Here are a couple of interesting typography focused products that I’ve seen recently. Crate and Barrel has a reproduction of a job case of letters used as a table. Yeah, it’s a reproduction and doesn’t use the real deal, but there’s only so many real woodblock or lead type letters to go around. I suppose that I’d rather the real deal stay with those in the know and not in someone’s living room who knows nothing of type.
I’ve seen many a California Job Case in flea markets and so forth, but haven’t picked one up yet. I suppose doing so would lead me down the rabbit hole of collecting all sorts of leaded type, and I’m not sure if my wife would approve some lavish expenditures on something that she finds a bit “dorky.”
Nonetheless, here’s something that I might be able to more easily sneak into the house, this cool ampersand t-shirt from turnnocturnal.com.
My first thought about this shirt was, “I love this design!” Which was followed closely by, “I wonder if using a single glyph violates their EULA?” Followed immediately by, “Man, I think way too darn much about fonts and licensing.”
One of my many tasks at Extensis is to pay attention to what people are saying about Extensis and our products out on the internet. We do this so that we can stay connected with our customers, better understand your needs, and steer those having problems to appropriate solutions.
Believe it or not, one of the tools that I use to track down and monitor issues is Twitter. The search functionality provided by Twitter (formerly Summize) is pretty fun. Type in a term and then you’re able to get an RSS feed of that search. I’ve created one for the term “typography” and it’s been fun to watch all of the micro-blog “tweets” that use this term.
It amazes me how much people can do with 144 characters. Here is a short sampling of some of the “typography tweets” from the past week. (For those of you non-twitterers, a Twitter username starts
- tobyxdotcom: The study of typography brings ultimate bliss and raises karma.
- edwynbot: I like my typography as I like my women; professional.
- myzuk: Why can’t I get someone to pay me for browsing YouTube Typography videos.
- andycoffey: San Francisco is a great place for Type-spotting… lots of great Typography everywhere.
- strutting; Good typography really gives me an ascender.
- annaniess: Typography just fangoriously devoured my social life.
- chimchim237: I really love print layout…uh so I guess u could say I am porn groovin with typography.
- mpesce: Typography as gestalt. I am loving this.
- Tony_D: Great Moments in Typography: in 1501, Aldus Manutius’ poorly built house begins sloping slightly to the right, thus inspiring italic type.
- quotedossier: Umlauts are the pierced nipples of typography.
- presidents: forgot about a voluminous typography assignment for tomorrow, drawing animals on planner instead, feeling pretty reckless.
- bobmarchman: Now I see the hubbub surrounding the typography of Obama/Biden. All in favor of kerning tables, say “I”…
- gruber: foo = typography, bar = Bringhurst’s “The Elements of Typographic Style”
- Casss: Good Typography is invisible.
- MsInformation: Great Moments in Typography/Synchronicity: Both Adrian Frutiger and Jan Tschichold design business cards with phonetic spelling of surname.
- phinbar: Hey, I got told I should kill myself for writing a post on good typography. That was fun.
So, while I haven’t gotten an insult quite as harsh as phinbar, it’s still a bit of an uphill battle to educate people about the benefits of good typography. I’ve seen as much just following those who complain about bad typography via this Twitter feed.
Check out Twitter’s search functionality here.
There are many ways to give a company feedback, but when companies get as large as Adobe, at times it can be difficult to get someone’s attention.
The “Dear Adobe” site created by Adam Meisel & Erik Frick allows you to post your gripes and rate those of others. Those that are rated most highly by other users bubble up to the top of their Top 25 Gripes list.
So what does this all get you? Well, apparently those over at Adobe are watching the top gripes on the list, and who knows, one of your top gripes could help steer future product development.
I would never recommend that this replace the support that you can get through their standard technical support channels. I can tell you from experience that I’ve had many of my questions answered by reading the documentation or visiting one of the many Adobe Forums. More often than I’d like it’s merely a case of “user error.”
Of course, if you’re having “issues” with a piece of Extensis software, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, read our knowledge base, visit our forums, or shoot me an email. We’ll do our best to answer your questions.
[Thanks to Extensis Software Engineer, Jock Murphy for the headsup.]
Despite living in multiple of our 50 states- including agra-rich Iowa- this weekend was my first official visit to the big Kahuna of all fairs- the State Fair. (full disclosure- I went to a rodeo in Wyoming, but technically it was not the state fair) This year the marketing machine around the Oregon State Fair was in full swing. Got me thinking- what do other states do to celebrate their uniqueness?
So I visited all the state fair sites I could find- 42. I’m sure there are more (but if you can’t find it via Google- who’s showing up? I digress…)
1- Logos and typography: Not so much uniqueness to be found here. Some of them look like they came from a standard ‘state fair’ web template. Logos and colors identical. Just replace the name of the state and GO! A sampling…
How original that California would go to that ‘movie’ place.
