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Not Our First Food & Type Rodeo

We love whisky (and whiskey), and we love typography. So when we stumbled across the breathtaking illustrations of Ballantine’s 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky tasting notes by Scotland-based designer and illustrator Steven Bonner, we poured ourselves one, and typed up a list of burning questions for this food and type creative.

Whisky Reimagined with Steven Bonner

Clementine and Oak; Ballatine’s Scotch Whisky

 

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Question: What happens when you mix a smarter-than-your-professor engineering brain with a creative’s awareness of typographical design and then toss it in the oven for fifteen minutes at 325 degrees?

Answer: Dutch food-and-type designer, Printmeneer.

Printmeneer is a business sprouting from one man’s homemade 3D printer and an inkling that cleverly designed cookie cutters would be a hit with both lovers of design and lovers of glutinous treats. Built with a naval architect’s know-how and a baker’s precision, these cookie cutters come in a myriad of funky shapes and sizes, but we, font geeks that we are, were stopped in our tracks when we saw his Garamond, Baskerville, Futura and Helvetica cookie cutter series.
Printmeneer cookie cutters - Extensis (1)

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Art and music are so intertwined that sometimes it’s hard to find the end of one and the beginning of the other. Music inspires creativity, and as it’s almost impossible to imagine peanut butter without jelly, so is it hard to hear Pink Floyd over the speakers without seeing visions of prisms and scrawled, splattered typography. We know that when we get into a groove, we find creative fuel and soul-soaring inspiration folded into the guitar riffs of our favorite tunes. Whatever arduous task, given a soundtrack, feels less like a chore and more like a boogie. We could go on and on and on, but the point is: we’re dedicating this month to our love of typographic design in the music world. And we’ve crafted a contest so that you can play along with us.

Audible Inspiration Contest

Do you have a favorite LP cover? Think The Ramones have the best band logo? Are you a next-level groupie? Prove it. Shout out to your favorite musicians and designers and enter to win a sweet prize all the while. We want to fill the internet with one big ode to musical design inspiration using our own #AudibleInspiration. Here’s how to enter to win a jazzy pair of Beats By Dre headphones:

  1. Find your favorite music-inspired typographic design and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, or create a piece yourself. Serious brownie points will be awarded to those who design their own entries—we love designed lyrics and redesigned band logos or album art! (Hint: check out our Fontspiration App).
  2. Tag us @extensis and #AudibleInspiration

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Last month, 11 Mo Bros volunteered to take part in Extensis Movember Madness. We’re excited to announce the winners and share the results!

First, a huge thanks to all the Extensis Mo’s who participated. It’s great to be able to contribute to a worthwhile cause at your expense. 🙂

extensis-movember-stache

Movember is behind us, and there are at least 11 sinks with freshly shaven whiskers left behind. There are also an equal number of wives who will kiss their husbands for the first time in a month tonight (despite having to clean up the whiskers).

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Finding fresh fonts—an endless effort

If you’re a designer and you’re reading this blog, chances are you love typography and fresh new fonts. If you’re like me, you call out fonts you like and dislike in everyday use for your loved ones (They love this, trust me… just ask my wife). You bookmark good “new free fonts” lists. You hoard way too many on your hard drive.

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Extensis Movember Madness

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What is Movember?

Formerly known as November, Movember is dedicated to supporting and increasing awareness of men’s health issues. The Mo Bros of Extensis are taking part to help raise money for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

Extensis Movember Madness

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Food Cart Font-Off Contest

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One sunny summer afternoon, a group of hungry type enthusiasts at Extensis set out to survey cart pods across our home city of Portland, Oregon. We wondered, how does the P-town food truck scene reflect in their signage and typography? The PDX Food Cart Font-Off was born.

We Challenge You to Show Us Your City’s Best with the Food Cart Font-Off Contest

It’s time to represent your neck of the woods—with prizes up for grabs. The food cart and truck culture is big in places like Austin, Boston, LA and NY—now it’s your turn to show off the best cart typography your turf has to offer.

