4 Questions 4… Donald Partyka

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Donald Partyka is the Creative Director of the Latin American policy and culture journal Americas Quarterly, and teaches typography at City College. A graduate of RISD and Cooper Union, he has worked on numerous magazines, including American HeritageTime magazine, Poets & Writers, and Perspectiva, and he designed the monograph Typography, Referenced. Donald has taught graphic design and typography at Parson’s and Pratt, and lectured on typography at NYU. His art direction, typography, and graphic design have been recognized widely, and is featured in the book Typography Essentials by Ina Saltz. Thanks to Donald for participating in our mini-interview series 4 Questions 4!


1. How did you originally get interested in typography and design?

Drawing was my first love, and I thought I would be a fine artist, but I majored in Graphic Design because it seemed more practical. It wasn’t until my senior year at RISD that I fell in love with typography. I had to cram a lot of type requirements into that year because I had taken the previous year off to study abroad. It was like type boot camp. My teachers—Jan Baker, Doug Scott, the late Malcolm Grear—really opened up my eyes to good type and the history of typography.

2. What typography trends are you loving most these days?

I still love the renewed interest in hand-lettering. Especially lettering that doesn’t look vectorized. Also, reviving classic fonts and expanding them for open type. I was excited to see Monotype’s Gill Sans Nova and Joanna Nova. Although some beautiful stencil fonts have been recently designed, I’m getting a little tired of that trend. There’s also a lot of impressive type design being done in Latin America.

3. Which of your projects are you most proud of thus far in your career, and why?

The typeface I drew when I was a student at CooperType. I love Czech type, and my typeface is a revival of a specimen by Jaroslav Benda.


I’ve done a lot of magazine work that I’m proud of, but the typeface was a lot of hard work which took me out of my comfort zone as an editorial designer, so there was a great sense of accomplishment when I finished. I also take great pride in teaching, especially seeing how my students respond and then do their own terrific work.

4. Describe your dream project.


AQ0215_HYLAI’m used to working with constraints, and I do enjoy that. But any project that allows me to get into all the details of typesetting, from page numbers to footnotes, is always a joy. AQ0316_CULTURA_COVER

Often in magazines (and in design in general), you inherit systems and styles to work with. So when the opportunity comes to design from the ground up, it’s especially satisfying. I recently got to redesign the Latin American policy journal Americas Quarterly and its new supplement Cultura, and had a lot of fun picking out the new fonts: Espinosa Nova, Chaco, and Azote.

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In this installment of 4 Questions 4, we’re featuring Jackson Cavanaugh, a young freelance graphic designer, independent type designer, and the founder of OkayType, a type design studio in Chicago.

Jackson Cavanaugh

1. How did you get into the business of type design?

I started out as a graphic designer who really only cared about the type. Every project I worked on became totally focused on the typography. Sometimes I was able to convince my bosses to let me draw new letters. Eventually I decided to make a real typeface. It took three years to design Alright Sans, which immediately made me a full time type designer.

2. What fonts or type design trends are you loving these days? 

Graphic designers seem to be moving past the super-clean, corporate sans-serifs. You know trends have expired when the low end catches up with the high end, and everything looks the same. Instead, I’m seeing an increase in more interesting designs. Typefaces that are still able to put in a full days work, but are slightly off-kilter and interesting. Designers are looking for more expression and authenticity, and this is opening the door for some people doing really interesting (and great) work.

Some of my current favorites:

3. Which of your designs are you most proud of, and why?

I’d have to say Harriet. I think the design is pretty good, but mostly it is because I’m constantly amazed by the work being done with it. Websites, magazines, books, brands, just lots of good work. The second most rewarding thing to a type designer is seeing customers use a font really well. The first most rewarding thing is being able to pay rent.

4. Describe your dream project.  

It’s a little cheesy but I dream about working with my favorite hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings. They have a historic brand, one of the most timeless in sports. They’re also building a fancy new arena in a city making a big turnaround. I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to look at the typographic atmosphere surrounding that team. I actually have nightmares about going to a game at the arena and seeing all the signage set in a boring hockey cliche like Agency Gothic, or something lazy like Clarendon. Hey, Red Wings people, send me an email and let’s do something worthy of the team!

