Extensis recently reunited in our co-located digs after months of being dispersed while under construction (check out “Sweet Suite 500”). As my colleague, Toby Martin, shared in an earlier post, we’ve retooled our office to support a larger transition into agile development and agile marketing.
Having a few weeks to acclimate to our new environment, we thought it would be interesting to check in with the team and get their thoughts on working in the co-located space.
I sat down with Dan Schuman, a software engineer at Extensis. Dan has worked in a wide array of environments, so his basis of comparison was particularly interesting.
Here’s what I learned:
Me: In the span of your career, what types of environments have you worked in?
Dan: A good chunk of my career has been freelancing and contracting, so my experience is primarily with co-location or public work spaces such as coffee shops. With the former, I’ve worked in a small co-location setting, sharing a large table-desk with others. When working strictly on my own, there has been a balance between public spaces and isolated settings.
What is happening with technology that is making co-location more imperative for product development?
Dan: Continuous delivery has changed the product landscape significantly; products that used to be shipped annually are now sometimes shipped hourly. Being in an environment where communication and teamwork are inhibited in any way just doesn’t work anymore.
While the interruptions that can occur in co-located environments have their drawbacks, they also greatly improve team communication . Getting pulled into conversations unrelated to what one is immediately working on allows unexpected feedback in many situations. This can help forgo meetings altogether, and waste a lot less time in unnecessary overhead.
Being in such an environment has its ups and downs, but ultimately I feel it is more positive. It cultivates a more energetic atmosphere.
What are the challenges with co-location?
Dan: Distraction is always the enemy of work, and it is ever-present within even the smallest of co-located spaces. Noise, passing eye contact, and hallway talk may easily pull me away from my focus, and it takes an ongoing effort to remain on task.
Many workers—myself included—have a frequent need to work in an isolated space, cut off completely from distractions. This has an interesting effect: needing to uproot yourself periodically to another location can be tedious; however, it makes it clearer to your teammates that you need to focus.
What types of shifts do people need to make in this type of environment? What are your tips and tricks for making it work?
Dan: Headphones! Having a way to block out unwanted noise is always especially helpful. A lot of the time, the co-location environment will respectfully be quiet, but it’s always a nice safeguard to prevent interruptions.
Maintaining a conscientious and empathic attitude toward your coworkers is essential. Everyone has their peeves and quirks, and working as best as you can with everyone’s idiosyncrasies can go a long way. It can easily devolve into petty battles over meaningless workplace nits, or the co-location can be a refreshing and enjoyable place to be. It all comes down to your day-to-day attitude and change in perspective.
Thanks to Dan for taking time out to share his insights!
You can check out the latest pictures of our new space on Pinterest.
April 22nd, 2015 by Jim Kidwell
Most designers have hundreds of fonts, if not thousands. Having a font manager is not only critical for productivity, but making the most of the collection. Learn some new tips on how Suitcase Fusion 6 can help you make sense of your font collection, gain “Fontspiration”, boost to your collection, and more in our new video.
Check out all of our Suitcase Fusion 6 videos here.
Recently a bug in the BASH command-line interpreter was discovered that affects Unix-based machines, including Apple’s OS X. This vulnerability, named Shellshock, can open up your computers to
attack. Extensis products are not affected by this bug. Apple is recommending that you patch all affected systems. Download updates from Apple at the following locations.
- OS X 10.7, Lion: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1767
- OS X 10.8, Mountain Lion: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1768
- OS X 10.9, Mavericks: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1769
March 26th, 2014 by Alexandra Barltrop
In diesen kostenlosen Seminaren wird Extensis Ihnen zeigen, wie unsere seit Kurzem in neuen Versionen zur Verfügung stehenden Font und Digital Asset Management-Applikationen Ihnen und Ihrem Unternehmen Zeit und Geld sparen.
- Sehen Sie Portfolio Server™ 11 und Universal Type Server® 4 in Aktion
- Erfahren Sie, wie Sie Schluss machen können mit den „Fehlende Schrift“-Dialogboxen
- Entdecken Sie, wie Sie der fortwährenden Suche nach vermissten Assets ein Ende bereiten können
- Diskutieren Sie neue Produktentwicklungen und Updates mit dem Team von Extensis
Dienstag, 1. April 2014
Concentra GmbH & Co KG
9:30: Universal Type Server 4 Demo und Q&A
11:00: Portfolio Server 11 Demo und Q&A
Mittwoch, 2. April 2014
14-14:30: Registrierung 14:30: Universal Type Server 4 Demo und Q&A
16:00: Portfolio Server 11 Demo und Q&A
Donnerstag, 3. April 2014
East Hotel & Restaurant GmbH
9:30: Universal Type Server 4 Demo und Q&A
11:00: Portfolio Server 11 Demo und Q&A
February 19th, 2014 by Jim Kidwell
This update includes a brand new “Fontspiration” panel that periodically update with new and interesting uses of typography, font specimens and other creative ideas. Linking off to detailed images on Pinterest, items included are part of a massive treasure trove of creative inspiration, curated by the font nerds at Extensis.