2- Mascots. I am not sure why a state needs a mascot, but when farm animals are the star attraction, it is hard to resist…Need I say more?
3- Worst List:
Tagline (oh yeah- they went there)
Lastly, overall marketing concept and marketing. I would have to say for design and general “well-thought-out-ed-ness” (no-really not at all a word)- it has to go to….OKLAHOMA!
Check out all the design elements that work so nicely together. Now that is what I good breeding.
The Extensis team, dubbed “Sweet Assets,” finished the Hood-to-Coast relay race in Seaside, 28 hours 1 minute and 35 seconds after the starting at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. I’m happy to report that everyone made it safely through the race with no permanent injuries, only sore muscles and a few blisters.
Channel Sales Manager, Alphonse Goettler was one of the runners and had the following thoughts about the two day event.
The size of this event and the logistics behind it can’t be understated. After 27 years, Nike has certainly got this figured out. First of all this isn’t a race, like in the sense that whoever crosses the finish line first wins. You can’t start everyone at once, this is a timed event, so there are staggered starts throughout the entire day Friday. From early in the am through early into the PM. The “elite” teams go out later and finish earlier than most, because they are running sub-six minute miles. Also the staggered start allows for all the vehicles to be spread out, every relay transition point can only handle so much traffic….not to mention so many “Honey Buckets”. It’s amazing how often runners have to go potty when they run a race like this and the more Honey Buckets the better.
The “Honey Bucket Factor” is something that must be calculated in every leg. To further explain, when there is a team member on course the Van with the other 5 runners generally stops a few times during that runners “leg” and cheers them on, provides water/Gatorade/gum/M&M’s whatever that runner wants. But then the van must cruise ahead to drop of the next relay runner, which that runner usually requires a pit stop before they start their leg. The problem is, sometimes the van traffic can get congested and the runner may finish the leg before the relay person can get to the relay point. This never happened to our team, but we did see many runners finish their leg and not be able to hand off the wrist baton because their next runner didn’t make it on time. So it’s a risk you take cheering your team member on too many times vs getting to the next stop on time.
General info on this years race: 28:01:35 total time. We came in 22nd out of 88 in our category: Mixed Male Corporate Open. We averaged 8:32 miles overall as a team. Team sweet assets had no injuries, and everyone ran with in the time schedule we laid out, so I’d say we achieved our goals and everyone was very happy, albeit a bit sore. Weather was very good, of course it could have been cooler and we’d all have loved that, but this is end of August so temps in the 80’s are to be expected. Finishing in Seaside on the beach in perfect Oregon beach weather was a lovely site.
Team names that resemble Sweet Assets:
- Dragon Asses
- Running our Assets off
- Team Kickin Asphalt
- Putting our Assets to work
- Bad Assets
- Start slow, take it easy, fizzle out
- Fast and Furious, sometimes more fast than furious, sometimes more furious than fast
- These colors do run!
- We got Sole!
Thanks to all who participated in such a great event this year.
Here are a few more photos of team “Sweet Assets.”
This is the fourth year that Extensis has participated in the annual Hood-to-Coast relay race. Our team this year, dubbed “Sweet Assets”, consists of twelve runners and three volunteers. The team started running this morning at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood at around 10:00 and expect to finish the race in Seaside, Oregon sometime around 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.
So, for those who are into statistics, here’s the scoop:
- Total distance: 197 miles
- Elevation at start: 6000 feet.
- Elevation at finish: 0 feet
- Total number of participants in the race: 12,000
- Extensis team name: Sweet Assets
- Extensis team motto: “If you’re going to manage these assets, first you have to catch ‘em.”
- Strangest team accessory: plastic buttocks, yup, you read that right, we’ve got plastic butts and aren’t afraid to wear them.
Here are a few photos of the team from the road.
August 21st, 2008 by Kelly Guimont
In 2003 a graduate student at Portland State University collected data about companies in our area and discovered Intel and Tektronix were sort of the “Kevin Bacon” figures on the local scene-if you went back far enough it all came down to one or the other. Here’s what the site says about the original project:
Based on data for more than 370 companies that was collected by Heike Mayer for her dissertation research, Kayoko Teramoto, a graduate of PSU’s graphic design program, visualized the genealogy of the industry. A 27″x 39″ full-color poster dramatically illustrates the evolution of the high tech industry in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. The poster shows the origins and interrelationships of more than 370 companies that have formed, grown and merged in the region over the past 60 years.
Why am I going on about a poster from 2003? Because five years later it has been updated and just like last time we are totally on the list! I can’t find a higher quality image so I can show you where we are on the map, but the list of companies has us on it.
