Working at Extensis has its perks. One of them is that every Halloween, the office temporarily goes ape. The halls are strewn with decor that totally transforms the office. Each year the office is roughly divided up into teams that compete to decorate each area of the office – and it gets competitive.
This year the QA department went all-out and created a huge haunted house in one of the server rooms. The sales team chose a M.A.S.H. theme, complete with patients on cots, camouflage netting, and each team member dressed as a different character from the movie. The marketing department converted their halls into the World of Oz, with a yellow brick road, spooky forest, twinkling emerald city, and also had costumes within the theme (I was the 6 foot 3 inch tall munchkin – don’t ask). The support and operations teams jumped in with plenty of dark plastic walls, spider webs, and other creepy stuff.
Since it wouldn’t be Halloween without parties, the “adult” party included a costume contest with fabulous prizes, jell-o shots, candy and a good spread of munchies. Employees were also invited to bring in their children for a special kids party and round of cubicle trick-or-treating. It’s always great to see little goblins, ladybugs and princesses wandering our decorated halls.
Halloween is a great time to flex the creativite muscle. For me, I’ve always been a fan of the concept costume. Some of the best ones that I’ve seen over the years include:
- Cause-man – A friend once dressed in a black leotard covered with hundreds of twists of ribbon in every color.
- I’m you – Another friend dressed in a full length dressing mirror around his neck, and would walk up to people and say, “I’m you.”
- Broken record – I went to a party a few years ago covered with broken vinyl hanging from speaker wire. A good use of some ancient scratched records, and a good excuse to repeat everything that I said.
If you’re not a person who enjoys a costume party, you can always use your photoshop matte painting skills to turn a photo or your house into a spooky haunted house. I’m not sure if my 1950′s ranch would have quite the same effect, but I’m sure willing to try!
So, what’s your favorite costume? Is it a concept costume? Or perhaps you prefer a sexy costume over somthing scary?
Occasionally, when we hit certain company milestones, such as a successful product launch, we like to celebrate with an all-company outing. Recently, we were able to do a little bit of celebrating at a local amusement park, Bullwinkles.
Though it was a very rainy day (yeah, it’s common here in Oregon) employees raced go-karts, got each other even wetter in the bumper boats, and tested their hand-eye coordination in the arcade.
Today Quark announceda new tool that allows you to design Macromedia Flash-based websites using QuarkXPress.
Creativepro.com editor John Berry recently published an interesting piece about using Expert Characters and Expert Sets from your OpenType fonts. Expert characters are additional characters that can be added to fonts for items such as ligatures, small caps, fractions and so forth. John does a good job of how to use these new Expert Characters in his workflow. Check it out.
Today the UK magaizine Digit published an interesting article the details the steps required to bring a job to press. Fonts are an important part of the print process, and this article goes through the requirements that you should consider including font licensing and so forth.
To help you in the process of gathering fonts, Suitcase Fusion includes a Collect Fonts for Output tool, as well as the ability to drag selected fonts directly out onto the Desktop. Collected fonts are automatically separated into font families for ease of reference.
If you are a Font Reserve user, you can use the Font Sense plug-ins for QuarkXPress, InDesign and Illustrator to help collect fonts for output.
Today Quark announed a new server product. It looks like this will allow distributed design teams to quickly collaborate and deliver creative projects to the printer. It will be interesting to see how this affects your creative workflow.
Quark released an update to QuarkXPress today. This release includes expanded language support, an updated licensing model, as well as various bug fixes.