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What does it take to reign supreme?

Garlic, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, hot sauce, garlic, chili powder, kidney beans, garlic, pepper, cumin, garlic. Ok, ok. We know garlic is generally a key ingredient, but we also know that nine of Extensis’ “iron chefs” used more than that when they brought their best chili recipes to the ultimate taste test for the 2016 Extensis Chili Cook-Off.

So, what does it take to win?

A unique blend? A perfect union of savory and spice? More beans, less meat? More meat, less beans? Add corn? Plus potato? All of the above? Out of our nine contestants, all Extensis employees, every single chili seemed to have a different take on what makes a winning chili, but all nine varieties were delicious.

And the winner is…hold on. Not so fast. Before the winner is announced, you need to know what makes a winning chili here at Extensis.

Crockpots at Extensis

It starts with a good nose/aroma

Before 9 am, all nine crockpots were plugged in. By 9:30 am, the whole lobby was filled with the smell of chili goodness. By 10 am, we were already hungry.

Make it interesting

They say variety is the spice of life. From Pork and Greens, to Spicy Turkey and from Elk to pineapple vegetarian (getting name), we weren’t short of creativity which made choosing a top chef even harder.

Extensis Veggie Chili
chicken-enchilada

pork-and-greens

 

vegan-sweet-and-spicy

Every crockpot was numbered so participants were kept anonymous.

Preparation is key

As the crockpots warmed, chefs added more spice, stirred their chili, and tasted their masterpieces.

Extensis Chili Cook-Off

Make it the tastiest

At noon, the Extensis Chili Cook-Off began. The lounge was filled with people and bowls began filling with chili…taste by taste.

Whose chili reigns supreme

By 1 pm, employees voted for their favorite chili. Chicken Enchilada? Well, Pork Chili Verde had a nice twist. Spicy Turkey was unique and delicious while the pineapple vegetarian was awesome, but we had to pick one. The winner is…

Elk Chili!

Extensis Cook-Off Winner

Jim Kidwell, Extensis chili cook-off winner, showing off his apron

 

Jim Kidwell, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, made his famous Elk Chili. It had a smoky flavor that won taste testers over. Congrats Chef Kidwell! Jim won an apron and an Amazon gift card.

Coming in a close 2nd and 3rd were Spicy Turkey and Meat Lovers Medley. Extensis would like to thank all chefs for providing their fellow teammates with a delicious lunch. We can’t wait until next year.

Here, at Extensis, we develop font management and digital asset management software and we have a blast doing it. To learn more about what we do and our company culture, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page.


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Small caps are capital letterforms that are shorter than full-sized caps. They are usually the height of the lowercase or slightly taller when part of a text font, and can be even taller – sometimes slightly shorter than the full caps – when designed for a display design. Small caps have many uses.

They can be used for titles, subtitles and title pages in publishing, headlines and subheads, text lead-ins, page headings and footers, column headings, as well as a substitute for full-sized caps in acronyms and abbreviations.

The small caps in these three fonts are all different heights in relation to the x-height of each typeface.

The small caps in these three fonts are all different heights in relation to the x-height of each typeface.

 

. Small caps have many uses. This setting uses them for the headline, byline, and the lead-in to the text. Tangent, the typeface used, has true-drawn small caps for all the weights, including the obliques, which was used for the byline.

Small caps have many uses. This setting uses them for the headline, byline, and the lead-in to the text. Tangent, the typeface used, has true-drawn small caps for all the weights, including the obliques, which was used for the byline.

The most important thing to know about small caps is to only use the true-drawn variety as opposed to the fake, computer-generated ones.

True-drawn small caps are designed by the type designer to match the weight, width and spacing of the lowercase (or caps if designed for an all-cap typestyle). The fake, computer-generated ones look too light, too tight, and in some cases, too narrow.

For these reasons, they are considered a “type crime” by type-sensitive designers. Unfortunately, the use of these “fakers” is an all too common occurrence. Here is how this amateurish and unprofessional typographic practice can be avoided: if one knows ahead of time that small caps would be a useful feature in any particular job, only use font(s) that contain the true-drawn variety.

