David Berlow entered the type industry in 1978. As a co-founder (with Roger Black) of The Font Bureau, David has developed more than 300 new and revised type designs for The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and many companies. He is a member of the Type Directors Club, and of the Association Typographique International. We’re so glad he agreed to participate in an especially short but sweet installment of our mini-interview series, 4 Questions 4.
1. How did you get into the business of type design?
I graduated college as a commercial artist in 1977 with a bachelor of science in art from a school that only taught fine arts. I moved to NYC and looked for a job in advertising and magazines. That lifestyle didn’t seem to fit, but when offered a job “drawing letters” at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, that fit.
2. What fonts or type design trends are you loving these days?
All, and none. I’m not a picker. As a tool maker, I love what I’m making for others to use, and when I let it go, I love the next one. Loving the ones in the field (fonts), or what people do with them, (design trends), are for others to hash out while I look for the next ones.
3. Which of your designs are you most proud of, and why?
All… and none, following the last answer.
4. Describe your dream project.
Pride comes to my work when a user employs one of my fonts in the recommended range of sizes for that font, with other styles of that and other font families properly used for other sizes, weights, and widths, to form good typography. When the font is both apt for the purpose and adeptly used in reading, navigation or identity, I swell, quietly.
Want to learn more about the newest type trends? Download our Type Trends Survey Report and get in the know. You’ll learn the latest and greatest typographic trends that other creative professionals are using to design their masterpieces:
Last year, after we published this article, we learned that “finding the right cursive font” is a popular topic. So, we decided to publish this post again. Enjoy!
The Perfect Cursive for Your Perfect Project
Say you’ve got a project that calls for a font that’s elegant and fancy (wedding invitation, perhaps) but you can’t find any exciting, new options in your Microsoft Word library (apologies to overused workhorses like Brush Script and Monotype Corsiva).
No need to panic—as Agent Mulder might say, “The truth is out there.”
Pictured: Helvetica Neue Condensed Light, definitely NOT a cursive typeface. But I digress…
Cursive fonts (also known as script, calligraphy, or handwritten fonts) are readily available online for download. Here are some useful resources to help you find the right font for your design (and bolster your tired collection of Word options):
Kerry Hughes at Creative Bloq lists the 20 Best Free Cursive Fonts that are “free to use commercially, not just on personal projects.”
Pictured: Debby typeface, “works well for greeting cards” according to Hughes
Font Squirrel provides some Help Installing Fonts for Windows and Mac with instructions and video tutorials for desktop and web fonts.
Microsoft has some tips on how to Troubleshoot Font Problems in Microsoft Word and also created a quick and easy way to find out which fonts come installed with various Windows products that lets you sort by product or font name.
Nicole Martinez of eHow presents Common Cursive Fonts for Mac and PC.
Pictured: Edwardian Script, available on every version of Word
You might be interested in a previous blog post we did about how to choose the right cursive font that discusses the history of cursive fonts and why they’re so effective as a storytelling device.
Creative Bloq also did a comprehensive list of best places to find open source fonts that’s pretty useful but not specifically for Word so you might need to do some parsing.
Hopefully this helps you discover some exciting new typeface options for your special event. Or at the very least, gives you some alternatives to the ubiquitous options you see every day.
Happy hunting, type nerds! Enjoy your tour of the world’s finest pangrams, including my personal favorite, “Turgid saxophones blew over Mick’s jazzy quaff.”
Want to know more about cursive? Check out our post about vintage typography in classic automobiles.
For more information on the latest font trends, take a look at our Type Trends Survey Report:
Extensis Breakfast Donation Drive
How does free breakfast help our community?
Don’t they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Not only does food fuel inspiration, but it’s also great leverage to garner support for a good cause. Jennifer Grebil, Extensis Customer Service Supervisor, knows this better than anyone. She also knows how to prepare a mean breakfast and wanted to do something good for the local community. So, Jennifer and her team did what they do best (other than support our customers!) and cooked a breakfast feast for Extensis employees in exchange for a cash donation that benefited not one, but two charities:
Family Dogs New Life
FDNL is a no-kill dog shelter dedicated to saving dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds because, like their motto says, “…all dogs deserve a second chance.” They provide shelter for dogs that need it. They also offer adoption services for people interested in giving these animals a loving home.
Free Hot Soup
Junko Suzuki, Extensis Graphic Designer, and a few of her compassionate and generous friends started Free Hot Soup. This isn’t your typical non-profit organization, but simply a group of everyday people with a desire to help the homeless during this unusually cold winter. They use their own resources to make and deliver soup to the homeless population in Portland. Free Hot Soup also delivers blankets, coats, and gloves. Their slogan: “200% effort made for houseless folks.”
