style pop-up for donations—rather than an external link.
I’ve added a “Buy me a Beer 🍺” option as well, because that seems to be the new trend as well. All of the prices are in multiples of π. There is an element of customisation available for the box, I made it black and white and added emoji to the descriptions. I like it, it works well for minimal effort and is free to use until get over $999 a month in donations, which I don’t see happening anytime soon (if ever).
Made with ❤️
I also wanted to add a “Made in Adelaide with ❤️” thing to my footer. There is a nice website that makes some code for you called MadeWithLove
I wanted to make a custom one. Where I live—South Australia—has a new brand that I quite like, it’s called imaginatively Brand South Australia. I have used their logo in many of my other projects such as posters and marketing collateral adding a small logo on a website is the next natural progression.
A little nosing around the website I found the favicon. What a nice little logo our state has.
When designing this maths blog I wanted it to have the look and feel of a real academic mathematics paper. I have talked previously about the standardised use of LaTeX in maths and how to include literal mathematical expressions on a website, but what about the rest of the paper? MathJax does not typeset anything outside the maths mode delimiters \( ... \), LaTeX is much more than just maths.
I wanted to have numbered headings, numbered theorems, lemmas, definitions etc. This is something LaTeX does automatically for you. You could of course name the headings and theorems manually, but what happens when you need to make structural changes to your document? Or if you have to break a theorem into two lemmas? You then have to go back and re-number everything in your document. I went searching for a LaTeX layout equivalent online and didn’t find anything. So let’s take a look on how we can do this with CSS.
Let’s do it
I wanted to impose some requirements to make it feel like writing in LaTeX, below are elements required for a minimum viable product.
Automatically number headings at least 3 levels deep
Optionally have the headers un-numbered.
Automatically number theorems, lemmas, definitions, and similar in a continuous counter under ‘Section’ headings.
Optionally have the theorems, lemmas, definitions, and similar un-numbered.
Not require <ul> or <or>.
Follow the style and layout of amsart in LaTeX.
Since CSS3 there has been these things called CSS counters they’re basically a way to programmatically make custom ordered lists except without <ol>, but you can use it to override <ol> as well.
Pulling from the W3Schools website, to work with CSS counters we will use the following properties:
counter-reset - Creates or resets a counter
counter-increment - Increments a counter value
content - Inserts generated content
counter() or counters() function - Adds the value of a counter to an element
I’ve decided to have everything default to being un-numbered and only when you add the class numbered to the element do you get numbers. For simplicity I have the same class name numbered for everything that can be numbered. Which will add some complexity to the code, but will result in simplicity over time when writing.
<h1> is reserved for the page title, so we start with <h2> which serves as a LaTeX ‘Section’, with <h3> a ‘Sub-section’, and <h4> a Sub-sub-section. With numbering as follows:
To do this we have three counters that we name h1, h2, and h3 and reset the h2 counter in the body and reset the rest in a nested fashion. The basic code is:
We are using the white-space character of a en-dash to be semantically correct, which in CSS encoding is \002002.
The usage of this in the HTML would be:
<h2 class="numbered">This is a numbered section</h2>
<h3 class="numbered">This is a numbered sub-section</h3>
<h3>This is an un-numbered sub-section</h3>
<h4 class="numbered">This is a numbered sub-sub-section</h4>
which renders like:
For completeness the LaTeX style CSS for headers is:
A psychiatric disorder in which two or more distinct personalities exist in the same person, each of which prevails at a particular time.
multiple personality disorder.
Don’t stress out, I haven’t written a story with MID as the plot driver—I have written however a story with split-screen scene. Which begs the question:
How do you write split-screen in the screenplay format?
Answer: I have no idea. So let’s find out.
When searching for answers online it became pretty clear that there is no widely accepted ways of doing this, however, many people point two the Expectations/Reality scene—which has subsequently graduated into an internet meme—from (500) Days of Summer.
EXT. SUMMER'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DUSK
The song continues to play. Gift in hand, Tom stands at the
foot of a four-story walk-up building, looking up at the
roof, which is wrapped by a halo of white Xmas lights. It's
already bustling with activity.
He's going up. As he does, the screen splits.
On the left, we see Tom going upstairs. This side is labeled
On the right, we also see Tom going upstairs. This side
labelled "Expectations". There the same image for a beat.