True-drawn small caps (upper) vary greatly from the fake, computer-generated ones (lower). The fakers are always too light, and often too narrow as well as too tightly spaced.

True-drawn small caps (upper) vary greatly from the fake, computer-generated ones (lower). The fakers are always too light, and often too narrow as well as too tightly spaced.

 

If small caps are such a useful typographic tool, why don’t more fonts have them?

Prior to the OpenType font format that can accommodate thousands of characters, the older Type1 and TrueType formats could only accommodate 256 characters, and therefore did not have room to include small caps – even if they were originally designed and available in older font technology such as phototypesetting and hot metal.

In order to work around this limitation, typeface designers and foundries wanting to include small caps had to put them in a second font – either an additional font designated with a SC in the name, or an Expert Set. This made it more expensive for the foundry, and more time-consuming and tedious for the type user, who had to access them from a separate font for each and every usage.

But with OpenType’s expanded character capacity, there is more than enough room for small caps, as well as many other characters desirable to graphic designers.

 

Identifying and Setting True-drawn Small Caps

So how does one know if a font has true drawn small caps? And if it does, how does one access them?

When using Adobe InDesign, the industry standard for page layout and typesetting, the user interface can be a bit confusing. One can always view the Glyphs panel to see if the font contains small caps, but there is a better way that combines identifying the availability of small caps and applying them.

Here are the steps:

– First, select the font in question in the font dropdown menu in the Character panel or Control panel.

– Next, open the OpenType panel. If the All Small Caps option is not bracketed, there are true-drawn small caps in that particular font. If it is bracketed, that font does not contain them. (Note that some typeface families have small caps for just some of the versions.)

Once you determine that a font does have small caps, you can apply them in one of two ways:

– If you want to convert both caps and lowercase to small caps, select the All Small Caps option in the OpenType panel.

– If you want to convert just the lowercase so that you have a blended cap/small cap setting, select the Small Caps option in the Character panel.

The Small Cap option in InDesign’s Character panel will change any selected lowercase text to small caps. The All Small Caps option in the OpenType panel will convert both caps and lowercase to small caps.

The Small Cap option in InDesign’s Character panel will change any selected lowercase text to small caps. The All Small Caps option in the OpenType panel will convert both caps and lowercase to small caps.

 

Note that if a font does not have true-drawn small caps, InDesign will create the fake version by reducing the full caps to the default 70% of the cap height.

If you want to eliminate the possibility of fake small caps from ever appearing in your work, you can change the default Small Cap Size from 70% to 100% via Preferences > Advanced Type > Character Settings.

This will not affect true-drawn small caps from appearing when available in a font.

If you want to avoid fake small caps from appearing in any of your work, change the Small Cap setting in Preferences from 70% to 100%, and make this your default.

If you want to avoid fake small caps from appearing in any of your work, change the Small Cap setting in Preferences from 70% to 100%, and make this your default.


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It wasn’t just any typical sunny Friday at Extensis.

The end of the week always elicits some excitement around here, but something seemed different. There was a sense of anticipation in the air. Maybe it was the new Belizean restaurant located steps away along the Portland State University park blocks that everyone has been raving about? Or, perhaps it was the fresh batch of donuts and bagels that arrive every Friday. Maybe the competitive game of darts happening in the common area?

All of a sudden at two in the afternoon, everyone was gone. Vanished!

Where is everyone? The Extensis crew couldn’t take it any longer. Looking out their windows down onto Naito Parkway they could see swarms of people flocking to Tom McCall park. So, they took an early reprieve to escape to 29th annual Oregon Brewers Festival – the largest craft brew festival in North America!

IMG_6176

It’s no secret. We like to have a good time.