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There are number of common challenges all teams face when it comes to sharing and managing fonts. Suitcase TeamSync allows you to curate and distribute your font library automatically across your entire team.

This new cloud-based font server makes professional font management easy so you can focus your time and energy on doing great work.

An on demand version of our latest webcast introducing TeamSync is available to watch. Check it out:

International versions of this webcast will be hosted in September, join us on the time zone and language that are most convenient for you, or register to get the recording sent to your email:


England, U.K.:

  • Date: September 8th, 2016
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. BST – British Summer Time / British Daylight Time
  • Presented by: Chris Stevens
  • Register here.


  • Date: September 14th, 2016
  • Time: 2 p.m. CEST – Central European Summer Time
  • Presented by: Jean-Michel Laurent
  • Register here.


  • Date: September 15th, 2016
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. CEST – Central European Summer Time
  • Presented by: Torsten Koebel
  • Register here.


Hope you can join us!


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Michael Shavalier, Director of Creative Operations joins us on September 14th for a live webcast to share SANDOW’s font management success story.

During a recent interview Michael talked about the critical role font management plays at SANDOW, and how finding the right font management solution has helped him and his team improve their efficiency and productivity.

Join us live on Wednesday, September 14th, 10:00 a.m. Pacific; 1:00 p.m. Eastern, where he delves deeper and shares best practices he used from planning to implementation.

Michael will talk about

  • the importance of brand consistency and font license compliance
  • challenges that led to the need for a font management solution
  • the most critical components to SANDOW in a font management solution
  • learnings in preparing for and implementing a font manager
  • SANDOW’s continuing journey with font management

Michael will be available for a live Q&A session after the webcast. After the webcast a recording will be emailed to everyone that registers.

To register, please follow this link.

Hope you can join us!

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The next installment in our Font Founders series is Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813), an Italian type designer who is responsible for many of the typefaces we still use today. You may not think often about Bodoni, but he was looking ahead to you. As he said:

No other art is more justified than typography in looking ahead to future centuries; for the creations of typography benefit coming generations as much as present ones.



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Dir. of Creative Ops at SANDOW talks about font manager.


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 their own sets of fonts. This skyrocketed SANDOW’s font collection into the tens of thousands making the need for effective font management critical.

SANDOW recently joined the Extensis family. They were using a different font management solution, 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.

We sat down with Michael Shavalier, Director of Creative Operations at SANDOW to get a deeper look into his experiences with font management.


To hear more of Michael’s story live along with best practices he used to prepare and implement a font management solution, sign up for our webcast on Wednesday, September 14 at 10:00 AM Pacific / 1:00 PM Eastern.


Extensis: Can you tell us a little about your role as Director of Creative Operations?

Michael: When people ask that I tell them that I’m a former creative director, which evolved into a creative operations role. I don’t design too much anymore. In my life before SANDOW, I worked for the Village Voice’s corporate entity as their design director. I gained lot of experience there with managing art departments and production work flows across the country in 15 locations. So, I had some creative operations experience with setting things up for a lot of users, across remote locations, and adding governance and things like that.

As SANDOW evolved, they brought in a Chief Operating Officer that was looking at everything and trying to combine it into more of a universal workflow where we could gain greater efficiencies. My role at SANDOW naturally evolved as well from being involved strictly with the creative and design teams to where I now I report to our COO. I’m in charge of “creative operations,” but I have a lot of things that involve just straight up operations now.


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.

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”.

Designers and art directors are half of our font users with an understanding and familiarity with font management. The other half are editors, brand leads and such. Typically, the second group is where we’d find we had issues because they had the access to install fonts on their machine without the understanding that fonts are software requiring licenses to adhere to. For about eight years, it was pretty common for an advertiser to send in a font that somehow landed on one of our servers, and no one knew whether they could use it or not. It became time to think about licensing and the legal implications of using these fonts. Now, I can have a lead in each brand, usually a design director or art director, who manages the fonts for that brand by adding or taking them away. It’s allowed the non-design teams not to worry about fonts. They’re there for them.

