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+

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Got font management needs? We’ve got answers.

SF3-FontGenius-Bundle-LP-FGWant to learn more about all of the font management applications that we carry? Here’s your chance to see them in action.

Join us for a detailed webcast where we will go through how you can use FontGenius, FontDoctor, Suitcase Fusion and Suitcase TeamSync to help speed your workflow.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify unknown fonts
  • How to protect your fonts from corruption
  • Effective font organization, activation and usage efficiencies
  • Techniques for font sharing across multiple machines

If you register but can not attend, a recording will be emailed to you.

Register for the Webcast


Is Typekit a Font Manager?

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tkTypekit is a great service that Adobe provides for their creative cloud subscribers. It allows you to do two main things:

  1. Use a wide variety of fonts in the Typekit collection for text on websites
  2. Synchronize some of those fonts from Typekit for use with your desktop apps

Font managers like Suitcase Fusion and Universal Type Server are designed to manage your own collection of licensed fonts. They take your entire valuable collection of fonts and put them into a central location that is easily accessible by you and your team.

Typekit does not manage fonts that you have licensed or downloaded from locations other than Typekit.

There are spots where you may hear the term “font manager” in relation to Typekit. The Adobe documentation for Typekit does at times refer to the web tool that controls the download of fonts to your desktop as a “font manager.” This web tools only manages fonts in the sense that it pushes fonts from the Typekit database down to your machine, that is all.

When those Typekit fonts are available on your desktop, Suitcase Fusion and other professional font management tools automatically detect the downloaded fonts and make them available for use.

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Because the average designer has over 4,000 fonts in her collection, keeping all of those fonts available for use, while not necessarily active on the system is critical for speedy, error-free design work.

If you are interested in testing a professional font manager in your workflow, all Extensis font managers are available for use in free 30-day trials.


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As initially reported by TMZ, recording artist Cher has landed into some legal troubles for the type design used on the cover of her 2013 album Closer to the Truth.

Type designer Moshik Nadev created his work Paris Logo back in 2011 and claims that the design used on her album cover is a rip-off of his. They do seem to be quite similar, it’s pretty plain to see.

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Now, does this warrant a $5 million dollar lawsuit? That’s an interesting question.

While I’m not a lawyer, from what I understand, typefaces themselves can’t be copyrighted, but the software used to deliver then can.

So, did the person who drew Cher’s logo draw everything for themselves? Or did they take the “shortcut” and digitally copy Nadev’s work?

Most of us know that you can’t copy, share or rename a font file and sell it as your own. Maybe this type of use falls into a gray area. It depends upon how the final artwork was created.

Designers are apt to be inspired by each other, and have even been told to “stealat times.

Of course, I would not recommend that you pirate, steal or illegally download any creative work that you don’t have rights to use. As creative professionals, we do ourselves a disservice if we choose to ignore the right that others have to fair compensation for their creative work.

If you need help keeping your team on the legal straight and narrow when it comes to fonts, take a moment to check out Universal Type Server. It’s built from the ground up to help you manage font distribution and keep your team’s legal worries at bay.

Note: This story was also reported by The Daily Mail and International Business Times.


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Is your team frequently slowed down by font issues?

When used properly, a font server can help your team stay on task and productive.

Join me for a live demo and complete overview of Universal Type Server.

  • Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2016
  • Time: 11:00 a.m. Pacific; 2:00 p.m. Eastern

I will show you:

  • How Universal Type Server meets your team’s font management needs
  • How to install and configure Universal Type Server
  • How to manage users and fonts
  • How to track your team’s font licensing
  • Best strategies for font organization

Register for the webcast.


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suitcase-fusion-7-iconI recently gave a webcast about font management fundamentals. We had hundreds of people attend, and I got far more questions than I had time to answer during the webcast.

I got a variety of questions about Extensis font managers, and I thought that I’d take a minute to answer some of the specific questions that I got at this webcast that I didn’t have a chance to answer.

If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to enter them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them for you!

 

Do I need to separately install my fonts if I’m using a font manager?

The basic function of any font manager is the management of fonts outside of your system fonts folder (if it doesn’t do this, it isn’t a font manager). With Suitcase Fusion and other Extensis font managers, you only need to add your fonts to the product itself, and not mess with the system font locations.

A good font manager like Suitcase Fusion also allows you to deactivate or override fonts in your system folders, so you don’t even need to remove fonts that you’ve already placed in those locations if you don’t want to.

 

When are updates required and how do I get them?

The most important thing with software you use in your daily work is having it work consistently. Maintaining compatibility with your Operating System and associated professional design applications is critical. This is why we strive to keep our software compatible with the newest releases from Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and Quark. We will have compatibility releases for our current products typically within days or weeks of updates from our partners.

To check whether your software is compatible, check the Suitcase Fusion product compatibility page for details.

 

How does Suitcase Fusion interact with Adobe Typekit?