Food Cart Font Off Contest

To enter, submit a photo of the best food cart typography in your city—then rally votes. Two winners (clinched by most votes, and our top favorite) will receive an awesome foodie prize pack. Enter to win one of two fabulous goodie boxes. Check out the sweet prizes shown below.

Food Cart Font Off Contest—Enter to win one of two foodies prize packs

Foodie Prize Packs (2) include:

  • Oversized Pretzel Pool Float—Tasty, twisty fun
  • Sriracha Water Bottle
  • Hedgehog Toothpick Holder—for serving cocktails or hors d’oeuvres
  • Retro Pop-Up Hot Dog Toaster (awesome grill marks included)
  • Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters (3 different warriors)
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Best Friend Rings (share with your bestie)
  • Stainless Steel Bicycle Handlebar Cup Holder
  • Sunnyside Egg Shaper—The forecast for breakfast is yolky with some light cloud cover
  • Presto PopLite Hot Air Popcorn Popper (#1 best seller)

Extra credit for elegant use of fonts generally despised by graphic designers (Papyrus, Comic Sans, Hobo, Curlz). We’re not saying it’s even possible, but…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! We just gave you a reason to eat and browse for the best fonts you can find.

Enter now.

Official Rules


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As a DAM consultant, I’ve seen many happy users wake up deployment day to the wonder and surprise of a new digital asset management system. Since it’s the holiday season, I decided to have a little fun and rewrite a classic holiday poem to describe these magical moments for my monthly CMSWIre article:

‘Twas the night before DAM deployment, when across all workstations

Not a process was stirring, not even a daemon.

 

The installers were downloaded from the servers with care,

In hopes the Pro Service consultant soon would be there.

 

The users were nestled all snug in their seats,
While demos of automatically applied metadata appeared on their screens.

 

And the CTO with her budget, and I with my CAPEX,
Had just spent our year’s end on workflow efficiency for graphics.

Keep reading on CMSWire.com…


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While small, Extensis is a company with roots all over the globe. We recently relocated one of our talented professionals to Australia to better serve the market. John Parnaby relocated with his partner Eileen back in May 2012.

Recently, we flew John to the US for company meetings, and he brought along two, cute little friends, with some pretty savvy attire!

I had to ask John to tell me a bit about how they were created, and this is what he shared with me.

The stuffed toys themselves were bought – they are common gifts for tourists as mementos of a visit to Australia. Europeans (at least) mostly think of Australia as being populated by kangaroos and koala bears. Their outfits were knitted by my partner Eileen.

I made a grid in Illustrator and pasted the .eps of Extensis logo over it, then coloured in the squares on the grid to get a block pattern. Rather like bitmap fonts, the higher the density of the grid, the better the image is – especially with curves. However, a dense grid means you have to use thinner wool and the toys were very small so we had a fairly coarse pixel ratio to work with.

A skilled knitter like Eileen only needs this basic pattern to indicate when to change stitch to get the pattern on the little sweater.

That’s the tricky bit done – then it was just a matter of knitting a front and back incorporating the logo on the front (and text on the back). The size is determined by trial and error – and experience of knitting many, many jumpers for soft toys. The front and back are essentially two rectangles with a scoop for the neck. There wasn’t time to knit sleeves so the sweaters are AFL style – sleeveless. They took a couple of hours each to knit but are more of a draft than a final version.

Thanks so much John. These little guys are now with us here in the Portland office. We are happy to welcome them to the rainy Pacific Northwest.


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We’re throwing a cocktail party, and you’re invited!

In August, we’ll be hosting a party just before the web design conference, An Event Apart. It’s a great conference where you can learn a ton about new CSS techniques, and gain inspiration for your creative work.

If you’re attending the conference, or even if you’re just in the Minneapolis area, we’d love to have you join us.

Sunday, August 7
5:30 – 8:30 PM
Brit’s Pub
1110 Nicollet Mall, Clubhouse
Minneapolis, MN

We will also be showing off our new web font technology at the party. So if you’ve got a hankerin’ for something other than Helvetica on your website, come check it out!

Please RSVP so that we know how many people to expect.

Hope to see you there!


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