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.
This year we had the pleasure of interviewing type designers, foundry founders, art directors, educators, calligraphers, graphic designers, hand-letterers, and more. Our 4 Questions 4 series showcased these ultimate typographical innovators and some of their stories. We asked each artist four questions, and they shared what led them to typography, which trends they were admiring, the projects in which they took the most pride, and their dream projects.
As 2016 draws to a close, we want to celebrate the project by thanking our 4 Questions 4 contributors, and sharing a few of their excellent responses.
1. How did you originally get interested in typography and design?
“I used to make little teen magazines as a kid – tiny folded spreads about the Jackson 5 and the Partridge Family.” – Gail Anderson
Many of our interviewees are like Anderson; they’ve been involved with art and typography since a young age. Going back through all of our 2016 interviews, we are inspired by the number of grandparents, teachers, and friends who encouraged our budding type-stars.
Roger Black’s dad was an architect. “While grounded in history,” Black said, “my father was an individualist, and he said that good designers should have their own styles.” Alejandro Lo Celso’s father and grandfather were architects, too, and his grandmother was a calligrapher. Of his early influences, he said: “it came naturally.” Even for those designers who did not necessarily have artistically inclined families, early exposures and positive encounters with art were important motivators. Dan Rhatigan recalled: “Although I thought I wanted to draw comic books when I was growing up, my time helping with my high school newspaper really exposed a much greater love for design and playing with type.”
2. What typography trends are you loving these days?
“Hand lettering…. We live in such a digital world nowadays that anything made with evidence of the human hand has become something special.” – Alexandra Snowdon
Many of our 4Q4 artists expressed a sentiment similar to Snowdon’s. The rise of hand lettering has been an exciting trend to follow, admire, and practice. Some of our interviewees explained it as a response to the internet boom; others cited improvements in web type and technology. “Web typography is no longer just trying to imitate print, but is developing into a culture of its own,” said Shoko Mugikura and Tim Ahrens. And Ludwig Übele rejoiced in aesthetic and functional typographic innovations. “The quality of use releases creative energies!” Übele exclaimed. Jackson Cavanaugh also acknowledged that graphic designers have been more committed to creative type. “Designers are looking for more expression and authenticity,” Cavanaugh said, “and this is opening the door for some people doing really interesting (and great) work.”
Our foundry founders and type makers chimed in as well. As a font creator, David Berlow considered his relationship with trends. “As a tool maker,” Berlow considered, “I love what I’m making for others to use, and when I let it go, I love the next one.” According to Berlow, trends are for those consuming his work to decide, while he moves on to the next creation. Alejandro Lo Celso summed up Berlow’s ideas saying, “A typeface you publish is like a daughter that leaves home and makes her own path. One day she comes back home with a boyfriend… and who knows if you’ll like him.”
3. Which of your projects are you most proud of thus far in your career, and why?
From window displays to experimental multicolored designs, our interviewees had ample projects to be proud of. The range of creations were impressive, and the reasons to consider them fondly were even more endearing. A few of our artists were proud of the project that most challenged them. Kyle Bean described a highlight of his career by saying: “It was an amazing experience, but also kind of terrifying.” Bean wasn’t alone in embracing fear to create an unforgettable product. Chank Diesel is most proud of his Liquorstore font, which was used on the cover of the Hunger Games and Zodiac Legacy books, “because it’s taken a long time to mature but it looks stronger than ever now.”
The struggle and the pride that comes with tackling a challenge were echoed throughout many interviews. Laura Worthington talked about Charcuterie, which she designed in 2013. “Very few collections were out at the time, and the concept of a collection was still very new,” Worthington said. She described Charcuterie’s launch as a huge risk, but one she continues to take pride in.
Artists are innovators, and innovation is driven not only by talent, but also by a willingness to take a risk, and step into the unknown.
4. Describe your dream project.
“Hi, it’s Costa Rica calling. Would you mind coming over for some weeks to design a new typeface for our tourist board? We have a beautiful apartment for you at the sea.” – Ludwig Übele
Our artists’ dreams ranged from redesigning the information system on Germany’s highway to working with the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. Other artists were nostalgic, dreaming of finishing the first typeface they ever designed. However, on the whole, most were either content in the present or eagerly looking forward to the future. Roger Black was especially enthused about his present work. “It’s always the current project!” he said proudly. Mark Simonson felt similarly saying, “I don’t think I have a ‘dream project.’ I’ve always tended to follow my interests wherever they might lead.” David Carson mentioned enjoying projects that give him creative freedom, or a new topic or audience, but he agreed that he’s done some of his “dream jobs” already. Our future-facing artists dreamed of working with large design-conscious brands and good-hearted non-profits alike; they were excited to produce work across a series of platforms, and to get into the details of typesetting.
Others dreamed of travel, guided by their passion for type. “My dream project starts with: ‘And so we’re sending you to Italy for a few months…’ Enough said.” We think so, too, Anderson.
We wish each of our 2016 interviewees good luck on their current projects, dream projects, and beyond. From those who felt “inside the dream” to the artists on the brink of the next best thing, we are grateful for your tenacity and creativity and look forward to all that you will accomplish in 2017!
Everyone in Information Technology has something to celebrate this month!
Extensis has joined forces with the International Association of Information Technology Association (IAITAM) to expand the IAITAM’s educational offerings.
To help kick off the partnership, Extensis is hosting a webinar about font compliance: “Fonts? You mean I have to worry about compliance there too?”.
Extensis will be providing training and educational content relating to font management and digital asset management to help IT Managers at the association develop effective solutions.
The IAITAM is a global organization that helps individuals and businesses in any aspect of IT Asset Management, Software Asset Management, Hardware Asset Management, and the lifecycle processes supporting IT Asset Management in organizations of every size and industry around the world.
To learn more about the IAITAM and Extensis’ Webinar, click here.