We’ve done a couple of redesigns here in the last year. We made sure we bought enough font licenses for the brand. The nice thing is I could say, which I wasn’t able to before- when we had that redesign, the brand spent money on these expensive new fonts for their redesign purchasing the correct number of seats, and then was able to remove anyone else from being able to see or use them to maintain license compliance.


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. That’s including things people pulled offline from free font sites, or got on discs or from the different brands. If some designer was asked to put a cowboy style ad together and they grabbed a Giddyup, it ended up on our server, along with whatever else they grabbed at that time. Any designer here, could just get what they needed and move it somewhere because it wasn’t really locked down.

It was really causing a lot of havoc with the design teams, and it was also causing concerns about compliance.


Extensis: Why did you choose Universal Type Server as your font manager?

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.


Extensis: What are some of the features that are most critical for SANDOW?

Michael: We have a lot of remote editors in different parts of the country. A big feature for us is the ability to provide remote access to our Universal Type Server so editors can synchronize and manage fonts locally lessening the traffic load to our network. The Universal Type Client synchronizes with the Server automatically so an IT person doesn’t have to remotely access each system. This makes the process extremely efficient and saves hours of valuable IT resources.

Managing users in Universal Type Server is easy. With the way the admin console is set up, and by allowing us to tie it to Active Directory; it’s easy for our users to login with the same credentials they use for everything else. While I’m not doing full group mappings, because our security groups are a little different, using Active Directory does allow me to see any new users in the system, and to pull them through.

So more efficient access overall, and less taxing on our system, because we don’t have a bunch of people logging into the VPN to get their fonts.


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.


Extensis: Looking a bit into the future, what are your next steps?

Michael: The next phase is going to be adding additional groups and users that weren’t using the other font management software, they are literally using folders of fonts. Our goal is to get Universal Type Server Clients installed across all brands. I’ve actually already built out a system to support the new users.

I have a feeling the next part of the project will be doing a lot of licensing and auditing. Utilizing the reporting features in Universal Type Server will help us sort that all out.


Extensis: Any parting advice for someone who needs to solve their font management challenges?

Michael: I’d carve out time to set it up for success on both the technical level and the user adoption level. There may be pain points in figuring some things out but it can be simple. I think a lot of companies, if they thought they had to go all in at the beginning, it would be too daunting. I realized early on in the project, it doesn’t have to be all in at the beginning. It’s been an ongoing project.


Extensis: Michael, thank you for your time and sharing your story with us.


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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.

4 Questions 4… Roger Black

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Roger Black has been described as a titan in the design industry. Since 1972, he has been the chief art director or design consultant for publications all over the world, among them: Rolling Stone, New York, The New York Times, Newsweek, Esquire, The Los Angeles Times, MSNBC.com, Bloomberg.com, The Washington Post, Semana (Colombia), Panorama (Italy), The Straits Times (Singapore), Kompas (Indonesia), The Nation (Bangkok) Tages Anzeiger (Switzerland), Placar (Brazil), Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), and Scientific American. He’s been involved in many startups, some of which—like Outside, Fast Company, and Out—are continuing success stories. Currently, Roger is a director at Type Network a new firm that exclusively offers the typefaces of  leading digital type foundries, including Font Bureau, which Roger co-founded in 1989. A co-organizer of the Typographics conference, this year Roger is starting a new magazine about type, by the same name: Typographics. Thanks to Roger for being a part of our mini-interview series, 4 Questions 4!

1. How did you originally get interested in typography and design?

My dad, J. J. Black, was an architect. He taught me simple lettering when I was learning to read and write. He pointed out the simple proportions of Latin capitals, and explained the “two-story” lower-case a and g of the Renaissance. While grounded in history, my father was always an individualist, and he said that good designers should have their own styles.