On Thursday morning, Extensis employees were lured into the lounge as soon as they stepped off the elevators by the scent of French toast and the sizzling sound of sausages on the griddle. The customer service team concocted quite a spread that included French toast, sausage (vegetarian as well), eggs, potatoes, all the fixings to make a breakfast burrito, and of course, OJ. All this was available to team Extensis in exchange for a donation of any size.
Extensis raised 800 dollars, which was split between both charities! The power of breakfast is real!
Here, at Extensis, we develop font management and digital asset management software and we have a blast doing it. To learn more about what we do and our company culture, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page.
April 6th, 2017 by Extensis
How did a global media & publishing firm save 30% in spend with a font management solution?
Font management plays a key role at SANDOW, a rapidly growing global publishing and media company with brands spanning design, luxury, fashion and beauty. SANDOW’s rapid growth not only brought an ever expanding list of brands, but with each brand came their own sets of fonts. This skyrocketed SANDOW’s font collection into the tens of thousands making the need for effective font management critical.
We sat down with Michael Shavalier, Director of Creative Operations at SANDOW and asked him a few questions about his font management challenges and how they were resolved.
Extensis: Why are fonts and managing them so important to SANDOW?
Michael: Being a publishing and media company with magazines and websites that span the globe, fonts are a key component to our business. Brand consistency and license compliance are at the top of the list where fonts are concerned.
Each brand has its own fonts, which they should be able to manage. Even though the brands are well separated, there’s a lot of synergy and cross-pollination between brands. There are separate design groups, but at the same time there is some overlap.
Michael: One of the biggest problems our designers had is when they were asked to do something across brands. They had to load the other brand’s version of the font, and may have conflicted with other fonts on their system. Sometimes they had to spend a good deal of time trying to work through the glitches of having font conflicts which wasn’t productive or efficient. Now, with a centralized system that manages our fonts, we’re able to identify the font right away and make sure everyone is using the same version. It’s one less thing for everyone to manage. We now know across all brands which font is needed, where it is, or where it should come from and if we’ve got enough licenses. I don’t see many emails anymore saying “this brand is using this weird font, and I don’t know where to get it from”.
Extensis: What were the biggest challenges that lead you to implement a font manager?
Michael: As the company grew and became a little more corporate – taking on more and more smaller companies and brands – we had to integrate everyone. One of the problems we realized pretty quickly is, like so many startup companies, we had buckets of fonts. They were either on servers or people’s desktops, or you’d find 15 copies of the same font, or 30 copies of Helvetica but they weren’t the same. I’d venture to say we had tens of thousands of fonts.
It was really causing a lot of havoc with the design teams, and it was also causing concerns about compliance.
SANDOW already had a different font management solution in place, but when they experienced limitations in their ability to manage groups effectively, instability with other key applications and technical support that was non-existent, they made the switch to Universal Type Server. Since making the switch, they have experienced 10,000 fewer fonts, a reduction in IT Requests by almost 60%, and a 30% reduction in spend.
Extensis: Where are you today with fully implementing font management at SANDOW?
Michael: Our first phase was basically to replace the other font manager for every user that was on it. We’re replacing it all now and we’re pretty close to being done. That would be at least three of our main brand groups.
Michael: The font manager we had been using previously fell short in critical areas, in particular control in setting up users and groups, serving out fonts to them and in addition lack of technical support. Universal Type Server has given us the control we need and has excellent technical support.
For more on font management best practices, download our font management best practices guide.
Believe it or not, there are quite a few Helvetica font alternatives you can use.
A few years ago, we published an article to help designers and typography enthusiasts explore alternatives to Helvetica. The article was a hit! So, we decided it would be beneficial to publish the article again for your reading enjoyment.
Love it or hate it, Helvetica remains one of the most popular, ubiquitous, and enduring fonts of all time. It’s featured in countless corporate logos, remains the go-to choice to convey a certain hipster, ironically neutral aesthetic (American Apparel comes to mind), and is even the subject of its own documentary.
What happens when Rights Management & DAM join forces?
First of all, what is Rights Management?
Well, Rights Management is a method organizations use to ensure proper usage of licensed content. For instance, an ad campaign has a plethora of moving parts that need to be managed. From images to music and everything in between, each element can have contractual usage rights based on geography, layout, timeframe, etc. Having to navigate through complex contracts and legal documents to track down content rights for all of those parts can create a bottleneck in the creative process – sometimes bringing the whole process to a costly standstill. Rights Management software removes this bottleneck; saving time and cost.
