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Collections Management Standard & Digital Asset Management Go Hand in Hand

Collections Management & Digital Asset Management

Many in the museum and/or heritage and culture industries are familiar with SPECTRUM©; the standard for collections management procedures in the UK. SPECTRUM, developed by The Collections Trust, helps museums ensure that all related metadata is tagged appropriately.

What do Digital Asset Management and SPECTRUM have in common?
SPECTRUM Digital Asset Management custom catalogue templates (built right into Extensis Portfolio software) and automated keywords can help Heritage and Culture organisations save time and improve efficiencies by recognizing assets and making sure they are tagged correctly.

SPECTRUM 5.0 is scheduled to be released in May 2017. What does this mean for you?
We’ve teamed up with The Collections Trust to reveal new 5.0 features during an upcoming webcast. Sarah Brown, The Collections Trust Outreach Officer, will highlight what’s new in the SPECTRUM latest release. Chris Stevens, Extensis Sales Engineer, will focus on the smart keywords module, tagging metadata automatically, API, and how museums (and other H&C organisations) can connect Portfolio with their content management system through the use of the API.

Join us! On Friday the 24th of February, 11:00 am GMT, Extensis will be hosting a joint webcast that will showcase new SPECTRUM 5.0 features and Digital Asset Management.

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How does a font administrator achieve font management success by avoiding common mistakes?

font management

It’s amazing to me that I still see companies using fonts illegally for published content. Many are often paranoid about license infringement for all of their other software, but forget that fonts are licensed in a similar way. Here are my top five “don’ts” that every Font Administrator should consider when managing fonts. I hope this gets your wheels turning in the right direction towards font compliance:

1. Don’t: assume all fonts in use at your company today are properly licensed.

Many companies continue to use fonts that have been around for decades, but their licenses and current usage haven’t been verified in recent years.

Recommended: Don’t turn a blind eye to fonts in use today. Take the time needed to organize your list by foundry. Also, isolate and inquire about each font. Locate the purchase paperwork when possible and when not possible, re-purchase or replace the fonts you can’t find licensing for. Also, critically review all of your free fonts and confirm there aren’t special requirements necessary for commercial use. Run an audit at least once a year to make sure you are as compliant as you can be.

2. Don’t: believe you can use your fonts any way you want.

Most fonts have specific Terms and Conditions and clearly define how they can be used in the end user license agreement (EULA). For example, embedding your fonts in PDFs, ePub documents, or websites may require special licenses. Distributing fonts to freelancers and printers is usually prohibited or requires a special license.

Recommended: Be diligent. Read your font EULAs carefully and contact the foundry if you are uncertain of the Terms and Conditions prior to publishing with a font. Remember, this pertains to the license agreements for free fonts as well.

What is the risk? Determine your organization’s level of font risk by downloading the font management risk assessment tool.

3. Don’t: forget to increase your company’s font licensing IQ when managing fonts.

In a recent survey conducted by Extensis, over 80% of designers admitted they do not read Font License Agreements. 78% of those who said they do are confused by the language.

Recommended: It’s your job to make sure your users understand the rules when using fonts within your organization. Frequent reminders and a solid business process can save your company costly and embarrassing infringement lawsuits. It’s critical to come up with a simple, yet non-disruptive process and make it stick as part of your font purchasing workflow.

4. Don’t: permit unauthorized sharing of your fonts.

Designers will often collaborate and enjoy sharing their creative ideas. Sometimes they’ll go as far as to share fonts too. Don’t let them. Now, we realize your parents taught you to always share, but sharing fonts within your own company is often as illegal as if you shared them with external companies. That’s because many font licenses are restricted by geographical location, department or even to a specific set of machines. Remind your employees of the possible consequences to your company and themselves if they share fonts without authorization.

5. Don’t: allow users to purchase fonts on their own credit cards.

You’d be surprised by how many companies still allow this, but I can assure you it is a recipe for disaster and a license tracking nightmare. Also, these purchases tend to be licensed to the individual and not the company.

Recommended: Instead establish a simple purchasing process to guarantee your company’s name is attached to every license purchased and ensure the purchase receipts and EULA end up in your possession. Convert them to PDFs and keep them electronically filed for future purchase verification.

Put your organization to the test! Download our font management risk assessment tool and see if your team is on the right font compliance track. 

