For anyone on the receiving end of a very odd package from Extensis- no, that’s not a rat in that box. It’s a mullet. You know- some hair for your (styrofoam*) head.
Our friends in the press received these 2 pieces separately and this week we see the mullets are arriving because we’re getting a lot of commentary on them. 98% of people have enjoyed them (for those 2% who were more confused than entertained- sorry about that! We meant it all in good fun.)
Odd? absolutely. Entirely off the mark? well, not exactly. We’re leveraging the ‘business in the front, party in the back’ approach- but applying it to software. We affectionately call it the CreativeMullet. Some feedback:
- MacLife Magazine: We just received a few promo packages from Extensis. So I opened it. It’s a mullet wig. I’m not kidding.
- WFI posted: Just received Extensis’ “Creative Mullet” and am highly amused! http://twitter.com/wfi
- PCMag.com: Lance Ulanoff posted: Extensis sent me a mullet to promote Suitcase Fusion 3 + WebINK–I ain’t gonna wear it. http://yfrog.com/4b8jitj.
He then relented…” If enough of my followers ask, I will don the Extensis mullet and post a picture–and hate every moment of it.” Tell him to do it!
And one group was so enamored with the wig that they posted several pictures on their blog. So to the entire team at Digital Photographer Magazine (UK)– YOU LOOK BRILLIANT!
If you’d enjoy making fun of the Extensis team (never a real stretch) check out our Mulletude (on Flickr).
*FWIW- Unable to find ‘hat-able’ heads in anything other than this material, we have donated to a Carbon Offset program (through the Nature Conservancy) as a counter-balance. We don’t want to increase our footprint- quite the opposite.
UPDATE: Lance took the plunge and is sporting the new harido!
So… we did a quirky press mailing last week- and now we need your help.
Lance Ulanoff- a cool dude who runs the show at PCMag.com- received the mailing and said ‘Ain’t gonna do it’ (yes, it is a mullet wig).
But then he tweeted a change of heart.
So, we are launching the “Show Us Your Mullet’ campaign. C’mon Lance! We know you are just looking for an excuse…
Contact him here: http://twitter.com/LanceUlanoff (you’ll be glad you did
>Want to see more Mullets? check out the CreativeMullet stream on Flickr.
Thanks to all of you who joined us at the pre-funk party at Subo before An Event Apart in Minneapolis! It was great to see so many Extensis customers, fans and event attendees. We really enjoy these parties. They are a great chance to chat with people about web fonts, font management and the challenges of web design. Well, that, and it’s the perfect place to grab a good brew or two!
We were happy to have one of our Type Foundry partners at the party, typographer Mark Simonson. We used his typefaces Refrigerator Deluxe Heavy and Coquette Bold on our bamboo WebINK coasters.
Be sure to check out the full collection of Mark Simonson Studio fonts over on WebINK.
No, it is not the beginning of a cheesy 60′s horror flick—or some sort of take-off on the Godfather (though brilliant as that might have been). But it is curious why we at Extensis stuffed Styrofoam heads (the sort that don hats in stores) into the mail and sent them to our many friends in the press…
Looks like they are starting to arrive! Some early reaction:
“Okay I’ll bite, why did #Extensis send a Styrofoam head to me Designer Today Magazine offices?”
Extensis just sent me a polystyrene head in the post. Am I in some sort of typography version of The Godfather?”
“ You guys should get some pics of what journos have been putting those poor heads through. We’re very artistic, you know ”
As you can imagine, this is only half the story. The rest to be revealed later this week.
Got an entertaining guess?
What’s that saying about “All work and no play…”? Well, we kinda take that to heart around here at Extensis. We work really hard to create quality software, so occasionally it’s nice to get away from all of the meetings and late nights in front of the computer and do something fun as a group.
This past week we pulled together all of our Technical Support, Sales and Customer Service folks from all around the US and Europe for a bit of knowledge exchange in Portland. It’s great opportunity for us to share what we know, as well as build a little community.