Especially during summer months when the city of Portland comes to life. Again just a suggestion…And this year was no different…Brew Fest is a staple of Extensis culture. It wouldn’t be the last week of July if we weren’t handing out mugs and tokens and taking off early to make sure we are able to taste unique brews such as pFriem’s Mango Sour and New Holland – Dragons Milk Reserver’s Mexican Spice Cake (it really does taste like cake!). From sours to IPAs, team Extensis along with almost 80,000 other patrons and 2,000 volunteers were able to taste and enjoy over 80 craft brews at the festival.

Extensis at Oregon Brewers Festival

With a healthy heaping of enjoyable food to choose from, a superb local music line-up, and refreshing misters to help relieve the pain of standing in long lines during 90 degree heat, this five day extravaganza is well worth it.

The next brew festival will take place July 26th – 30th, 2017 and we will definitely be there!

Here, at Extensis, we develop font management and digital asset management software and we have a blast doing it. To learn more about what we do and our company culture, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page.


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Font Management

Learn font distribution best practices so you don’t get caught in a font licensing conundrum

Think of font distribution as a process. Not only does it keep your fonts organized and efficiently distributed, it also helps you maintain the appropriate number of font licenses by helping track which fonts are authorized, purchased, shared (with appropriate team members), and reviewed.

A proper font distribution process helps in many areas:

  • Time and money spent. Incorrect font usage can cause unnecessary misprints from text reflows and require reprints that waste time and money.
  • Tracking issues. Without a proper font distribution process, your team has little (if any) insight into which fonts are being used. Some fonts may be underutilized which can result in purchasing more font licenses than needed. Proper tracking and reporting give you a meaningful way to make future font purchase decisions.
  • Unhappy employees. Confusion and frustration reign when your design team can’t find the fonts they need when they need them. Life is easier when a process is in place that allows them to find what they are looking for.
  • Legal concerns regarding font licensing. Without a controlled distribution and system of font access, unlicensed fonts can gain easy access into your organization or even worse, custom fonts could be released into the wild. All of which could potentially lead to a lawsuit.

Download our free Server Based Font Management Guide. You’ll learn more about font distribution and creating effective font management strategies for your team’s needs.

Read on to learn font distribution basics and best practices to help alleviate these potential problems.

Five Font Distribution Best Practices

1. Decide how you want to organize your font collection
We recommend organizing your teams by workgroups. Workgroups are groups of fonts and users. Basically, you give a specific number of users access to specific fonts. Below are three common methods to choose from.

User Type: user types may vary, but we commonly hear about editorial, design, and production user types. These different groups have different needs and will use fonts for different reasons so it makes sense for some organizations to divide their font teams by user type.

Client: Every client is unique and so are the fonts they are using. For example, Times New Roman was built specifically for the Times of London. Companies want a specific brand identity and they can do this by creating and commissioning their own typeface, or selecting groups of fonts that most effectively represent their brand.

Project: Just like each client is unique, so is each project. However, since projects don’t have to be client specific, sometimes grouping by project makes more sense.

2. Set up compliance using permissions
One of the easiest ways to be compliant and avoid piracy issues is to set up user permissions. Instead of a whole department or company having access to certain fonts, only people who need rights to particular fonts have permission to use them. Permissions ensure your company is following branding guidelines and avoiding even inadvertent piracy because users can only use approved and/or purchased fonts that they have access to.

3. Choose roles
Who is going to be choosing, purchasing, and uploading fonts into your system? Is it your Lead Graphic Designer? Is it someone in your IT department? Having a key person who is in charge of this process helps you avoid a guessing game that can lead to problems.

4. Keep record of your font licenses and track usage
When you’re managing the distribution of your fonts, you can gain a level of control over font compliance. You have direct access into who has access to your fonts, and how many users are activating them. This helps ensure you have the right number of licenses for your actual usage and lets you make improved future font purchasing decisions – remember when we discussed saving time and money? This is your ticket to doing just that. Keeping track of all this can be a huge challenge, but font management software can help you.

