January 31st, 2012 by Edward Smith
How files are named and organized into folders is an important part of managing assets whether or not you’re using DAM software.
Here are three articles from the DAM Learning Center about files and folders that can help anyone that’s responsible for organizing large collections of files:
For more digital asset management knowledge and inspiration head over to the DAM Learning Center.
So, you have a massive pile of disorganized fonts. Some of them are collected with InDesign files, others haphazardly thrown into a network folder, and more in the various font folders on your mac.
We recently talked about Data Deduplication on the blog, so you’ve probably decided to get your rear in gear and organize all of your fonts using a font management system (you have, haven’t you?).
By adding all of your fonts to the font manager, only a single copy of each font is kept, making it much easier to find the fonts that you’re looking for.
Yet, when you look back into Suitcase Fusion, you see that there are 5 different copies of Helvetica. Why would this happen? “I’ve gotta call support,” you think to yourself.
Wait! Put down the phone! There’s an important thing to understand about how Suitcase Fusion and Universal Type Server looks at fonts. When each font is added, it is scanned. This scan allows the software to determine if the font is corrupt, as well as measures a number of unique identifying characteristics of the font.
It’s the identifying characteristics of each font that are compiled together to create what’s known as a Font Sense ID. So, as long as two fonts have different Font Sense IDs, both will be kept in the font vault, this is even if the two fonts have the same PostScript name.
This is actually a benefit to your design and layout work. That this situation as an example. You use a font that has slightly modified kerning tables in it to layout a very long document – for instance, a book or annual report. The original font was modified without your knowledge, but your layout looks good so you don’t care. Now what happens the next time you open, modify or print the document if the original, unmodified font is used? The entire layout will change, potentially causing drastic repercussions. Text could flow off the page, the document could be inadvertently printed without the missing text. And what would happen if you bought a book and the final paragraph wasn’t included. Not a good scenario.
When using the font auto-activation plug-ins, Font Sense IDs are read and embedded into documents. So you can be sure that the next time you open up your document, the exact, precise font is used.
So, when you’re using Suitcase Fusion or the Universal Type Client, if you see what looks like multiple copies of a font in your font list, look for the Font Sense IDs. If they’re different, one of the many font metrics that are measured is unique for that font. So put down that phone and get back to it, we’ve got you covered.
Since the demise of Final Cut Server we’ve helped a number of companies make the switch to Portfolio Server and have helped the process by adding support for Apple’s ProRes video format as well as support for WMV. In Portfolio Server 10, you can instantly playback video and audio in both our Web Client and native Mac and Windows Desktop Clients. Video support in Portfolio has been further extended in NetMediaMAX, a media-processing module for Portfolio Server that allows for multi-threaded, video transcoding on-demand.
We’ve also enhanced our metadata support with the ability to embed XMP metadata to video files. If you need to migrate assets from an existing Final Cut Server, just point Portfolio Server to an existing Final Cut Server device for automatic cataloging and synchronization of media files.
To learn how video production agency 50 Kaliber Films easily made the switch, you can watch this webcast recording:
Finally, 2012 is the year of CHANGE!
Of course, we know we are guilty of some of these (I’ll let you be the judge) so, we’ve decided that it’s time to embark on a makeover. Truth is, we’ve been working on the research piece of this in the background for a while. So why not learn from our trial and error? Swallowing our pride, we are going to share throughout the process to help those of you who may also be considering taking the plunge.
And now, a reality check.
A Pep Talk
There is never a good time for a brand refresh. It’s a universal truth you just have to suck up. Sorry.
For us, we are always on the cusp of some new product launch or initiative that will hamper the process. That’s how it works. I suppose if you don’t have competing priorities that complicate it, then you’re likely missing something.
But, don’t let timing deter you from the big decision. There are obvious and compelling catalysts for a company rebrand: acquisition, technology shift, etc. And then there are less obvious, organic catalysts. (See list above)
The bottom line is this: Companies Evolve. You find yourself introducing products or services in response to market opportunities and one day you wake up and realize that the overarching brand in your head is not the one the outside world is experiencing. At least that’s our situation. Lets face it, if you are moving your business forward, you create the opportunity to ‘outgrow’ your current brand—and a refresh is in order.
What’s the desired outcome?
Smarty-pants marketers (and academics) will cite things like “increase shareholder value”, “capitalize on market trends”, “create buzz”, yada. I can’t subscribe to this. You increase shareholder value by fostering happy customers. If your effort doesn’t, in some direct way, touch your customers, then what value is it?
In my mind, brand is about connecting with your audience. It’s about how you, as an organization (of people), interact with the audience (people) and how they (people) feel about it. That’s it. Granted, there may be a hundred ways to impact this, but it really is that simple. And when you bring in new audiences, or narrow in on one market, you may need to noodle on how your company communicates. If you keep it simple, probability of success skyrockets.
Why agencies LOVE brand redesigns and marketing teams LOATHE them:
As an agency, a rebrand is a huge challenge that gets the juices flowing (it is also a large task which is good for your bottom line). It is quite exciting. No matter how invested you are however, you are never going to forever ’live’ within the brand you help define.* It doesn’t work that way. Some may regret this disconnect, others may relish it.
This is why marketing teams hate rebrands (no, you are not alone). They are thrilling, in a ‘stick-your-neck-out-and-subject-yourself-to-endless-lashings’ sort of way. Have a vision—on any given day you will need to defend your decisions. You have to commit (because you DO need to live within this brand). And above all, you have to be fiercely brave. Easy, right?
