I installed Vectr on my Mac the other day. Vectr is a free vector graphics software.
I needed to design a logo for Contentaurus. Yup, this website.
I opened Vectr, placed a text, typed in "CONTENTAURUS" and started to randomly scroll through all available fonts to stylise it. I had no idea what I was doing but it seemed like fun.
I stumbled upon Amatic SC. Looked beautifully minimalistic, formally informal, and totally rad. Instinctively, I decided to use the font as-is as the logo for Contentaurus except for a minor tweak to the "T" with the "C" to sneak in the horns. It was just perfect. I was happy. Logo was done.
Next up, the website. Since Contentaurus is primarily a content writing company, the website had to be minimalistic. I decided to stay clear of any standard website templates and go with something off-beat and experimental. The almost child-like handwritten feel to the awesome Amatic SC font caught my attention again. I ran a quick little experiment by going ultra-large on the Amatic SC font-sizes on the homepage in order to highlight exactly what we did. The experiment was a success. It was just perfect. I was happy.
Next, I figured, why not just embed the whole font style into the website code and use it for all paragraph headings and titles. "Great, that'd be awesome", I thought. That's when I actually Googled the font and landed here Amatic SC. The instructions were easy to follow and I had the font working on the site in no time. It was just perfect. I was happy.
While I was in the middle of all this, I chanced upon a small snippet about the designers behind this font. A part of me wanted to kiss these guys. I'd not only created a logo with this font but also used it everywhere on the website. I wanted to say thanks.
Vernon Adams - that was his name and two other designers. A short bio offered a glimpse into his background and his contribution to Google Fonts. Nothing unusual about it. Even the profile pic didn't give away much. There was a link provided right after his short bio to follow his story. I was curious. I thought it'd be cool to find out how designers went about expressing their art through fonts. I clicked on the link and what happened next is inexplicable.
I was not expecting to see or read what I did.
Vernon Adams was no more.
He'd passed away on August 24th, 2016 after a two and a half year battle that followed an unfortunate incident earlier. I didn't know how to react. It was just terrible. I was numb.
The Amatic SC font had brought me face-to-face with death and with it, a realisation that every wonderful thing you create in this world matters. You may not know it yet, but it does. I found scores and scores notes left by people on his fundraising page thanking him for his fonts - students, artists, business owners, entrepreneurs, etc. All appreciating his simple and yet wonderful contribution. I was thoroughly inspired to leave behind my own contribution to this world in some way or the other.
This is the first blog post on Contentaurus and it had to be about Vernon Adams, the artist, the type designer, the husband, and the father. He not only did what he loved but also contributed what he created from that love and we're all grateful for it.
Today, Vernon's family is survived by his wife and his two small kids. They're raising funds to help them recover from their immense loss, both personal and financial. Here are additional ways to donate to Vernon's family.
I hope this blog post reaches a lot of people and I hope we could all do our bit to help Vernon's family. You can also take a step further and share this story with as many people you know.
R.I.P Vernon Adams and yes, thank you so much for the Amatic SC font.