I think the answer is a resounding ‘no one’. Seems people are always clamoring for something free. I’m not really sure it matters WHAT is being given away (there is Portland, Oregon-owned store chain that does an annual promotion for…wait for it…. free MEAT.) Perhaps we could do an interesting psychological experiment. Perhaps a 20-pound tuna giveaway?
Anyway, it seems everyone loves to ‘win’ something….and in honor of the wonderfully fun (and funny) Helvetica Documentary that premiered here this weekend- we’re giving away a few HELVETICA t-shirts. Just post a comment about what you like best about the film. We’ll choose two lucky winners of shirts (and no, a tech support representative is not included with your prize.)
Also- Don’t miss this really fun kerning contest. You have to be a real type geek perhaps to win this…but should be fun just trying. It sounds easy enough, which should make you think twice. You could win a $250 gift certrificate to Veer. Submission details are below:
“As perfectly as you know how, set the headline THE SOUND AND THE FURY in Futura Bold, all caps, at 50pts on a single line, in black type on a white background. Then export it as 72dpi jpg or png image and send it to susan at coudal dot com with the phrase “Futura Perfect” in the subject line.”
Don’t forget to send us you feedback on HELVETICA for a chance to win a T.
April 30th, 2007 by Jim Kidwell
If you’re in Chicago this week, we recommend attending the Vector/Pixel conference. At 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2nd, our very own Extensis Product Training Specialist, Kelly Guimont will present a session titled “Font Management: Best Practices in Mac OS X.”
The session will examine the unique requirements of a creative typography workflow. The use of thousands of fonts in a creative workgroup presents challenges to the creation of a flexible yet controlled computing environment.
We’ve also worked out a deal with these events, so to save $100 off a two-day, three-day or platinum conference pass for either conference, use this code when you register: EXT07PV (code is case sensitive).
The Pixel and Vector Conferences are presented by Barrycon events. For more information on the conference go to: http://www.barrycon.com/conference.php?sid=18&cid=21
April 30th, 2007 by Jim Kidwell
When I arrived at Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre, I was pleased and somewhat concerned to see that there was a huge crowd waiting to attend the premier. After quite considerable line confusion, I was able to secure one of the last of about 1000 seats in the theatre. According to Gary it was by far the biggest audience that he’s ever had for a screening of this film, and from the look of those unfortunate souls who couldn’t make it into the sold-out showing, it could have been even larger!
In a town that’s known for its film geeks, I’m willing to bet that this was a somewhat untraditional festival audience, primarily consisting of graphic designers (about half of the audience) as well as a good number of people associated with Extensis – employees, customers and press contacts.
So, now if you’re like me, you might have originally thought, “What could be so interesting that we need an entire film about a typeface?” Well, let me tell you, there’s plenty. The film is an effective entre into the world of graphic design, and has a number of incredibly funny moments. It amazed me that people could have such passionate feelings about something like this.
The film alternates between interviews and montages of Helvetica in use. According to Gary, the montages, backed with instrumental interludes, were the original building blocks for the film. He first conceived the film while walking around New York and London while listening to his iPod. It’s during these montages that you’re able to get the feeling about how ubiquitous Helvetica is in the world around us.
While Gary interviews the original Swiss creators, as well as many of Helvetica’s biggest fans, including Massimo Vignelli, by far the most entertaining parts of the movie are the segments focusing on the typeface’s detractors. Erik Spiekermann rails against it as being “fat in the middle” and even goes off onto a tangent about the great Microsoft vs Apple debate.
Portland designer, and self proclaimed “bad guy” of the film David Carson was hilarious in the film as well as during the Q&A after the show. Carson could easily be considered the Jack Nicholson or Hunter S. Thompson of the design world. There’s a great point in the movie where he talks about setting an entire interview for Raygun magazine with Bryan Ferry in Zapf Dingbats because he felt that the interview was a snoozefest, and wasn’t really worth reading anyway.
If you’re able to do so, definitely check out one of the screenings in a theatre. It’s great to hear what others find funny, and there were more than a few graphic designer inside jokes. If you’re not able to do so, Gary indicated that the DVD would be released somewhere in the September 2007 time frame.
Oh, and one last thing. I’ve got a few Helvetica t-shirts to give away. Describe your favorite part of the film was in the comments, and I’ll choose a couple of the best comments to receive t-shirts.
Former Extensis product manager, and now consultant Halstead York has an interesting blog post about web-based font applications.
Halstead’s blog, Warning: convergence in progress covers everything from film & video, typography and how emerging technologies play into the mix. Check it out.
We reported not too long ago about the two new typefaces from Adobe that come with Adobe Creative Suite 3, Arno Pro and Hypatia Sans Pro. Arno is one of the fonts that are installed with the product, and Hypatia Sans is provided as a bonus for registering the suite.
Adobe recently put up pages on their site that give you an overview of the new fonts:
Adobe has been doing the registration incentives since the inception of the Creative Suite model:
- Garamond Premier Pro was provided as a registration incentive to US customers with CS1.
- Brioso Pro Opticals was provided as a registration incentive with CS2.
The New York times has a great article on the rising presence of women in the realm of professional photography. It’s an interesting and important trend that indicates the changing demographic of a realm that has been typically more dominated by men. This article gives a great insight into much of the future direction of the field, and how women are changing the character of the industry.