Adobe Typekit is integrated into your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. This subscription allows you to download, or “sync,” fonts to your desktop from Typekit. Once synced to your machine, these fonts are automatically activated and available to your other applications.

Suitcase Fusion automatically detects when you’ve synced new fonts to your machine and displays them in a separate font library. You can preview, sort and search on these fonts like any other in Suitcase Fusion. You are not able to disable Typekit fonts with Suitcase Fusion. They are active until you choose to “unsync” them using the Typekit online interface.

 

What plug-ins are available and are there plans for additional application support?

Suitcase Fusion currently supports the major design applications from Adobe and Quark. Basically, Suitcase supports Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, InCopy, After Effects and QuarkXPress. For details about which versions of these apps are supported, see the compatibility page.

We continually monitor which applications are in use in the professional design community and actively track requests for plug-in based font activation. If you have an application that you’d like to request this type of support, please feel free to enter it in the comments below.

 

Why do I need to login to use Suitcase Fusion?

For Suitcase Fusion, we’ve done away with serial numbers and in their place, we’ve tied your version of Suitcase Fusion to our servers. This allows you to take advantage of the TypeSync technology for syncing your fonts between machines using our cloud technology. You also no longer need to enter cumbersome numbers to validate that you own the product. It’s all just tied to your account.

 

Support questions

If you are seeing something in your application that isn’t functioning as you expect, please don’t hesitate to contact our technical support team. It’s free and they’ve seen it all. If you do run into something new and unexpected, we are also better able to identify and fix the issue in an future update.

Contact the Extensis support team by either calling them directly:

  • North America: 800-796-9798, Option 3
  • Outside North America: +44 (0) 1604-654-270

Or if you’d rather not wait, login to your account and fill out this form and the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Ready to upgrade?

If you’re running without a font manager, or with an out of date old one, maybe it’s time to upgrade? Check out the current version of Suitcase Fusion. It’s a worthy upgrade.


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extensis-adobe-creative-cloudToday Adobe released Adobe Creative Cloud 2017.

We understand that compatibility is important, and you want all of your creative tools to work well together. Here is the status of Extensis software compatibility.

 

Suitcase Fusion 7 & Suitcase TeamSync

We’re proud to announce the same-day release of Suitcase Fusion version 18.2 to coincide with the release of Adobe CC 2017. Our product teams have been working hard to nail same-day releases for Suitcase Fusion and TeamSync with these critical compatibility updates, so this is a great achievement for the team. This release includes all-new plug-ins that are compatible with Adobe Creative Cloud 2017.

If you already have Suitcase Fusion 7, you can use the Check for Updates feature to download the current version, or use the link below to download the installer separately.

Install Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 prior to installing the update and the compatible auto-activation plug-ins will automatically be installed. You may also use the Manage Plug-ins feature to install the plug-ins separately.

NOTE: only the current version of Suitcase Fusion has been updated. For complete compatibility information, see this page.

 

Universal Type Server

Version 6.1.2 includes compatibility for Adobe Creative Cloud 2017.

After updating to Adobe Creative Cloud 2017, download and run the current Universal Type Client installers below to install the new compatible plug-ins.

NOTE: If you install the Client update prior to Adobe CC 2017, you will need to re-run the Client installer after the CC update is completed.

NOTE: Only Universal Type Server 6 clients were updated for Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 compatibility. See the Client Compatibility page for details.

 


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sfioswithmainui-ss-en-large-940pxDid you ever wonder why you weren’t able to manage fonts on your iOS devices (Apple iPhone and iPad) like you can with your Mac or Windows machine?

We asked the same question and that’s why we built the brand new Suitcase Fusion application for Apple iOS.

This application is free on the iTunes store, and connects your Suitcase Fusion font library to your iOS device.

So, whether you’re designing with one of the fancy new mobile design applications from Adobe, building and presenting Keynote and PowerPoint files, or just want to use your quality font collection on your iPad, you’re good to go.

It’s easy to use your font collection on iOS. To get started:

  1. Install Suitcase Fusion onto your Mac or PC.
  2. Load your fonts and sync your font library using TypeSync. Choose File > TypeSync > Enable Library Syncing.
  3. Install the Suitcase Fusion iOS app on your mobile device.
  4. Use Suitcase Fusion for iOS to activate your fonts!

Get Suitcase Fusion 7 and then download the iOS app from the App Store today.


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Instant font collection? Why thank you Google.

We love Google Fonts. They provide a big collection of open source fonts available for any use.

We’ve built a dynamic connection from Suitcase Fusion 7 to Google Fonts. This connection automatically downloads all of the Google Fonts, and keeps them up to date as new ones are added. Pretty nifty, eh?

Want to make the connection yourself? It’s easy to do.

Download a free 30-day trial of Suitcase Fusion 7.


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windows-server-2016Microsoft is expected to announce the final release of Windows Server 2016 at the Ignite conference in Atlanta.