What is the connection between Digital Asset Management and Rights Management?
If we know that Digital Asset Management gives organizations the capability to categorize, securely share, and organize assets so they can be used efficiently, then we can see how Rights Management provides critical rights clearance information to users so they know what assets they can and can’t use. The marriage between digital asset management and rights management allows organizations to be more effective in managing their content while reducing the risk of violating copyright regulations.
FADEL© ARC meets Extensis Portfolio and Voila!
Coming this summer, the FADEL ARC Connector for Extensis Portfolio will directly align DAM with Rights Management, so users can quickly see and understand the usage rights their assets have. This allows marketing teams and agencies to deliver rapid-fire campaigns without the risk of exposing their organization to litigation due to using unapproved assets.
“As organizations’ digital asset libraries grow exponentially, we are committed to introducing new innovations that enable our clients to more effectively manage their content,” said Toby Martin, Vice President of Development & Strategy at Extensis. “The need for rights management has never been greater.”
FADEL recently spoke at the Extensis Font Management and Digital Asset Management event in New York City.
To listen to their presentation and other partners who spoke at the event, please visit our Future Tech for Creative Teams resource page.
To learn more about how Digital Asset Management software can streamline your organization’s workflow by categorizing, securely sharing, and archiving content, download our free Digital Asset Management Best Practices Guide.
1. How did you get into the business of type design?
I got interested in the idea of type design when I was studying graphic design at college in the mid-seventies. My first fonts were published by FontHaus in the mid-nineties. But I wasn’t really “in the type design business” until the early 2000s, when I started selling fonts on the web. I had quit a full-time position as a graphic designer in 2000 to go into business for myself, hoping to get freelance work doing design, illustration, lettering, and type design. I did do a bit of each of those at first, but my fonts started selling well enough that by 2005 I dropped all other work except type design.
2. What fonts or type design trends are you loving these days?
I was rather dismayed by the grunge and deconstructionist type design of the nineties. It went against everything I knew about design. I didn’t really get it, and I definitely couldn’t do it without pretense. It seemed very reactionary and anti-design. So the trend I’m happiest about is the return to well-designed, well-made fonts.
3. Which of your designs are you most proud of, and why?
Probably Proxima Nova, just because it has become so popular. You always hope when you design a typeface that it will catch on with designers, but you don’t seriously expect it to happen. I feel incredibly lucky.
4. What’s your dream project?
I don’t think I have a “dream project.” I’ve always tended to follow my interests wherever they might lead, without necessarily working toward some big goal. And I have a lot of different interests, mainly in the arts—cartooning, animation, filmmaking, music, graphic design, writing, type design. It’s not really the best strategy. You end up being kind of a dabbler, not really doing anything significant in any particular area. Better to focus on one thing and stick to it if you want to be successful. But somehow type design got traction for me. It wasn’t my only dream job, but, realistically, you’re lucky to get even one of those in life.
Learn more about Mark Simonson and check out his fonts at www.marksimonson.com.
Want to learn more from other font experts? Check out our interview with Kyle Bean, a London-based artist who creates one-of-a-kind designs, distinct illustrations, and playful, concept-driven imagery for a variety of editorial and commercial projects.
What’s hot and what’s not in the font world? Find out by downloading our Type Trends Report. We surveyed thousands of graphic designers, art directors, and creative people from around the globe and combined their thoughts in our most recent report.
Polish your brand management and your image will shine
As a creative professional, you know how important image can be. Whether you are a designer, illustrator, writer, developer, photographer, project manager, or a member of an account team—helping elevate the identity of your clients is a daily task. But have you taken a step back and thought about your own brand management? As a busy professional, developing your own brand often gets pushed aside. But polishing your professional identity could be the difference in progressing your career or gaining a new client.
In this post let’s dive into the art of self-promotion and brand management. I’ll explore some tips about branding for creatives and pose questions to get the ball rolling in your professional development.
Collections Management Standard & Digital Asset Management Go Hand in Hand
Many in the museum and/or heritage and culture industries are familiar with SPECTRUM©; the standard for collections management procedures in the UK. SPECTRUM, developed by The Collections Trust, helps museums ensure that all related metadata is tagged appropriately.
What do Digital Asset Management and SPECTRUM have in common?
SPECTRUM Digital Asset Management custom catalogue templates (built right into Extensis Portfolio software) and automated keywords can help Heritage and Culture organisations save time and improve efficiencies by recognizing assets and making sure they are tagged correctly.
SPECTRUM 5.0 is scheduled to be released in May 2017. What does this mean for you?