Well, I’ll let you know. We won’t be rolling out new materials for a while yet. They are coming soon, so until then, you can go through the process with us.
Next up: Why Extensis dove into the icy cold waters of a brand refresh
* If you do bring in a partner to assist in the process, choose wisely. Make sure they are as invested as is humanly possible. Fortunately, we’ve done just that. Shout-out to Blue Collar Agency and Owen Jones Partners.
Best Practices Webcast: Managing, distributing and tracking fonts to keep your team safe & productive
January 25th, 2012 by Jim Kidwell
Join me for this webcast next week where I will show you practical steps to keep your production workflow smooth & your font use legal.
- Thursday, February 2nd
- 11:00 AM PST, 2:00 PM EST
- Register for the webcast here
This webcast will help you learn:
- How fonts can pose legal risks
- How to analyze your team’s workflow
- How to protect your team from lawsuits
I hope that you will join me!
January 24th, 2012 by Jim Kidwell
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was not so long ago accused of taking on a task worthy of He Who Must Not Be Named: unlicensed font use. Well, it appears today that the Dark Lord has lost influence because NBC Universal and P22 Type Foundry have settled their lawsuit out of court.
The original lawsuit was pursuing $1.5 Million is damages, as well as the destruction of all materials created with the infringing font, Cezanne Regular. The items requested for destruction include hats, bags and t-shirts sold in the gift shops of the theme park.
Details of this type of settlement are not typically released to the public, so we won’t likely know where all of the wands and fonts landed.
If you’d like to keep yourself safe from the clutches of the Dark Lord, it’s best to first assess the your font collection and then provide only properly licensed fonts to your team. Universal Type Server can help you with this task. Contact us to learn more.
The duplication of files, fonts and other data can be a huge problem for any team. Not only does it fill up storage media, it also makes it incredibly more difficult to locate what you’re looking for.
If you’ve had a creative team for very long, you will inevitably start building up a collection of fonts. Some creative teams that have been around for decades have built up massive collections of tens of thousands of them. Now, if these fonts are just stored individually on a network drive or other location, it’s quite easy to build up a massive number of duplicate font files.
One of the benefits of implementing a top quality font manager is that fonts are all stored in a central location. In Universal Type Server and Suitcase Fusion, this location is called the “Font Vault.” Only a single unique copy of a font is allowed within the Vault, effectively deduplicating the data . This means that those twelve identical copies of Helvetica that are floating around your file server would effectively be cleaned up, and only a single clean copy would remain.
While many it is fairly easy to cleanup your collection on your own, our ICS team is called in to help some groups. Some of these groups have had massive collections with no real organization to speak of, and it’s not unheard of for a over 20,000 files to be whittled down to the essential 7,000 fonts for those teams. This streamlining was accomplished through data deduplication in the Font Vault, as well as removal of corrupt and outdated fonts.
If you would like to chat with our team about how effective font management and even our ICS team can help clean up your team’s mess, please contact us.
Extensis Portfolio NetPublish makes the right files available to the right people automatically. This video provides an overview of the NetPublish solution pack available for Portfolio Server.
Next Thursday evening (Jan 19), I’ll be at the Type Directors Club giving a talk about forensic typography: using fonts, typography and printing technology to detect forged documents, and a number of the cases I’ve been asked to investigate. Learn how stupid mistakes ruined perfectly good forged documents, from the NFL to the US Presidency!
It seems particularly apt to give this talk in New York City, as there have been two local “forged documents” cases in the news in just the past week, both involving staff at New York City high schools: an employee faking a death certificate to get a longer vacation, and another faking a jury duty letter.
Please come to my talk, from 6:30-8:30 pm on Thursday Jan 19. The Type Directors Club is at 347 W 36th St, New York, NY.
Also, here are some links about my past type detective activities:
- The Killian Memos on President Bush’s National Guard service (and a follow-up)
- Bob Hayes NF Hall of Fame letter forgery
January 11th, 2012 by Jim Kidwell
It happens more quickly than you think. Someone in your company downloads a font from the internet, uses it in a project, everyone likes it and it is quickly copied from one machine to the another.
What happens if the original font was:
- not licensed for corporate use
- purchased only for a single user
- not licensed for the intended target (web, digital media, etc.)
With any “rogue” font, your company (and even your clients) can potentially get into legal hot water.
It happens more frequently than you might think. Even Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign got caught in a font licensing related lawsuit.
You can prevent situations like this by locking down a user’s Fonts folders and only allowing approved fonts to be added.
Universal Type Server allows you to create System Font Policies of approved fonts for your users. After installing either the Universal Type Client or the Type Core Client on the user’s machine, only fonts that are approved by the Policy are able to be installed in the Fonts folder.
When a font that isn’t explicitly listed on the policy is added to the Fonts folders, it is automatically removed. Administrators can specify whether disallowed fonts are deleted immediately, or simply moved to the user’s desktop.
System font policies work on either Mac OS X or Windows PCs, with separate approved lists for each operating system. This way you can be sure to keep all of the required system fonts for each OS, while removing everything else.
As a server-based font manager, Universal Type Server automatically distributes your approved, legal font collection to your team, while seamlessly keeping rogue fonts out of your workflow.