Manage This

The Extensis Community Blog

Digital assets are, as the name implies, meant to serve the business or organization in which they reside.  But if they are ineffectively managed, these assets can become liabilities.

To prevent this from happening, here’s 5 tips:

  1. Establish digital asset management (DAM) best practices immediately. It’s impossible to manage something without putting forethought into the processes and tools you will use, so if this is your first attempt, take your time and get it right. If you need ideas, check out our DAM Best Practices Guide.

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The end of the line for your digital assets is a lot like retiring a comfortable pair of old shoes. You can’t bring yourself to do it, so they sit around forever.  Usually it takes an extenuating circumstance to force us to say goodbye to our beloved items. But it shouldn’t.

In most data centers – where your digital assets live – the main three concerns are:

  • Power – Power doesn’t apply here since servers have become optimized for green energy initiatives;
  • Space – In the ‘old’ definition of space, people were concerned with server racks.  With VMs, that really doesn’t apply;
  • Cooling – It’s already well handled.

So when it comes to dealing with old digital assets, what should we be concerned with?

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Check out our video about the Font Panels in Adobe Creative Cloud applications and learn how to use your entire Suitcase Fusion font collection.

Browse your own font library, Google Fonts and any downloaded Typekit fonts, and get your full “font picture” before any project starts.

Watch more Suitcase Fusion 6 videos here.

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You’re no girl scout. You aren’t designing bake sale fliers anymore. And even if you were, the font list in your favorite pro design software is an endless black pit of scrolling, turning a simple font selection task into a pull-your-hair-out, existential crisis sort of situation. Have you seen that thing lately? Go ahead, open it up and take a look. That list is a behemoth!

You could choose to get lazy and make a “James Cameron” decision (i.e. opt into an overly-trodden and dare I say disgusting font like Papyrus for your high-profile project and thus make every designer that presses ‘play’ nauseous). OR, you could check out the wide world of font management, tame your font game and take control of your workflow while improving your final products.extensis-avatar-movie-papyrus-font



If you’re hearing church bells in your head, but are a Macintosh user, reroute over this way; if you use Windows, swerve this way to download the PDF booklet, or tread on for an abbreviated version in this post.

So, here are some highlights of our Windows Font Management Best Practices Guide. Increasing workflow and getting more organized with your typography starts here:

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Within IT there is a well established and commonly followed discipline around the management of physical assets like laptops, servers, hubs and routers, etc.  This discipline, championed by industry consortiums such as the International Association of IT Asset Management, focuses on counting, management, and in many cases the disposal of those same assets.

Digital Assets Just as Important as Physical Assets

In the era of digital content, the question that should be just as critical is ‘why not apply the same rigor to management of your digital assets?’

Digital asset management (DAM) is another discipline which has been practiced for many years, but never given the same focus as managing Adobe or Microsoft licenses. That’s not to suggest that there is always an audit true-up that can cost you penalties and damages, but there certainly can be negative ramifications if digital assets are not managed correctly.

Consider if your firm purchased some artistic works to be used in very specific cases, and only for a specific amount of time.  When you agreed to purchase these you (likely) signed end user license agreements, which stipulated very clearly that there would be severe penalties for improper use.  Warning…if you think this is wrong, go back and read it again!

Now let’s say that without tracking those use terms in a DAM system, one of your content teams finds this great artwork and inadvertently uses it improperly.  When the poster, magazine, catalog or whatever media goes live…BANG, you just stepped on a legal landmine!

So let’s start with the notion that managing your digital assets is important; let’s further acknowledge that IT needs to be involved and apply proper technique to managing not only hardware and software, but also digital assets; and let’s open up a dialog here about how and why we can all get better about the discipline of managing digital assets.

In an upcoming series of blog posts, we will tackle best practices on digital asset management, talk about how the creative teams can work with the IT groups to facilitate this, and help explain to the business as a whole why this is so important to the bottom line.

Check back next week when we discuss archival best practices, and how end of the line for your digital assets is a lot like retiring a comfortable pair of old shoes.

Want to learn more about digital asset management?

Check out our new DAM Toolkit, a set of resources to help you determine if DAM is right for your organization, how to select a system, implementation best practices, and more.

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