5. Pick the right enterprise font management software:
Having reliable, robust font management software to save time, money, and maintain license compliance is key to making font distribution possible and successful. Look for a solution that has a dashboard allowing you to easily compare fonts side by side. Check for the ability to search for a font by specific type and set up user permissions by workgroups. Make sure reports are available so you are able to see if more font licenses need to be purchased or scaled back for future use.

What does your font distribution process look like? Let us know in the comments section.


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Extensis and Typefi team up

Today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up with Typefi, a leading provider of single-source automated software for print, online and mobile publishing to streamline font management in automated publishing.

We will be integrating Universal Type Server’s FontLink module with Typefi’s end-to-end publishing platform, to increase efficiencies for customers and eliminate font issues that can derail the automated process in publishing workflows.

Download our Font Compliance in Publishing Guide and learn best practices for purchasing, distributing and tracking fonts

One of the key challenges in the automated publishing process arises at the preproduction stage. This is where publishers want to publish their final content without errors regardless if it is for digital or print. It’s at this point things can go sideways because the fonts are not available in the system. Currently, customers need to load up every font they may ever need to ensure the output looks as desired. Doing this can overload the machine and the process fail when duplicate fonts are found.

Typefi and Extensis share the mission of making creative and publishing workflow seamless and efficient, so we’ve partnered to remove the font challenges while automating the workflow from beginning to end.

How you ask? By injecting FontLink at the backend of the production assembly line, customers will have an on-demand system to get the fonts required for each document during output processing. FontLink in conjunction with Universal Type Server ensures there are no missing, incorrect or substituted fonts, and will only deliver exact matches for each document along that production path.

Whether the output is a PDF, or an InDesign document, whether it be print or EPub the final piece of output contains all of the fonts used without variations or substitutions.

Extensis is really excited to partner with Typefi to bring this end-to-end integrated solution to the marketplace.

To learn more about Typefi, click here.

And you can find more information about Universal Type Server and FontLink here.


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How does Extensis maintain high employee tenure in such a hot industry?

We’ve got something we’re really proud of. Over 37% of employees have been working at Extensis for over ten years! From Accounting to Engineering to Customer Support, people really like it here. This is impressive considering that, on average, employees stick around for 3 years at tech companies according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Team Extensis

St. Patrick’s Day at Extensis

 

“I love representing this organization.”

Carli Edvalson, Senior Human Resources Generalist and an 11 year Extensis veteran explains why people love working at Extensis, “Many organizations talk about work-life balance, and the importance of recognizing the value of life outside of work, but not many encourage and foster that balance like Extensis does.”

Extensis believes it is important to provide employees with the balance needed to stay engaged and avoid getting burnt out.

The company also promotes learning opportunities, cross-departmental communication and keeps up on industry and employee trends in order to preserve team happiness and engagement.

Extensis at the Oregon Food Bank

Employees packaging apples at the Oregon Food Bank

 

15 years and counting…

“Extensis has been a continuously evolving organization that challenges me to stretch and at the same time supports a healthy work/life balance,” says Marisela Alzuhn. Marisela is a Marketing Manager and has been with the company for over 15 years. “I’ve also been fortunate throughout my time at Extensis to work with some amazing people who have high standards and do their best work.”

20 years and counting!

Greg LaViolette, aka the “Voice of Extensis” (he is the important voice you hear when calling Extensis), has been part of the team for 20 years! “Recognition, fun, food, and good people,” is why Extensis’s Lead Network Systems Administrator has been part of the crew for so long. “Plus, I’m the voice people hear when they call us…I can’t leave!”

Team Extensis in our Portland office

Tenure and company culture have a lot in common

“From an HR perspective, tenure is one of the most significant metrics I track, report on, and read about,” says Carli. “It’s reflective of the culture and it serves as an indicator of the level of contentment of employees at any organization.”

“I know our tenure is impressive, and it makes my job easier when I am recruiting talent to join our team. The most common question I’m asked by a perspective candidate in an interview is, ‘Why do you like working here?’ and I can answer it confidently and without hesitation,” says Carli.

 

Here, at Extensis, we develop font management and digital asset management software and we have a blast doing it. To learn more about what we do and our company culture, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page.


