About Jim Kidwell

As a writer, speaker and general software nerd, Jim Kidwell evangelizes the effective integration of fonts and digital asset management in creative workflows. Focusing on how effective management can affect all levels of an organization - from the legal, creative and branding standpoints - Jim has shared his unique perspective with audiences at SXSW, Future of Web Design, WebVisions and more. You can reach Jim on: Google+

Halloween creativity

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Halloween is a great time to flex the creativite muscle. For me, I’ve always been a fan of the concept costume. Some of the best ones that I’ve seen over the years include:

  • Cause-man – A friend once dressed in a black leotard covered with hundreds of twists of ribbon in every color.
  • I’m you – Another friend dressed in a full length dressing mirror around his neck, and would walk up to people and say, “I’m you.”
  • Broken record – I went to a party a few years ago covered with broken vinyl hanging from speaker wire. A good use of some ancient scratched records, and a good excuse to repeat everything that I said.

If you’re not a person who enjoys a costume party, you can always use your photoshop matte painting skills to turn a photo or your house into a spooky haunted house. I’m not sure if my 1950’s ranch would have quite the same effect, but I’m sure willing to try!

So, what’s your favorite costume? Is it a concept costume? Or perhaps you prefer a sexy costume over somthing scary?


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Occasionally, when we hit certain company milestones, such as a successful product launch, we like to celebrate with an all-company outing. Recently, we were able to do a little bit of celebrating at a local amusement park, Bullwinkles.

Though it was a very rainy day (yeah, it’s common here in Oregon) employees raced go-karts, got each other even wetter in the bumper boats, and tested their hand-eye coordination in the arcade.

John Kari & Paul

kickin Paul & Martin


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Today Quark announceda new tool that allows you to design Macromedia Flash-based websites using QuarkXPress.

For more information, visit the Quark website and read their press release.


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Creativepro.com editor John Berry recently published an interesting piece about using Expert Characters and Expert Sets from your OpenType fonts. Expert characters are additional characters that can be added to fonts for items such as ligatures, small caps, fractions and so forth. John does a good job of how to use these new Expert Characters in his workflow. Check it out.


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Today the UK magaizine Digit published an interesting article the details the steps required to bring a job to press. Fonts are an important part of the print process, and this article goes through the requirements that you should consider including font licensing and so forth.

To help you in the process of gathering fonts, Suitcase Fusion includes a Collect Fonts for Output tool, as well as the ability to drag selected fonts directly out onto the Desktop. Collected fonts are automatically separated into font families for ease of reference.

If you are a Font Reserve user, you can use the Font Sense plug-ins for QuarkXPress, InDesign and Illustrator to help collect fonts for output.


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Today Quark announed a new server product. It looks like this will allow distributed design teams to quickly collaborate and deliver creative projects to the printer. It will be interesting to see how this affects your creative workflow.

For more information, see the Quark site and also read their press release.


Quark updates QuarkXPress

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Quark released an update to QuarkXPress today. This release includes expanded language support, an updated licensing model, as well as various bug fixes.

For more information, see the Quark website and press release.


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Free update adds additional functionality and support for Mac and Windows versions of Portfolio 8.

Extensis, a division of Celartem Inc., today released free updates to Portfolio 8 — the leading Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution for creative professionals. The updates bring improved stability and performance, updated Raw camera support, added InDesign CS2 support, and a QuarkXPress 7 Drag-and-Drop support filter for Mac users. Registered owners of Portfolio 8 are eligible to receive the free upgrades immediately through the Extensis website at http://www.extensis.com/portfolio.

Portfolio 8.1 for Windows and Portfolio 8.1.1 for Mac both include the InDesign CS2 Filter for extracting embedded previews from Adobe InDesign CS2 files as well as the Raw Filter v3.1 update to include support for Canon EOS 30D. The Windows update also includes Raw camera support for Panasonic Lx1/Fz30 and Fuji s3 cameras. The Mac update includes support for QX-Drag-and-Drop XTension for QuarkXPress 7 as well as Intel-based Macs.

Some of the thousands of companies with multi-workgroup implementations of Portfolio Server include: Conair Corporation, Chicago White Sox, Young & Rubicam, Ducati Motors, REI, MTV Networks Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and Christian Aid.