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How do you improve font management with your new MacBook?

Mac OS Font Management Best PracticesYou’ve got that snazzy new MacBook on your desk. You’ve figured out how to use the new Touch Bar, and are now ready to get that machine primed and ready for you to be productive.

I recommend that you take a moment to look at how your fonts are handled on your machine. Where they’re stored, how many are kept active, and how best to manage them.

To help you get started, we’ve created a Font Management Best Practices Guide that is specifically focused on macOS. We recently updated this guide to cover multiple versions of macOS, including Sierra v10.12.

This free guide will help you make the most of that machine, and keep it from being bogged-down with unnecessary font clutter.

Download the Guide

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futuretech
 

Explore how technology is evolving to enable a business to successfully manage its fonts and digital assets.

Today’s work environment forces creative workflows to constantly adapt to fluctuating user needs and take advantage of new technologies. Add the ongoing need to increase the speed of production, and you have a situation that can be difficult to navigate as a creative or an IT team supporting creative departments.

We’ve pulled together a full-day event with industry experts who will help you get up to speed quickly and prepare for the future of tech.

Featured presenters and topics include:

Clarifai: Image Recognition for Automated Keywording
Extensis: Font Management and Digital Asset Management
FADEL: Rights Clearance for Your Digital Files
The Martinez Group PLLC: Intellectual Property Law
SANDOW: Publisher & Brand Manager

This full-day free event is broken into morning and afternoon sessions, and includes lunch.

In the morning we focus on font management, and in the afternoon turn to developments in digital asset management.

  • Thursday, March 2, 2017
  • 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – join us for all or part of the day
  • 3 West Club, NYC
  • Includes hosted lunch

We will also be offering pre-release looks at Extensis software and 1-on-1 time with our engineers to get any detailed questions answered.

Come for all or part of the day – we’d be happy to have you!

Learn more and register here for this exciting event.

 

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Part Five of Creating a Brand Style Guide

The Creating a Brand Style Guide Series is written by Pariah Burke, consultant and trainer for creative, publishing, and editorial professionals.

  • Part One: “Why You Need a Media-Comprehensive Brand Style Guide.”
  • Part Two: “Defining and Creating Your Logo Uses”
  • Part Three: Establishing Consistent Brand Colors Across Media
  • Part Four: Defining Brand Typography

Photography and video are important brand elements. A brand style guide must guide their use as well as set forth procedures and rules for obtaining properly licensed and released stock imagery, and how to future proof the brand against copyright infringement claims.

In the Previous Installment

Part 4, “Defining Your Brand Typography,” was the largest installment in the Creating a Brand Style Guide series. In it you learned about the importance of typefaces to your brand, including how many companies have commissioned custom fonts to give their brands something no other has; choosing type families over individual typefaces for maximum flexibility in your written communications and designs; selecting special-use fonts to augment your main brand type families; how to select and define font usage for digital documents such as websites, ebooks, PDFs, and more; controlling the licenses and uses of fonts to keep your organization on the right side of the law; how to share and distribute brand fonts to your team, both in-house and external entities such as freelancers, vendors, and print service providers, and; how to communicate to all the agents who may work with your brand the guidelines and rules of using type and fonts to the maximum benefit of the brand.

Images and Video in the Brand Style Guide

Increasingly common is the practice of defining brand-appropriate use of images and video without style guides. With the rise of the Visual Web, a landscape dominated by photos and videos shared through social media, as well as almost universally growing Internet speeds and bandwidth, photographs and video clips have become important elements of even formerly text-only websites as well as every other aspect of a brand’s online presence.

Defining image and video usage when representing the brand varies in its spirt and depth depending on the brand. A children’s clothing designer, for example, will define very different imagery guidelines than would a B2B SaaS provider.

Daysee Dae Fashions might include in its brand style guide directives regarding the use of images and video such as those in Figure 1.

Using photography and video

Figure 1: Guidelines to using photography and video footage.

The B2B software-as-a-service developer, serving a broader audience and being more concerned with abstract concepts and feelings conveyed by imagery than by the representation of specific products, might include more generalized guidelines in its brand style guide. It may declare moods to focus on in photography, emotions to elicit, or intellectual and emotional concepts to convey via imagery.

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How did a global media & publishing firm save 30% in spend with a font management solution?