INT. SUMMER'S APARTMENT - SAME
But then "Expectations" arrives first. Summer invites Tom
inside. She gives him a huge embrace. She kisses him, right
where the lips meet the cheek. Very close to a full-frontal
lip kiss. (ECU the point of kiss contact).
"Reality" arrives soon after. She comes over and gives him a
huge embrace. She kisses him, but her kiss lands firmly in
the cheekville. (ECU the point of kiss contact).
Both Toms give both Summers the book as a gift. It's
"Architecture of Happiness". Both Summers accept it eagerly.
This style continues describing each side of the split screen by prefixing the line of action with “On the right” or “On the left”. It should also be noted in the formatted script these prefixes are underlined. And the “Reality” and “Expectations” are boldface.
EXT. ROOF - SAME
On the right, Summer introduces "Expectations" to three or
four guests. The whole party is maybe six people total and
Summer takes "Expectations" Tom to the side so they can be
On the left, Summer introduces "Reality" to a circle of seven
or eight people. (NOTE: This is the scene we saw on p. 51
52). The party is actually quite large, with 30 or 40 people
Tom has never seen before in his life. Summer's friends,
The split screen ends with as many words—all caps, underline—and continues into traditional screenplay.
INT. SUMMER'S APARTMENT - SAME
Summer pulls "Expectations" into her apartment and shuts the
door. They fall onto the bed. END SPLITSCREEN.
INT. STAIRWELL - SAME
"Reality" Tom comes running down the stairs and exits the
Some other examples have the split-screen presented like dual dialogue would, with each side of the split screen being dialogue on the respective side. While this is probably the best way to visually represent the idea of split-screen in reality it not the easiest way to write (especially if you are using Final Draft). It’s also contrary to meaning of side-by-side dialogue, which indicates both sides should be speaking simultaneously. For the most part the split-screen scenes will have focus change between each side and not simultaneous (main) action or dialogue. So to format it corrected you would have to leave vertical white space in the dual dialogue—which is only half size—at which point you may as well revert back to normal dialogue for space reasons.
In Kill Bill Quentin Tarantino writes dual dialogue style for the action elements of split screen.
SCREEN GOES TO SPLIT SCREEN
LEFT SIDE RIGHT SIDE
The BRIDE listening to them Orderly's Reeboks walking
getting closer. WE HEAR the down the hospital
STEP...STEP...STEP...in time corridor.
with Orderly's sneakers.
CAMERA MOVES UP TO
Orderly's face, leading
The Bride HEARS BILL'S
VOICE SPEAK FOR THE ORDERLY;
BILL'S VOICE ORDERLY
(in time) (in time)
She's right in here. She's right in here.
SPLIT SCREEN FINISHES
STAY WITH The BRIDE'S SCREEN
This is the only instance of split-screen where there is dialogue in Kill Bill the dialogue is formatted dual style aligned with the action of the scene.
For my purposes I chose do go with the (500) Days of Summer approach, I think it hits the right balance between ease-of-writing and how well it conveys the writers intent.
This is how I enter the split-screen.
I'm not like you.
Stop saying that.
It's for you not me.
Well I don't want to be here so
it's really for you.
From the left hand side of the screen, the following scene
slides in as we start a SPLIT-SCREEN.
On the right, we continue to follow Bryn and Kate. The audio
mix changes to--
INT. AA ROOM - CONTINUOUS
--which is on the left.
Inside the dingy community centre room, we have MARCEL and
WILSON setting up chairs in a circle.
WILSON, 23 year old, Asian male. Conspiracy theory nut, a
little on edge and constantly looking over his shoulder.
So we have a new member joining us
And how we exit.
ROBO-MAN grabs BRYN's hand...
C'mon, lets go.
As BRYN and ROBO-MAN walk away, we pan around to KATE who
stands motionless as the waiting room comes to a rest.
We follow them through the door.
INT. AA ROOM - CONTINUOUS
On the left, we pan around to the same vantage point as the
right, the divider starts to fade as both sides frame the
same image and we end SPLIT-SCREEN.
The rest of the act continues in one continuous shot.
There’s no right or wrong way, as long as what you see in your head is written down in some vaguely comprehensible way I think we can call it a success.