About Portfolio
Portfolio 8 is the perfect software solution for marketing and creative workgroups–it streamlines workflows through efficient organization, viewing, routing, archiving and distribution of creative assets. A surprisingly affordable solution, Portfolio Server 8 ensures proper use of a brand’s creative assets across all internal and external teams, partners and vendors, while eliminating the guesswork involved in hunting down and tracking creative assets. Portfolio–trusted by IT; approved by creatives.

Individual creative professionals can also supercharge their workflow with Portfolio 8, the surprisingly affordable, easy-to-use desktop version is a top choice of graphic designers and photographers.

Pricing and Availability
Portfolio 8.1 Windows and Portfolio 8.1.1 Mac are immediately available via download from the Extensis website and is free of charge for registered Portfolio 8 users. Portfolio 8 for single-users is available for a suggested retail price of $199.95US for full product. Please visit http://www.extensis.com for information on client/server pricing.

French and German versions of the Portfolio update are also available now for download from the Extensis website. Japanese versions of the Portfolio update are available from http://www.extensis.co.jp.


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If you’re like me, you rely upon the predictabilty of the PDF file format for many of your publishing needs. Today, Adobe updated the Acrobat line of products.

For more information, see the Adobe website and the press release below.

Product Line Goes Beyond Simple PDF Creation and Frees Knowledge Workers to Communicate and Collaborate with Confidence

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sept. 18, 2006 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today introduced Adobe® Acrobat® 8 software to provide knowledge workers innovative tools for communicating and collaborating with confidence across the boundaries of operating systems, applications and firewalls. With Acrobat 8, business professionals can now more effectively engage with the rich, high-value information in PDF documents and forms, and more reliably and securely drive their work to completion leveraging the ubiquitous, free Adobe Reader® software.

Building on the decade-plus heritage of Adobe in the digital documents business, Acrobat 8 unveils a truly comprehensive set of capabilities for working with PDF documents within a sleek, modern user experience. The streamlined user interface enables first-time users and professionals alike to explore the power of Acrobat by easily surfacing the most valuable tasks. The ability to start common activities – such as combining, signing and protecting PDF files, interacting with PDF forms, reviewing and collaborating on documents, or launching a real-time web conference – is now as simple as a single click.

“Hundreds of millions of users of Acrobat and Adobe Reader have established PDF as a trusted format that enables documents to flow between companies and across the gap between digital and print,? said Tom Hale, senior vice president, Knowledge Worker Business Unit, Adobe. “With Acrobat 8, Adobe is enabling knowledge workers to use next generation electronic documents to easily collaborate with people, ideas and information, regardless of all-too-common operating system or platform constraints. With the addition of Acrobat Connect, they can take collaboration a step further to instantly and easily connect with each other in real-time over the web.?

For the first time, all of the Acrobat 8 products, as well as Adobe Reader 8, provide one-button access to Adobe® Acrobat® Connect™1 software, an easy-to-use, hosted software service that provides immediate access to a personal meeting room for real-time web conferencing (see separate press release issued today). Along with Acrobat Connect, Acrobat 8 further extends the family beyond simple PDF creation and now enables users to choose the most appropriate means for engaging others, through electronic documents or in real-time over the web.

Professionals in a wide variety of areas, such as architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), finance, IT, legal, marketing, manufacturing, and publishing can use the Acrobat product line to communicate and collaborate within the context of their work. Engineers can reliably share product designs up and down the supply chain in 2D or 3D; business analysts can easily collect and more securely route sensitive financial data; lawyers can circulate contracts for digital signature; architects can enable clients and contractors to review and markup blueprints and proposals; and creative professionals can efficiently publish to print with the highest fidelity and reliability (see separate press release issued today on Creative Suite® 2.3 software).

The Acrobat 8 product line introduces several major innovations in the areas of document collaboration, PDF content reuse, PDF forms, packaging of multiple documents, and controlling sensitive information. For example, shared reviews put collaboration within the reach of virtually anyone with access to a shared network folder and Adobe Reader2. A participant in a shared review can see comments posted by others, track the status of the review, and work even when not connected – reducing duplicated work and enabling large groups to collaborate more efficiently. Acrobat 8 also enables PDF content to be exported into popular formats to enable reuse and repurposing of content.