Font Management ROI

 

The Company

Font management plays a key role at SANDOW, a rapidly growing global publishing and media company with brands spanning design, luxury, fashion and beauty. SANDOW’s rapid growth not only brought an ever expanding list of brands, but with each brand came their own sets of fonts. This skyrocketed SANDOW’s font collection into the tens of thousands making the need for effective font management critical.

We sat down with Michael Shavalier, Director of Creative Operations at SANDOW and asked him a few questions about his font management challenges and how they were resolved.

Extensis: Why are fonts and managing them so important to SANDOW?

Michael: Being a publishing and media company with magazines and websites that span the globe, fonts are a key component to our business. Brand consistency and license compliance are at the top of the list where fonts are concerned.

Each brand has its own fonts, which they should be able to manage. Even though the brands are well separated, there’s a lot of synergy and cross-pollination between brands. There are separate design groups, but at the same time there is some overlap.

Download SANDOW’s case study. Learn more about how they reduced cost by implementing a font management solution.

 

The Challenge

Michael: One of the biggest problems our designers had is when they were asked to do something across brands. They had to load the other brand’s version of the font, and may have conflicted with other fonts on their system. Sometimes they had to spend a good deal of time trying to work through the glitches of having font conflicts which wasn’t productive or efficient. Now, with a centralized system that manages our fonts, we’re able to identify the font right away and make sure everyone is using the same version. It’s one less thing for everyone to manage. We now know across all brands which font is needed, where it is, or where it should come from and if we’ve got enough licenses. I don’t see many emails anymore saying “this brand is using this weird font, and I don’t know where to get it from”.

Extensis: What were the biggest challenges that lead you to implement a font manager?

Michael: As the company grew and became a little more corporate – taking on more and more smaller companies and brands – we had to integrate everyone. One of the problems we realized pretty quickly is, like so many startup companies, we had buckets of fonts. They were either on servers or people’s desktops, or you’d find 15 copies of the same font, or 30 copies of Helvetica but they weren’t the same. I’d venture to say we had tens of thousands of fonts.

It was really causing a lot of havoc with the design teams, and it was also causing concerns about compliance.

The Solution

SANDOW already had a different font management solution in place, but when they experienced limitations in their ability to manage groups effectively, instability with other key applications and technical support that was non-existent, they made the switch to Universal Type Server. Since making the switch, they have experienced 10,000 fewer fonts, a reduction in IT Requests by almost 60%, and a 30% reduction in spend.

Extensis: Where are you today with fully implementing font management at SANDOW?

Michael: Our first phase was basically to replace the other font manager for every user that was on it. We’re replacing it all now and we’re pretty close to being done. That would be at least three of our main brand groups.

Michael: The font manager we had been using previously fell short in critical areas, in particular control in setting up users and groups, serving out fonts to them and in addition lack of technical support. Universal Type Server has given us the control we need and has excellent technical support.

Learn more about SANDOW and their font management success. Read the their full interview or download their Case Study.

For more on font management best practices, download our font management best practices guide

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Got font management needs? We’ve got answers.

SF3-FontGenius-Bundle-LP-FGWant to learn more about all of the font management applications that we carry? Here’s your chance to see them in action.

Join us for a detailed webcast where we will go through how you can use FontGenius, FontDoctor, Suitcase Fusion and Suitcase TeamSync to help speed your workflow.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify unknown fonts
  • How to protect your fonts from corruption
  • Effective font organization, activation and usage efficiencies
  • Techniques for font sharing across multiple machines

If you register but can not attend, a recording will be emailed to you.

Register for the Webcast

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Part Four of Creating a Brand Style Guide

The Creating a Brand Style Guide Series is written by Pariah Burke, consultant and trainer for creative, publishing, and editorial professionals.

  • Part One: “Why You Need a Media-Comprehensive Brand Style Guide.”
  • Part Two: “Defining and Creating Your Logo Uses”
  • Part Three: Establishing Consistent Brand Colors Across Media

Design is how you look. Type is how you sound. The tone of voice used by your type is your brand’s fonts. They need to be carefully selected, faithfully synchronized, and rigorously protected as the licensed intellectual property they are.