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Extensis Gets Fit

There’s nothing better than helping people live happier, healthier lives.

In April, Extensis employees biked, walked, ran, swam, danced, hiked, and wheel posed (ouch!) their way to maintaining health and wellness by participating in Extensis’s annual Fit Challenge. So far, employees have participated in 102,943 minutes of activity. That’s 1,715 hours of fitness! Employees split up into nine teams and tracked their workout routines by using a clever app called Lucky Steps developed by Extensis’s very own font developer, Ryan Tinker. Lucky Steps works by syncing up to a Fit Bit or allowing participants to enter their activity manually and rewarding them for their efforts. Employers can choose how they want to incentivize their teams via Lucky Steps.

 

Extensis Team Culture

Font Developer, Ryan Tinker, hiking in PDX.

There’s nothing more rewarding than a reward.

Besides the obvious benefits of getting fit, Extensis gave raffle tickets to participants for every 30 minutes of activity. The more you work out, the more chances you have to win. The raffle winner (a winner was chosen for April and another winner will be chosen for May) wins 125 dollars. Bernardine Lim, Accountant, was the lucky drawing winner this month. She tracked nearly 1,007 minutes of activity- exceeding her goal of 275 minutes.

 

Healthy Workplace = Happy Employees

Extensis in Portland, Oregon

Extensis gets fit in Hood River, Oregon.

It’s not easy maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially in Portland, Oregon. We live in beer capital USA where happy hour is plentiful and the food is actually really, really good. However, nothing compares to being active in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We’ll enjoy our beer, wine and happy hour and stay active while doing it.

In an upward movement to build a culture based on health and wellness, Extensis will continue to encourage employees to maintain their active lifestyle by offering similar challenges. The Fit Challenge has had a positive response with over 50% employee participation. Go team!
 

Here, at Extensis, we develop font management and digital asset management software and we have a blast doing it. To learn more about what we do and our company culture, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page.


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Want a better understanding of how your fonts are being used (or not font management used)?

Universal Type Server 6 is your window!

Want to know more?

If you’d like to be among the first to know about all the new features in Universal Type Server 6, click here.

 


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I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Digital Asset Management, or DAM. But many business still face uncertainties about what DAM is exactly, how will it help their business, and where to even get started.

Digital Asset Management Toolkit

Well, say goodbye to all your unanswered questions! Today we’re releasing a new DAM Toolkit, designed to guide companies from early stages of Digital Asset Management exploration to best practices for implementation and rollout.

With the new Digital Asset Management Toolkit, you can:

  • Become educated on DAM and its benefits
  • Determine if you need DAM
  • Calculate the ROI of a DAM solution, specific to your organization
  • Create a strategy for selecting a system
  • Develop criteria for evaluating solutions
  • Prepare for a smooth and successful implementation
  • Learn best practices for workflow definition & mapping, asset naming conventions, metadata schemas, and more
  • Maximize your DAM system

You can start using the DAM Toolkit today by clicking here.


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If you are a font nerd like us, being able to easily access a wide range of font options from the application you are working in is bliss! If you’re a Google® Docs™ user, we are excited to unveil a new font panel just for you!  And it’s free!

Available as an add-on, Extensis Fonts is a dynamic new panel allows you to browse, review and apply fonts directly in your Google documents.

 

Extensis Fonts for Google Docs

 

With Extensis Fonts you can:

  • Immediately access the entire Google Fonts collection of over 1200+ fonts
  • Select any text and with one click apply a font
  • Easily browse font options with large, easy-to-inspect font previews
  • Search for fonts by popularity and trending status
  • Browse fonts by style

Find out more at www.extensis.com/extensisfonts

Extensis Fonts is a continuation of our mission to empower creativity and the access to a breadth of typography options from the industry’s most popular applications. Other recent examples include the release Suitcase Attaché (font panel for Windows and PowerPoint), and the Fontspiration app for font inspiration on the go.

Check them out… and may the font be with you!


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