When you need to quickly see how fonts look in-action, side by side with other font selections, QuickComp is the tool to use. In seconds you can have a mockup of a sample project that allows you to select just the right fonts for the project. This release doubles the number of QuickComp templates to 26, making it easier to find find the right template that suits your needs.
Did you watch The Pitch?
In August and September 2013, AMC aired season 2 of The Pitch. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, each episode pits competing agencies against one another and follows their teams as they prepare to battle for a piece of new business—with only seven days to perfect their pitch. It’s a real competition shot documentary-style, featuring brands like Little Caesars Pizza and 1-800-Flowers.com.
Some folks in marketing might consider hiring an agency a necessary evil. An outside team can be a great well of creative strategy, but may carry the risk of being expensive and “excitable.” And there’s always the mysterious “creative process” that often produces the great work, but can’t be defined or revealed. The Pitch aims to the expose the “secret sauce,” which (at times) can appear a little unsettling or flat-out grueling.
Secret Sauce in the Spotlight
It looks as though it might be both excruciating and, at brief moments exhilarating to come up with a provocative idea that resonates— if the documentary is true to life. Some of the agencies sharing their esoteric ingredients on national TV include MC2, Pasadena Advertising, Neuron Syndicate and The Monogram Group. (These four agencies just happen to be customers of Extensis.)
Love or hate the show, it can’t be easy to place yourself in the spotlight while you’re trying to work. We’d like to congratulate these teams for putting themselves under the microscope and on the chopping block—at least they’re all winning publicity!
Sometimes Clients Choose People Over Ideas
“I think what’s important when you’re going to work with an agency is that you share a lot of the same personality traits, because a brand is really a reflection of our personality,” explains Goldberg. “So in this case, we actually liked the agency more than the idea they came up with…”
So what did you think?
The show averaged 330,000 viewers during the first season, according to Nielsen. Ratings have declined in the second season, to about 167,000 viewers per show.
Do you think we’ll see a season three and do you think the series poses an accurate representation of the agency pitch process? Tell us in the comments below and we’ll send you some swag.
September 4th, 2013 by Max Mabe
We’re honored to have Kevin Gepford, Studio Director at Comedy Central & TV Land, join us for an upcoming, free webcast where he’ll share how the network put a system in place for effectively managing, tracking and distributing digital assets.
2:00p.m. Eastern | 11:00a.m. Pacific
Kevin will present how he used Extensis Portfolio Server to:
– Stop the flow of constant distractions from logo and image requests
– Create a culture of self-service and immediate gratification
– Setup a system for submitting graphics to iTunes, Xbox, and Amazon content channels
A live Q&A session will be held at the end of the presentation.
August 20th, 2013 by Jim Kidwell
Today is a proud day at Extensis as we celebrate 20 years serving the global creative community. We set out in 1993 with the goal of removing the barriers that get in the way of creativity. This mission started with focus on core Apple enthusiasts using Adobe and Quark products, many involved in the creative, print, and publishing industries.
Since that time, the global creative community has widened and numbers of fonts used and assets created skyrocketed! Did you know that Extensis products activate 60 million fonts daily- that’s just crazy! And with the overall number of digital files in the quadrillions, there’s not been a more important time for font management and digital asset management tools to streamline processes so creativity can flourish.
So today, we not only toast our platinum anniversary, but we thank our customers and partners around the globe for helping us achieve our mission.
We’ll be celebrating all week, so stay tuned for more!
We had some lunch, played kickball, had a prize raffle, guessed the number of toy plastic lizards in a jar, ate ice cream, played horseshoes, socialized and saw who could throw the frisbee most accurately.
It was a great time. Here are a few photos from our afternoon.
June 4th, 2013 by Jim Kidwell
We recently announced a free pass giveaway to HOW Design Live to the person who supplied the most convincing reason they should be selected. Little did we know we would get such an incredible response! From a clever re-crafting of the fine print to several people drawing from their poetic muse, the passion and creativity was so inspiring. What rung loud and clear was a strong desire to change the world with design, a mission we heartily share!
We’re happy to report we not only have one winner, but two! We decided to give two free passes as someone noted in our post we said we would choose the person with the most convincing reason, and in the fine print someone at random. We appreciate this being pointed out, and in turn chose both a random winner and most convincing.
Congratulations to Dorthy and Jenny who are the lucky recipients!
If you’re still interested in attending, as a sponsor of the event we are able to offer a special discount. By entering “EXTENSIS” in the promo code, you’ll receives $100 off your pass ($50 off the Creative Freelancer Conference). Click here to register.
If you do attend, we hope to see you at booth number 1322!