Mostly what I like about this is the data visualization aspect of it. Smashing Magazine wrote an excellent article about all manner of data visualization that has so much eye candy in it I don’t know what to do with myself except keep reading and see the link to the previous article with even more examples. Neat! And if you enjoy information presented with a healthy dose of silly, you can always check out GraphJam and get a chuckle from a pie chart depicting, for example, the diverse elements of the weaponry of the Spanish Inquisition. (What do you expect from geeks? Monty Python is usually where we go first. I don’t know why, it’s just what we do.)
Post your favorite data visualization links in the comments. I love a pretty flow of data!
August 20th, 2008 by Paul Krummenacker
Portfolio allows you to track and keep all sorts of information about your assets. Much of this information you don’t need to access on a daily basis, but it’s nice to have around, just in case. The downside of having lots of information is that it presents challenges on how to find that information or assets you need, quickly.
To search and find things with Portfolio you have a few different ways to get what you need, some faster than others. The first way to find things is to open the Portfolio client and scroll through the main screen, looking at the thumbnails until you find what you want. This is great if you have a limited number of items, and items that are unique that don’t look a lot like the others, but how realistic is that… probably not very realistic.
The better way to find things is to use QuickFind. You can QuickFind in the full Portfolio client application as well in Portfolio Express. By default QuickFind searches for items based on Description, Filename and Keywords. If you have large description fields this will slow down the speed of returning your results. Often you may have a different field that you need to search on every time, like a client name, a job number or maybe a subject. If you’ve set up other fields to be your ‘main’ data fields, you can change QuickFind to search on those fields, rather than having to pound through other fields that are less critical.
To change what QuickFind searches, you have to open your catalog and edit the Preferences. On Windows, go into the Edit menu, select Preferences. On Macintosh, select Portfolio menu, select Preferences. Next, select the QuickFind tab. You will see 3 boxes checked for what QuickFind will search. You can select the fields that you want QuickFind to search. You can set unique QuickFind criteria for each catalog you use, so if one catalog relies upon job numbers, and the other is specific all your archive client information, you can set different QuickFind criteria for each catalog.
Portfolio Express will utilize these preferences, so you will get the same results regardless if you’re using Portfolio Express, or the full client.
So, really focus on how you search for things, and start fine tuning your Finds.
Next time, we’ll look at how to build more efficient searches and saved searches. Once you’ve got a saved search that works, you can build Smart Galleries. But more on that next time.
Paul K out.
And the 2 wheeled world update, today was pretty wet for an August, I actually had to don the rain pants and rainproof gloves. I actually debated about wimping out and driving my truck, but I suited up, put on the softside luggage to carry my laptop and went for it. I’m really enjoying my ’82 Honda Hawk. I’m trying to carve out some time to try doing a longer trip on it. I almost drove it to Bend, Oregon last weekend, but I think I’ll try and do a shorter trip before I jump right into a drive half way across Oregon and the Cascade Mountains.
The Universal Type Client for windows is now available for download. If you are in cross-platform (Mac & Windows) or Windows-only creative environment using Universal Type Server to manage fonts, you can now access your fonts from either platform.
The Windows version of the Type Client has feature parity with the Macintosh version of the product and is compatible with both Microsoft Windows XP and Vista.
Download the Windows version of the Type Client from the Extensis website.
You may have all of your fonts well organized in Suitcase Fusion, but what happens when you see a font out in the wild that you don’t already own? You might be able to get close to identifying the correct font visually, but getting there can be difficult without a deep knowledge of typography.
To help you identify and purchase the right font, various foundries and individuals have created online applications where you can submit images, or pick out characters and glyphs that identify just the right font.
Years ago, MyFonts.com created What the Font? To use this tool, you submit an image in GIF, JPEG, TIFF, BMP format, and What the Font? responds with a list of likely candidates from the extensive MyFonts.com collection. Not a bad way to go.
Identifont allows you to submit a list of characters and then identify the font by each character. This can be a bit tricky if the word that you’re looking at doesn’t contain a decent set of characters, but it will definitely get you close. It’s best to choose characters that can have distinct variations, for example, you could try the lowercase characters a, t, g, and e to get started. If all that you have is a single word, enter the entire word and identify each character.
Identifont also allows you to identify a font by name. Though, my question is, if you already know the font’s name, why would you need to “identify” it?
If your font is a script typeface, Bowfin Printworks created an online guide that walks you though all of the characteristics of script faces, and will help you get close to identifying a font. Though, with the proliferation of one-off handwriting font from each person’s handwriting, this may become more and more difficult for certain script faces.
Have a real live human help you
If either of these tools fail to impress, there are some tasks where a human being is still the better choice. Try submitting your conundrum to an online forum of users. There are several online communities of very knowledgeable people who are willing to help. Just be sure to have done your homework and tried elsewhere first, or the experts may see your plea as a waste of time. Try any of the following:
- Typophile is a gathering place type experts. Users include some well known typeface creators, so if you’re having trouble identifing a font, this is a great place for some expert help.
- Ask the users fo the Adobe Typography usenet forum.
- About.com’s About Type and Fonts forum