2. What typography trends are you loving most these days?

The new interest in wood type is wonderful. I got excited by it when I was a teenager, and I love the combination of the big bold grots and fanciful barbed slabs with old-style metal type. That contrast was the spark of my own design style. Second, I am delighted that the digital tools have made it possible for individual designers to support their own foundries. We are just at the start of an amazing explosion of great type design. Luckily for us, there is exponential growth in the market for type.

3. Which of your projects are you most proud of, thus far in your career, and why?

Well, I’m still happy about the work I did at Rolling Stone 40 years ago. It made my reputation as a publication designer, and I learned a lot in four short years. My work is traditional in the sense that I try to exploit classical forms (including letterforms) in a new context. Much of my approach, however, is experimental, though it may not look that way. At Rolling Stone we had the luxury of failing. There were many pages that were complete disasters. But there are others that hold up, after all this time, and I’m sure we would never have reached those heights if we were afraid to try.


Sometimes I show people an old design and ask them what year they think it was done. I love it that they usually guess a date that’s decades later.

4. Describe your dream project.

It’s always the current project!

Right now I am helping to rethink the entire editorial, business, and design strategy of an established English-language news publication in Southeast Asia. I get to think as big as I can, and then assemble a team to push ideas into reality, both in digital form and in print. The publisher is based in one of the most exciting cities in the world, filled with beautiful people and fantastic food. This is of course a challenging time in the news business, and the work is not easy. But we’ll test, place some new designs in front of readers, and build on what works best. I think design is the main problem with reading on the web, and I bet we can offer some solutions. What could be better?

Of course when this is done, I get to move on to the next dream project.

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Gail Anderson is a designer, writer, and educator, partner at Anderson Newton design, and co-author of The Typography Idea Book, which comes out on August 23, 2016. Gail’s work has been included in the permanent collections of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, the Library of Congress, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Medal from AIGA, the 2009 Richard Gangel art direction award from the Society of Illustrators, and numerous other awards. Fun fact: the postage stamp Gail was commissioned to design for the USPS, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, sold over 50,000,000 copies, appeared on the evening news, and even became a Jeopardy clue! We’re thrilled that Gail joined us for our mini-interview series, 4 Questions 4.

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. I Ioved designing layouts with crude cutouts of Michael’s head from 16 and Spec magazines. I copied groovy Letraset fonts like Candice, and there were lots of hearts and stars involved, and words like “luv.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 11.03.43 AM

My sister and I had a “band” (quotes intentional), which we called the Stark Impressions, named after a page of caricatures by Bruce Stark that appeared in the New York Daily News.

What typography trends are you loving most these days?

Typography Idea Book

I’m actually enjoying the more stripped-down type designs I’m seeing right now. I’m growing a little tired of excess—though I still can’t stop myself when I’m working. But it’s nice to see others paring down. It’s my goal, though I’m not sure I can pull it off.

Which of your projects are you most proud of, at this point in your career, and why?

I’m most proud of the stamp I designed for the USPS commemorating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.


It is both the biggest and smallest thing I’ve ever done, and it has reached more people than I ever could have imagined.

Describe your dream project.

My dream project starts with: “And so we’re sending you to Italy for a few months…” Enough said.

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In a recent What’s New in Publishing article Jim Kidwell, Senior Product Marketing Manager from Extensis, takes a closer look on how typography is trending in today’s society and what it means for publishers.

What’s New in Publishing is a United Kingdom news portal focused on the Publishing industry and reports on innovative solutions; case studies and success stories relevant to publishers worldwide.

In Jim’s own words: “If you’ve been in business more than a few months, you’ve likely been building up quite a collection of fonts. Average solo design professionals have around 4,000 fonts in their collections, and the average business can easily have many multiples of that baseline number.”

Sounds familiar? In the full article Jim highlights how the increasing number of fonts launched to the market daily is increasing the number of challenges publishers and designers are facing with managing their font libraries… And, how to best deal with it!

Read the full article here: http://www.whatsnewinpublishing.co.uk/content/beyond-fad-typography-mainstream


Font Compliance In Publishing Best Practices Guide

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