Fortunately, our conference matched up nicely with another annual Extensis tradition, a group outing to the Oregon Brewers Festival.
This year our walk down the Willamette River to the Brew Fest was preceded by a little internal beer tasting contest. We were challenged to correctly identify seven beers by taste alone – and those light pilsners can be a challenging bunch! (I got 4 out of the 7 correct, which I consider a bit of a miracle.)
David, Doug and Jeff won this difficult challenge by correctly identifying 5 out of 7 beers.
Of course, after our difficult little beer challenge, as a group we went down to the beer festival to taste a few other unique beers from Oregon and beyond. No quizzes required. So, we raise our glass to you and yours with a hearty Cheers! Prost! and Salut!
Nick Shinn is a talented British emigre who has lived in Toronto, Canada since 1976. His typefaces are a fixture of the typographic scene, and include custom designs for the Toronto Globe & Mail and Maclean’s magazine, two of Canada’s best-known publications.
WebINK is this week adding fifty of Nick’s fonts, comprising seven families: Beaufort, Duffy Script, Figgins Sans, Paradigm, Pratt, Scotch Modern and Softmachine. Figgins Sans and Scotch Modern also come in “LCG” variants, standing for “Latin, Greek and Cyrillic,” which is a whole heck of a lot of language support.
One of the things that has long impressed me about Nick’s work is that it spans such a wide range from relatively traditional sans and serif text faces (most of the aforementioned) to trendy modern display work such as Softmachine. Plus, his stuff gets used for the coolest T-shirt slogans. So we’re all happy to have these additional great typefaces on board with WebINK!
Nick and I haven’t always agreed on everything. He hates the fact that companies like Adobe, Apple, Corel and Microsoft bundle so many good fonts with operating systems and applications, because he thinks it depresses the retail font licensing market. An argument can be made here that this bundling has the accused pernicious effect in two ways: first, supplying most non-professional users with enough fonts that they never need to buy any, and second, decreasing the perceived value of fonts by virtue of them being “free” with operating systems and applications. Having been responsible for such bundling at Adobe, I was once a representative of an “evil empire” from Nick’s POV.
I agree that these are real consequences of font bundling with applications. I just don’t see it as immoral, and I believe the negative effects on the type industry are counterbalanced by the benefits to the end users who end up with a bunch of good fonts. Of course, you can still debate whether this increases the variety of fonts in use (without the bundled fonts, people wouldn’t use as many) or decreases it (without the bundled fonts, people would license a wider variety of fonts).
The same issue has played out a bit differently in the Web space. There are a smaller number of the traditional “web safe fonts” (fonts not only bundled, but across operating systems) and no particularly good alternative until recently. So we’ve ended up with bland, homogeneous web design, at least from a typeface-choice perspective. That’s why I’m so glad to be part of the WebINK movement to change all that!
Oh, and me and Nick? Well, even if we disagreed about the morality of font bundling, we both love fonts and typography and want good things to happen. We kind of buried the hatchet five years ago today, when the two of us and Adam Twardoch collaborated on a half-day font dev workshop at TypeCon 2005 in New York, in which we taught attendees how to do cool things building contextual alternates into an OpenType script font, a la Bickham Script or Zapfino. And now we’re teaming up again on something else we can both agree on: a bigger variety of fonts one can use on web sites is a great thing for web designers and typography.
Some time later this week we’ll be putting several hundred new fonts live on our WebINK font service, so for the next few days I thought I’d highlight the new (to WebINK) type foundries whose fonts are being added.
One of the great things about working professionally in the type industry is some of the passionate and involved people you get to know and work with, and my friends and colleagues at P22 really exemplify this. P22 is the Buffalo, New York-based foundry of Richard Kegler and Carima el-Behairy, with VP and General Manager James “Jimy” Chambers. The International House of Fonts (IHOF) is a P22 brand under which they license fonts from a variety of third parties.