We understand that many IT Admins are keenly interested to take advantage of the benefits this new OS. Here is the current support of our server products:

 

Universal Type Server

Universal Type Server version 6.1.1 has been tested and is compatible with Windows Server 2016.

NOTE:  The Standard and Datacenter Editions of Windows Server 2016 are the supported versions. Nano and Server Core versions may work but haven’t been tested. Please contact Extensis Technical Support with issues

 

Portfolio 2016

Portfolio 2016 version 2.5.3 has been tested and is compatible with Windows Server 2016.

NOTE:  The Standard and Datacenter Editions of Windows Server 2016 are the supported versions. Nano and Server Core versions may work but haven’t been tested. Please contact Extensis Technical Support with issues

 

Questions?

Please let us know if you have any specific questions or concerns about running Extensis products on Windows Server 2016.

You can place a comment below, or contact our Technical Support team at www.extensis.com/support


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Avoid font copyright lawsuits

It seems easy. Just download a font and use it, right? Well, not necessarily.

It is easy to quickly download a font and utilize it without giving the process much thought, but that’s the problem. Forgetting or not understanding user license agreements or utilizing fonts incorrectly can lead to font copyright lawsuits. Many organizations are at risk due to font misuse, but your organization doesn’t have to be one of them.

Here’s how to reduce your chances of getting sued:

1. License fonts for their appropriate usage

Using desktop fonts as web fonts without purchasing a proper web license can place you at risk. Even using some open-source fonts for commercial projects without purchasing an appropriate license can get you in trouble.

Reduce the risk

Your organization can reduce the risk by implementing font management software that tracks usage and keeps everyone in sync, but it is crucial that a font purchase policy is implemented, reviewed, and followed. If everyone knows the policy, they are less likely to make risky purchasers or use fonts incorrectly.

Learn more about implementing a successful font purchase policy by downloading our free Server-Based Font Management Best Practices Guide.

2. Understand font EULAs

EULA stands for End User License Agreement. You agree to this when licensing a font, but do you understand it? Fonts are licensed entities just like any software. When you install most software, you get a window that displays the EULA that you must agree to that covers the software. EULA’s aren’t exactly the easiest things to read so many designers don’t read them thoroughly or don’t read them at all. EULAs vary by foundry and can vary based on types of use that you’ve selected during the process. Do you want to use the font on the web? In a logo? Embedded into a mobile application? All of these uses are likely to incur extra costs and there may be specific language regarding usage in the EULA that was overlooked.

Reduce the risk

According to Exensis’s Font Compliance Survey, close to 80% of designers don’t regularly read EULAs. So, spending time reading the fine print is the first step to understanding how you can utilize your font purchases. Unfortunately, even after reading EULAs, 78% of designers are still confused about the EULA terms. If anything in the EULA is not clear, contact the foundry for clarification.

3. Transfer fonts properly

Once you have gone through the proper purchasing and licensing process, you need to understand if and how fonts can be moved around your office. How many users can install the fonts? Can they be transferred to a printer for output? Can they be installed on a web server? Etc.

Reduce the risk

Fonts purchased for use in the office should stay at the office. Your team may feel the need to explore new fonts while at home for business use. That being said, your team should always get appropriate licensing for corporate use before any new fonts are brought into your office.

4. Create Comps with Licensed Fonts

Approximately 32% of designers surveyed admitted to “locating” a copy of a font online for use in the comping process. It’s understandable that designers may not want to purchase a font before it is selected by a client for use.  Some type foundries are offering new options for users to test fonts in comps prior to purchase, but this varies by foundry and technology.

Reduce the risk

Setup a thorough examination process before new fonts are brought into your team’s workflow. You must understand what you can and can’t do, and protect yourself by limiting the exposure of fonts use pre-licensing for comps. A thorough font purchase process and implementation of a font server can help save your bacon.

5. Do not assume your team knows your licensing policies

57% of those surveyed said that their employer didn’t have a clear policy for licensing fonts and integrating them into the workflow. This can and has led to font copyright lawsuits because designers can make assumptions.

Reduce the risk

Once you’ve got licensing under control, you need to track your purchases. This is where an effective font management strategy that includes a font server can help keep your licensed terms paired with the fonts themselves.

So, when you develop your internal policies, be sure that everyone on the creative team understands them and that you train new team members quickly.

Careful planning and communication can help keep you and your team safe. It just requires some time that can greatly reduce your risk of a font copyright lawsuit.

Server-Based Font Management Best Practices Guide

 

Want to get more information on font management strategies that can help keep your team safe? Download our free Server-Based Font Management Best Practices Guide.

You’ll learn:

  • How to organize fonts for your team’s workflow
  • Create a font licensing strategy
  • Assess your font needs
  • Avoid costly font copyright issues, and more.

Download your best practices guide today and get on the road to font management success.

 


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