With Acrobat 8, any business or individual knowledge worker can take advantage of the power of PDF forms. Form field recognition automates the process of creating PDF forms from static PDF documents, and wizards help manage the distribution of forms and collection of data. Users of Acrobat 8 Professional or Acrobat 3D Version 8 can enable anyone with the free Adobe Reader2 to digitally sign and save PDF forms. Additionally, PDF packages allow for grouping disparate information into what appears like a single document, but preserves individual files and security settings for maximum flexibility. Comprehensive capabilities help control or permanently redact sensitive visible and hidden information in PDF files.

The Acrobat family consists of Acrobat 8 Professional, Acrobat 8 Standard, Acrobat 8 Elements, Acrobat 3D Version 8, Acrobat Connect, and Acrobat Connect Professional.


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Many years ago, Adobe introduced Elements to meet the needs of amature and consumer image editors. Today it releases the next evolution in the product line.

For more information, visit the Adobe website and see the press release below.

Adobe’s No. 1 Selling Consumer Photo Editing Software Offers Fun, Creative Possibilities for Consumers to Showcase and Share Photos in Engaging Ways

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sept. 12, 2006 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 5.0 software, a major upgrade to the No. 1 selling consumer photo editing software*. Available for Windows®, Photoshop Elements offers new and more flexible ways for consumers to organize files, edit images with ease and share photos in engaging and innovative ways. Adobe Photoshop Elements allows for quick, one-click fixes to photos with the option of exploring more sophisticated editing techniques.

*Source: The NPD Group (April 2002 to April 2006) based on units sold.

In addition, Adobe today announced Adobe Premiere® Elements 3.0 software, a complete home video editing solution (see separate press release). Also available together in a single retail package, Adobe Photoshop Elements plus Adobe Premiere Elements delivers unique integrated functionality that provides consumers with the ability to do more with their photos and home videos.

“Digital photography has changed the way people capture moments and memories and today’s digital cameras and even camera phones have the potential to deliver some extraordinary results,�? said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions Business Unit at Adobe. “Adobe Photoshop Elements gives customers the creative freedom to get more out of their digital camera, with the sophisticated and accessible editing features that the Photoshop name is famed for. The result is superior images that can be shared with family and friends in new, exciting, high impact ways – on the Web or in printed formats.�?

Showcase and Share Photos in Entertaining Ways

Photoshop Elements software makes it easy to share photos with themed and customizable layouts, multi-page document options for albums and scrapbooks and over 100 framing choices. With drag-and-drop simplicity, photos can be moved and resized within these flexible layouts. The new Map View allows consumers to drag photos to any location tied to an online satellite map to relive memories based on locations where photos were taken.

Adobe Photoshop Services are easily accessible from within the application and offer new and fun ways to share photos. An interactive Adobe Flash® based photo gallery service, called Adobe Photoshop Showcase, allows photos to be shared for free, or upgraded to an extended sharing service via a Web site. These online galleries can take the form of a virtual scrapbook with flipping pages, a winter scene with falling snow or a spinning photo carousel. Photos can easily be sent directly to CEIVA digital photo frames, shared via SmugMug online albums or turned into real postage at PhotoStamps.com (U.S. only). One-click printing also makes it simple to order Kodak prints and using Photoshop Elements new photo layout functionality makes creating and ordering photobooks a more personalized experience.

Experience Superior Editing

Innovative editing functions give consumers new ways to tackle common photo edits. The new black-and-white conversion tool adds a dramatic and elegant look to photos, instantly converting color originals to a variety of rich black-and-white photo styles with deep contrast. The new Adjust Color Curves controls allow consumers to achieve the perfect exposure for every image. Photoshop Elements also allows consumers to easily correct camera lens distortion.

Adobe Offers Complete Line of Products for Every Level

Adobe offers a complete family of Photoshop products that meet the needs of a diverse spectrum of digital photographers: the free Photoshop Album Starter Edition software for the novice digital camera user; Photoshop Elements for the digital photography enthusiast; and Photoshop CS2 software for the professional or the most demanding amateur photographer.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe’s digital imaging and digital video products will be available in October 2006 at www.adobe.com and other major electronics and online retailers including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Comp USA, Circuit City, Fry’s, Staples, and Office Depot. Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 for Windows is available for an estimated street price of US $99.99. Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Macintosh also is available for an estimated street price of US $89.99. Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 plus Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0 for Windows is available as a bundle in the United States and Canada at an estimated street price of US $149.99. Information about the other language versions, as well as pricing, upgrade, and support policies for other countries is available on www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/ . For more information, customers can call 1-800-492-3623.


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