P22 started in 1994 as a follow-on to Richard’s Master’s thesis on Marcel Duchamp. Richard and company remain deeply immersed in typography and book arts, as evidenced by many things, from hosting TypeCon 2008 in Buffalo (which I sadly missed due to family medical issues), to founding the Western NY Book Arts Collaborative.
P22 and IHOF do a wide range of type styles, and create related artifacts using those typefaces. Below are a couple that I have at home:
P22′s London (Johnston) Underground mug
They bring their sense of fun and variety in display typefaces to WebINK. Many P22 designs are licensed from museums and foundations, being based on the lettering of famous artists or artisans, from Cezanne and Van Gogh to Frank Llloyd Wright (Eaglefeather) and Johnston’s work for the London Underground (P22 Underground, the first typeface I ever licensed from them personally, years ago). We are making over 140 P22 and IHOF fonts live this week in WebINK, including many of their best-known typefaces.
We’re throwing another cocktail party, and you’re invited!
This July, we’ll be hosting a party to kick off the web design conference An Event Apart. It’s a great conference where you can learn a ton about new CSS techniques, and gain inspiration for your creative work.
If you’re attending the conference, or are an Extensis customer in the Minneapolis area, we’d love to have you join us.
Sunday, July 25th
5:00 – 7:00 PM
89 South 10th Street
We will also be showing off our new web font service, WebINK, at the party. So if you’ve got a hankerin’ for something other than Helvetica on your website, come check it out!
Hope to see you there!
I’m proud to announce that today we officially entered Beta testing for our new WebINK web font service.
So, you ask, “What’s so cool about WebINK, and why should I check it out for myself?”
If you’ve got a website, WebINK will totally change the way you design for the web.
It’s been said that the Web is 95% Typography, and when you think about it, that’s entirely true. Every page you visit on the web, the primary page element that you’re going to see is text.
From the time that the web began, as a designer, you were restricted to the fonts that you could guarantee were on your reader’s machine. If you found a cool font, there was no way to ensure that your readers would also have it, so you were stuck.
Fortunately for all of us, web browser development continues to evolve, and is now mature enough to support the use of fonts on a server in your websites. Such a great change is a step in the right direction, is of course not without problems. Two of the main problems are:
- Ensuring that you have the proper font license to use the font on a web server.
- Delivering the correct font format for the particular browser and operating system.
Fortunately, WebINK solves each of these issues.
To ensure that you’re covered legally, we’ve partnered with many reputable type foundries to offer the best fonts available for use on your site. No need to purchase new font licenses every time you change the design of your sites, just update your font selections in WebINK.
And when it comes to delivering the right font, we’ve totally got you covered. To include fonts, all you do is integrate a snippet of CSS code into your site, and then treat WebINK fonts as you would any other font choice. WebINK takes care of delivering the right font to every user, without any input from you required.
Want to check out WebINK?
We’re happy to have you!
Universal Type Client
Today we released an updated version of the Universal Type Client for Mac that includes new auto-activation plug-ins for Adobe InDesign and Illustrator CS5. This is a free update for all Universal Type Server users.
We are also developing a Windows version of the Universal Type Client that will contain CS5 plug-ins, and plan to have an updated installer early this fall.
The current version of Suitcase Fusion 2 for Mac and Windows is compatible with Adobe CS5 products. You can activate and deactivate fonts and Suitcase Fusion 2 places fonts in Adobe CS5 application font lists.
We will be releasing new plug-ins for Adobe InDesign and Illustrator CS5 with Suitcase Fusion 3 later this summer.
New Photoshop plug-ins
As a special bonus, along with a number of great new features, Suitcase Fusion 3 will include entirely new plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop. The new plug-ins will feature the same reliable Font Sense technology for precise font auto-activation that you’ve come to expect from Extensis font management plug-ins.
Free Upgrade to Suitcase Fusion 3
Beginning July 1st, all purchases of Suitcase Fusion 2 will receive a free upgrade to Suitcase Fusion 3 when it’s released later this summer.
We continue to test Portfolio to be sure that files generated by CS5 applications are cataloged and converted appropriately.