Name that font contest

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Think that you’ve got the chops to name a font from a single glyph? Every month Design Edge offers up just that challenge to one and all with their contest. Fortunately, they give you a glyph that is typically very unique to each typeface, the ‘g’.

Last month’s typeface was Berthold Baskerville.

What do you think this month’s is?

And can you identify it without using What the Font?

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Some people resist change.

We’re not those guys.

In June we launched Universal Type Server- built from the ground up: all new architecture, all new open source technology, all new UI. Now we’ve taken that same backend technology to the desktop. What you get is a better, faster, funner (?) Suitcase Fusion. Think of the first time you saw a 3D movie. It’s still a movie- but a totally different experience at the same time.

The new back-end means this is not just your average upgrade with some new features. The SQL-database makes it very stable with (much) faster searching, browsing and activation. In addition, a new component- the “core”- is always running in the background- ensuring consistent font management even if you don’t launch the UI. This saves you a LOT of system resources.

Plus, it was built specifically for Leopard and as a result can take advantage of all the whiz-bang capabilities of Leopard: smoother display and high-quality rendering makes the previews truly awesome.

The all-new auto-activation plug-ins are the stars of the production. These are completely re-built as well. Yes, they still leverage FontSense for precise matching and yes, they will auto-activate fonts in linked and embedded objects. But they now also communicate with the core meaning you are have 24/7 activation AND deactivation (why would you not put away your toys to keep the room available for others?).

Suitcase Fusion 2 is planned to ship with the following auto-activation plug-ins:

  • Illustrator and InDesign for Adobe CS3 (and beyond)
  • QuarkXPress 7 and 8

There’s a lot more- this does not even touch the new UI and whizzy features. So I’ll save that for the next post.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open for the ‘preview’.

Suitcase Fusion 2 premieres Fall 2008.

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Thinking about taking Universal Type Server for a test drive? Don’t like reading product documentation? We’ve just made taking a test drive a bit easier. Product Marketing Manager, Cindy Valladares has created a number of short installation videos for you to see just how easy it can be to get up and running with Type Server.

Of course, if you want to download these videos and watch them on your computer later, click through to Viddler and download each video individually. For the highest quality viewing, check them out over on the Extensis website.

This first video covers how to install the server portion of the Universal Type Server font management solution:

Here’s how you create users and workgroups at the server level:

And now on to installing the Universal Type Client on user machines:

And finally, adding fonts to the server so that they can be to your entire workgroup:

Design Goes Mainstream

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I saw a post over at the How Design Blog which asked a question I don’t feel qualified to answer, but I think is a valid question: Is it me, or is there a lot of design humor floating around the interwebs these days?*

I don’t feel qualified because between all my non-work time spent online and the work time I spend looking at design blogs I think I see a lot more design related bits on the Web than most people do. So if you are someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time prowling design blogs for cool things, are you seeing more of them online?

I think I’ve seen more offline as well, there’s that commercial where the woman pulls a faucet out of her bag and says “design a house around this”, that Font Conference video I saw everywhere, and the attention Obama’s campaign font got, not to mention the blog I linked to is the blog for a documentary about a FONT and it got a fair amount of attention on release (not just from us).

Are people really becoming more aware of design and how it affects them? I know I am but I know part of it is from talking to designers a lot and going to conferences where I am surrounded by creative people. Is it really something to take notice of, or is it just that the circle of design-y folks is really that big?

*That post linked to a video that I embedded below. It made me chuckle. Enjoy.

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Extensis Sales Engineer, Chris Stevens shows off one of his favorite new features in Universal Type Server – the ability to create a set of all of the fonts in your document from the design application.

The Universal Type Server auto-activation plug-ins place a “Make Document Set” command in the menus of Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and QuarkXPress that allows users to create a set of fonts without ever opening up the Universal Type Client.

Download a demo of Universal Type Server from the Extensis website.

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Want to know more about how our single-user font manager, Suitcase Fusion works? Well, we’ve created a series of videos that show you many of the cool features. Graphic arts consultant Chuck Weger clearly explains the basic functionality of Suitcase Fusion, and reveals some of the best features.