The Wired blog, The Underwire, recently posted a short introduction into the science of kerning. If you’re a graphic designer, typographer, or work in the printing industry, all of this will likely be pretty basic for you. But, if you’re trying to describe some of the issues that you regularly encounter to your Aunt Marge, this is an accessible and easy to understand basic description to reference.
After a San Francisco dinner (prices sure aren’t what they are in Portland!), I’m back in the hotel room with a few minutes to ruminate on the last two days at Ad:Tech.
The conference has been, in a word, packed. The sessions, the expo hall, the bathrooms, restaurants, everything has been just packed with people. What makes me especially happy is that so many people found their way back to the back of the expo hall to visit our fun little 10×10 foot booth and spin the prize wheel. Did I say prize wheel? What I meant to say was the givin’ away software wheel. While many people bring interesting chotchkeys to the event (more about that later), what we’ve been primarily giving away has been software. Though there are an equal number of spaces on the wheel for our other fabulous prizes (t-shirts, notebooks, etc) people seem to have the uncanny luck of landing on free copies of Suitcase or Portfolio. So, if you’re in the area, and are able to stop by the Moscone center, take a moment to swing by our booth for a spin.
One of the other fun things that has been happing at this event is that we’re getting a very wide variety of responses to our presence at the event. From “What they heck are you doing here?” from a former Extensis employee to “Wow, I’m really glad to see that you’re here!” from a longtime Suitcase user and current Marketing Manager. It’s been fun to hear stories of the old days from people who remember our previous Photoshop plug-ins, stories from those who have worked with both current and former Extensis employees. The creative software industry weaves such an interesting web.
In one final note, this crew likes their conferences a bit on the wild side. I counted no fewer than five booths on the expo hall floor that were proudly serving beer and other alcoholic beverages to attendees. I was a bit surprised to see an attendee amble up to our booth at 11:00 with glass of beer in hand, happily bouncing from booth to booth. Heck, I was even given a glass of energy drink spiked with what I came to find was vodka. Since I was stuck on the show floor, I can only wonder how these mind altering influences affected the conference sessions.
More on the chotchkeys when I’m able to download the images off my camera – believe it or not, someone was giving away branded flip-flops! IMHO, these are for fungus-prevention, not for fashion, or for promotional efforts.
- What’s your job title?
Good question ! (looks it up) Software Engineer
- How long have you been with Extensis?
The better part of two years
- Where is your cog in the Extensis machine?
In the developers cave, look for the really messy desk.
- What is your favorite Extensis product?
Well there is this one I work on and am not allowed to talk about…
- If you were a font, which font would you be?
Albertus Roman. Simple, quirky, clean, and just a little pudgy.
- What’s at the top of your iPod playlist?
So Thomas Dolby, “My Brain is Like a Sieve” is the first thing on my main music playlist. My musical tastes are all over the place. I have been listening to a lot of rockabilly and swing lately. On my commute I listen to a mix of news and technology podcasts.
- When were you most happy?
My wedding — seriously (no bullying was involved). Though any day that isn’t too warm, I have interesting things to work on, and there are tasty snacks is a-ok in my book.
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
Well I wrote a novel, and had my first hanging as a photographer — hard to beat those.
- What is your biggest regret?
That the product I developed for Intel never saw the light of day. CDASO forever!
- What is your biggest passion?
Can I have two (please?): Software and Photography – they are the capital letter words I use to describe myself.
- What do you like to read?
Everything. I like to read a mixture of technical, fiction, and non-fiction. I recently finished Terry Pratchett’s Wintersmith, and am currently reading (well listening) P. G. Wodehouse’s Right Ho, Jeeves!
- What is your most treasured possession?
My Sinclair ZX80 (built from a kit!). First computer I ever owned. It still works too.
- What food can you not live without?
Chocolate and good Sourdough. Not at the same time…
- How are you a weekend warrior?
I am a morning person and get up early (even on the weekend). I like to get some writing (software or literary) in before the world is awake.
- What’s the strangest thing on your desk?
My sandalwood carving of the elephant god Ganesha? I mean it isn’t that unusual, or strange. He just sits their quietly on the skull and crossbones box I keep quarters in. I’ll just stop talking now…
- What is one thing that people don’t generally know about you?
I was once Assistant Technical Editor for Antic magazine (the #1 magazine for the Atari!)
- Which website do you visit daily?
Bloglines.com, I have 115 feeds I follow regularly
- In another life you were…?
Able to come up with a better answer to this question?
- What’s your ultimate destination?
A plain wooden box? I do the things that I love to do, so I might as well keep at them until I can’t anymore.
- What do you want your dying words to be?
This week, I’m attending Ad:Tech in San Francisco. It’s an event that focuses on the future of advertising, marketing and the hardware and software solutions surrounding them. Mainly, I’m here to be a product demo artist (pronounced arrrr teest) you know, I show how Extensis products fit into the workflow of a creative agency.
If you’re attending the event, the show floor will be open tomorrow and Thursday, pretty much all day. I should be at the booth most of the day, so if you’re interested in seeing Extensis products in action, be sure to stop by our booth. The expo hall is pretty large, so be sure to dedicate a decent amount of time to browse through all of the companies in attendance. I’ve seen the makings of booths from Google, Microsoft, Double Click, and more, so you can be sure that it’ll be interesting.