Category Archives: Design

Custom Label Colors in Gmail

Some of you may have noticed that after Gmail's theme switch a few months ago, users are now unable to easily specify the color of mail labels.  Instead we are presented with a limited and somewhat ugly palate:

Gmail label color palate

Gmail label color palate

In my fooling around with the internet I discovered that you can specify custom colors in RGB using nothing more than some simple HTML injection.  The palate is displayed as three tables, each cell with it's own background color. It turns out that the color sent to Google is determined by the background color as specified by the client version of the web page. There is nothing stopping you from changing these values.  Here is a demonstration of how you could perform such a change using Firefox and Firebug:

Now your inbox can be less ugly.

OTF Ghostscript Fonts

Ghostscript is a free software suite that provides libraries to help your computer explain your printer how you would like things to show up on a piece of paper. Somewhere along it's development, a typography company called URW++ decided to contribute a sizable pack of fonts to the project. The group of fonts is very nice because it includes near-replicas of typefaces like Helvetica (Nimbus Sans L) but, unlike Helvetica, is free. Unfortunately, it looks like not very many people have taken interest in the collection so it hasn't been distributed much outside of Linux distributions.

I am currently stuck on a Windows machine so I don't have easy access to these fonts. In my rummaging around the internet I couldn't find any copies of the typefaces in a format that would install on Windows so I decided to make some. I took copies of the fonts from a Linux distribution and converted them to OTF. Here is the resulting font pack:
Direct Link

The tarball contains the following families:
URW Bookman
URW Century Schoolbook
URW Gothic
URW Nimbus (Sans, Mono, and Roman)
URW Palladio

Because they are all in OTF, they can be installed on Windows. They may look a little wonky in your word processor but that is most probably because of a rendering issue; if you are super anal-retentive and want to be sure, convert your document to a PDF or SVG and examine the font in that format before printing.