I’ve uploaded the tutorial videos to two of the most common video sharing sites, YouTube and Viddler. If you want to step through each segment of the tutorial, I recommend playing the YouTube playlist below. If you’d rather download the entire video and play it back when you’re not connected to the internet, you can do so from Viddler.

Here’s the complete, uncut video in it’s full glory. Viddler also has better video quality than YouTube. Click through to Viddler for the download link.

Feel free to download and embed these videos into your own blog.

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Wednesday we announced that Universal Type Server is now available for order on our site. The product will be released and ready for download in the coming week, but if you’re chomping at the bit to know what’s inside, we’ve created a series of videos.

The first video shows the Universal Type Client. This is where you add, remove, activate and manage your fonts.

The second video shows the first of two server administration interfaces. Both of which are accessed using a web browser. The first allows you to perform low-level server functions, such as backup and restore, port configuration and starting and stopping the server.

The final video shows the the other server administration web interface. This interface allows you to quickly add and configure users and workgroups. It’s here where you import users and configure how each user can utilize the system through permissions and settings. To help speed up the process you can configure roles that allow you to apply settings to many users at once.

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Universal Type Server font managment software for workgroups

Are you looking for a good solution for the font mess in your office? Are ascenders and descenders getting stuck in your sweater? Have your valued fonts been piling up in the corners, making it impossible for you and your co-workers to ever find and use the same font with the same document? Well, it just so happens that we make some fine client/server font managers that can help you clean up that mess.

Today we announced that our newest client/server font manager, Universal Type Server™, is now available for orders. If you’re looking for a font manager for your organization, take a moment to check out the Extensis website to see what Type Server has to offer. The client has a spiffy new interface, and the server is administered entirely through the web using a browser – quite handy for remote administration.

In addition to all of the info on our site, to help you understand how Universal Type Server works, we’ve created a number videos and posted them on YouTube, Viddler as well as the Extensis website.

As always, if you’ve got any questions, you can post a comment here, call our sales team, shoot us an email, stand on the street and yodel at our windows, etc.

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Fabregue printer in France tests Extensis Universal Type Server

In my last post I mentioned that we are in beta and humming along. Now that many people are using the product, seems like a good time to share some preliminary feedback.

The feedback below is from Fabregue one of the biggest printers in France with almost $100 million in revenue and over 100 years of experience. We asked their head of technical operations, Jérôme Guillement, for his first impressions.

“My first impression of Universal Type Server was during the preview at Intergraphic. I was very enthusiastic and at that point was eager to get involved in the beta…I could tell it would enable me to dramatically simplify the management of our workstations. Moreover, the design (UI, icons and web interface) completely broke with what I knew of Extensis up to now. That indicated a major shift, not just a minor update.

“The beta has outstanding stability- as good or better than some final software products…end-user feedback has been very positive: ease of use, user-friendliness, interface… they are aware of having taken a big step forward. Feedback from administrators is similar: web interface for administration is accessible from anywhere and is beautiful, simple and clear; the ability to manage users, groups and rights is much more flexible and complete.”

I promise to share more feedback soon.

*Many thanks to Jérôme for taking the time to share his feedback, and to Jean-Michel, our country manager in France, for passing it along.

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Type Server reflectionIn the upcoming weeks and months we will be hosting a number of font management seminars in the UK. Organized in conjunction with some of our top UK dealers, these seminars will cover how to take control of your fonts, as well as how server-based font management can help ease the challenges of font management in your business.

In addition, we will be previewing the upcoming release of Universal Type Server, so if you want to get an up close and personal look at the newest technology, plan to attend a seminar near you.

To sign up to attend a seminar, please select an event closest to you from the Events page of our website. You can choose from any of the following dates and locations.

  • 15th April 2008: London
  • 17th April 2008: Manchester
  • 24th April 2008: Brighton
  • 29th April 2008: Bristol
  • 13th May 2008: Nottingham
  • 15th May 2008: London
  • 5th June 2008: Edinburgh

Hope that you’ll be able to attend a seminar!

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