We’ve teamed up with The Collections Trust to reveal new 5.0 features during an upcoming webcast. Sarah Brown, The Collections Trust Outreach Officer, will highlight what’s new in the SPECTRUM latest release. Chris Stevens, Extensis Sales Engineer, will focus on the smart keywords module, tagging metadata automatically, API, and how museums (and other H&C organisations) can connect Portfolio to their Collections Management Systems through the use of the API.
Join us! On Friday the 24th of February, 11:00 am GMT, Extensis will be hosting a joint webcast that will showcase new SPECTRUM 5.0 features and Digital Asset Management.
New Year’s tends to bring a few traditions you can always count on. Champagne, Auld Lang Syne—and the inevitable yearly predictions listicles. With 2017 around the corner, we’ve been anticipating these predictions and considering how to categorize and quantify what we’ve seen in the world of typography. Our conclusion for the year: track the technology and you’ll find the trends.
There are an estimated 2 billion smartphone users in the world, and the average American spends anywhere from 5 to 11 hours per day using electronic media. Unsurprisingly, typography trends have been influenced by the challenge to increase readability, aesthetic desirability, and language-accessibility across multiple media platforms. Most people in the U.S., for example, are not only using a laptop or smartphone, but a combination of many gadgets that have access to the ever-growing Internet.
Generally speaking, predictions articles fall into one of two categories: aesthetic trends and industry or functionality trends. We’ve seen technology heavily influence both. Here are five trends that we found particularly exciting to watch this year:
1. Custom Fonts
Custom fonts were a hit this year, as tech giants created custom typefaces for their latest devices. Readability was widely debated among techies, artists, and internet-users alike. Amazon created a typeface called Bookerly to decrease eyestrain for Kindle readers. Google launched Product Sans and Apple created the typeface San Francisco for the Apple Watch. Meanwhile, new tools like Prototypo and FontArk were introduced to help typographers create custom typefaces to meet the marketing, branding, and creative needs of clients who want to keep up technologically and aesthetically with these tech giants.
2. Responsive Typography
Another trend driven by increased consumer demand for readability and accessibility, responsive typography went mainstream this year—and with good reason. Not only are we spending more time online, we are doing so across numerous platforms, often simultaneously. Anyone looking to brand, market, or share anything on the Internet is now hard-pressed to ensure that their reader can do so on their desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any other tool they may be using to access information. Responsive typography has made major strides in solving for this issue, and has become more accessible to designers who must get their message across to large and diverse audiences.
3. Personable Font Selections: Watercolor, Handwriting, Script, Grunge, and Caps
So readability and accessibility are essential. But typography is still an expressive art form. Typographers have been tasked with utilizing technology to enhance the practicality of their art, while creating work that is inventive, fresh, and beautiful. 2016 saw an increased use of watercolor, script, retro fonts, grunge, hand-lettering, and titles in all caps.
Most of these trends touch on how we are consuming—and, perhaps, feeling—about the greater technological advances. As we’ve spent more time on our phones and computers, and less time with older, more traditional types and texts, a sense of nostalgia seems to have grown. Some artists have been making their mark with handmade lettering, while others have paid tribute to the bright, whimsical signs and symbols of the pre-internet-boom 80s. In a time when many of us threaten to spend increasingly more time with machines than with one another, it seems that we’ve wanted to humanize our online text and media.
4. Innovative Fonts & Accessibility
The public response to the hand-lettering craze has been significant enough to push many designers to digitize their work. These lettering trends coupled with new font technology and availability has brought the “font game” to a new level. From small foundries to larger corporations, a number of new and exciting fonts were released this year.
Even more thrilling, artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs were busy inventing and innovating in ways that were both cross-cultural and multi-lingual. A large Norwegian study was conducted on readability for the visually impaired; Comicraft artists took on the ambitious project of inventing hand-lettered fonts in Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese. And two Guinean brothers hit the ground running and invented a script that would make their native language available on every smartphone. As font accessibility grows, we expect this trend in font innovation to continue.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft teamed up and launched variable fonts this September. The gathering of these tech giants marks the beginning of a new age in typography. Instead of downloading separate files for every font style and width, variable fonts allow developers to place everything in one, highly optimized file. We are eager to see how and when this trend will grow, and whether it will go mainstream in 2017.
Because that, after all, is the question of the hour: What will happen in 2017? What do we anticipate? What will take us by surprise? What trends are you seeing? What have we missed? Where will the technology and our typography take us next? Let us know! And—
Happy New Year from all of us at Extensis.
Want to learn more about type trends? Check out Getting Free Fonts From Google Fonts.