In the previous installment, Part 3: “Establishing Consistent Brand Colors Across Media,” we discussed the importance of color as a brand asset and identifier. You learned how to start off selecting brand colors for matching rendering in all media, using print colors as the foundation. With print-ready colors in hand, you then converted them to screen-ready RGB and ultimately hex color codes for Web- and mobile-applications. Your brand colors defined, you then learned to communicate the values and formulas of those colors, and their roles within the brand, via your organization’s brand style guide.

Fonts Give Your Brand a Tone of Voice

I’ve been quoted as having said: “People respond more to how you look and sound than to what you actually say. Design is how you look; type is how you sound.” The last statement is an axiom to keep in mind as you consider the typefaces—fonts—that represent your brand. Another aphorism I’m found of is “a typeface is the tone of voice in which the mind’s ear hears your written message.” Printed text is how your brand is represented when you aren’t there to speak for it. The fonts you use to set that text provide the tone and emotional context for your printed words. As the brand manager, you should be as meticulous in choosing and controlling the fonts used to represent your brand as the colors and imagery.

Commission a Custom Font

To truly make your brand unique you can commission a custom font. A bespoke typeface would be yours and yours alone, giving your brand a unique voice. If the idea sounds far-fetched, it isn’t; it’s quite common. Adobe, British Airways, Buccellati, Domino’s, Dwell Magazine, General Electric, HarperCollins, News Corp., Sony, Southwest Airlines, and Zazzle are just a few companies who wanted signature fonts that were genuinely signature—unique and designed to the brand. Even humble Times New Roman, the ubiquitous typeface pre-installed on every computer since 1992, was a custom font commissioned in 1931 to give its purchaser, the London newspaper, The Times, an exclusive and highly readable typeface.

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Is Typekit a Font Manager?

tkTypekit is a great service that Adobe provides for their creative cloud subscribers. It allows you to do two main things:

  1. Use a wide variety of fonts in the Typekit collection for text on websites
  2. Synchronize some of those fonts from Typekit for use with your desktop apps

Font managers like Suitcase Fusion and Universal Type Server are designed to manage your own collection of licensed fonts. They take your entire valuable collection of fonts and put them into a central location that is easily accessible by you and your team.

Typekit does not manage fonts that you have licensed or downloaded from locations other than Typekit.

There are spots where you may hear the term “font manager” in relation to Typekit. The Adobe documentation for Typekit does at times refer to the web tool that controls the download of fonts to your desktop as a “font manager.” This web tools only manages fonts in the sense that it pushes fonts from the Typekit database down to your machine, that is all.

When those Typekit fonts are available on your desktop, Suitcase Fusion and other professional font management tools automatically detect the downloaded fonts and make them available for use.

sf7-ss-typekit-en-full

Because the average designer has over 4,000 fonts in her collection, keeping all of those fonts available for use, while not necessarily active on the system is critical for speedy, error-free design work.

If you are interested in testing a professional font manager in your workflow, all Extensis font managers are available for use in free 30-day trials.

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As initially reported by TMZ, recording artist Cher has landed into some legal troubles for the type design used on the cover of her 2013 album Closer to the Truth.

Type designer Moshik Nadev created his work Paris Logo back in 2011 and claims that the design used on her album cover is a rip-off of his. They do seem to be quite similar, it’s pretty plain to see.

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-1-16-17-pm

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-1-16-07-pm

Now, does this warrant a $5 million dollar lawsuit? That’s an interesting question.

While I’m not a lawyer, from what I understand, typefaces themselves can’t be copyrighted, but the software used to deliver then can.

So, did the person who drew Cher’s logo draw everything for themselves? Or did they take the “shortcut” and digitally copy Nadev’s work?

Most of us know that you can’t copy, share or rename a font file and sell it as your own. Maybe this type of use falls into a gray area. It depends upon how the final artwork was created.

Designers are apt to be inspired by each other, and have even been told to “stealat times.

Of course, I would not recommend that you pirate, steal or illegally download any creative work that you don’t have rights to use. As creative professionals, we do ourselves a disservice if we choose to ignore the right that others have to fair compensation for their creative work.

If you need help keeping your team on the legal straight and narrow when it comes to fonts, take a moment to check out Universal Type Server. It’s built from the ground up to help you manage font distribution and keep your team’s legal worries at bay.

Note: This story was also reported by The Daily Mail and International Business Times.

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