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The Extensis Community Blog


April is National Poetry Month!

This month we’ll be paying homage to some of our favorite poems in the typographic treatments we love. Typography and poetry can work hand-in-hand to express the emotions reflected in poetry.

To kick things off, please enjoy this fragment of a well-known classic by T.S. Eliot, as well as an excerpt from ‘Spring,’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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The Waste Land, by T. S. Eliot – Barrio Regular

Winter is over now and with it comes the rain. This is the inspiration behind our interpretation of this poem by T.S. Eliot. Colorful tones in the spring rain breathe life to the typography as it did to the lilacs mentioned in the poem.

april-idiot-poem

Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay – Century Gothic

As April arrives, so does spring; a warmer change of scenery to the harsh winter. In our interpretation of this excerpt from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Spring, we’re reminded that spring flowers burst enthusiastically onto the scene.

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Papyrus was created in 1982 by American designer Chris Costello. An unorthodox font, it blends the graceful and sophisticated Roman letterform with the authentic expertise of a master calligrapher.

We paid homage to one of history’s greatest fonts by substituting it in these four iconic logos.

 

1. H&M

h&m-papyrus

Versatile and widely underused, Papyrus’ distinct margins give H&M’s dressing rooms a sharp and edgy makeover.

 

2. FedEx

fedex-papyrus

The high horizontal strokes in Papyrus’ capital letters prove that it can really deliver on FedEx’s logo.

 

3. AirBnB

airbnb-papyrus

Papyrus’ signature irregular curves furnish AirBnB’s logo with an expressive, lived-in feel. A great fit for a startup offering contemporary accommodations.

 

4. Chanel

chanel-papyrus

The hand-drawn outline of this reimagined logo highlights Papyrus’ distinctive antique look—one that high fashion brands such as Chanel desire.

Happy April Fools Day from all of us at Extensis!

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Suitcase Fusion Font Management for WindowsNo matter what application you use or the kind of documents you are creating, fonts are a huge part of that process. When all your fonts exist in the Microsoft Windows font folder, the first thing you will notice is it is hard to find the font you need! A professional font management solution can help you overcome this challenge and put a lot of valuable design time back in your hands.

With Extensis’ font manager – Suitcase Fusion – you can organize, tag, and keep track of all the great typefaces available to you on Windows.

Here are just a few of the things Suitcase Fusion can do to help you tame your fonts on Windows:

  1. Allows you to control what appears in the font menu. Sick of seeing Comic Sans in there? Simply use Suitcase Fusion to deactivate the font and it will no longer appear as an option in the menu. This can make it much easier to find the fonts you need when creating great designs or developing a new web site.
  2. You get to decide how to organize your font collection in a way that makes sense to you and your workflow. Instead of placing all your fonts in the Windows Font directory, you can instead add those fonts to Suitcase Fusion. This lets you organize the fonts into libraries and sets to be able group them in a way that makes sense to you. Only need a font for a single project? You can add that font temporarily to Suitcase Fusion so that it is automatically removed when you reboot your computer.
  3. By trimming out the non-required fonts installed in the Windows Font directory, you will be reducing the time it takes for your system to startup and speed up the launching of applications.

If you’re interested in giving Suitcase Fusion a closer look, we’ve got a fully functional 30-Day Free Trial so you can give it a test run.

When trying out Suitcase Fusion, here are 5 things you should be sure to check out:

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DAMOver the past decade, companies large and small have amassed thousands, if not millions, of rich media files as going “digital” has become foundational to business success. From digital and content marketing, to creating digital retail experiences or digitizing historical art collections, most industries now are fully steeped in the digital universe.

As digital file collections grow, so does the need for an efficient organizational system. Many companies come to us for the simple reason that finding the files they need has become a time consuming process. The frustration and inefficiency becomes the breaking point.

In these early stages, many companies question whether they should try building their own digital asset management system, or buy from an established vendor.

In a recent blog posted at the DAM Learning Center, Toby Martin explored this topic in depth, weighing the pros and cons of BYO-DAM (building your own-DAM).

If you are currently weighing this question, it’s worth a read.

Additionally, we’ve put together some resources to help companies evaluate if a DAM solution is right for them, how to measure ROI, and overall best practices. You can find all these tools in our DAM Toolkit.

 

 

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Misfits_-_Misfits_(Collection_I)_coverTechDirt recently uncovered a story that, while amusing, does point directly to how typography directly relates any entity’s branding – band, company, non-profit, etc.

The punk band Misfits recently sent a cease and desist order to the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market demanding that they stop using a font that the band considered too close to the typeface used in their logo.

A somewhat humorous exchange of letters between lawyers ensued, that was more than a bit akin to name calling.

In the end, it seems that the Misfits have declined to pursue their claim.

Yet, this does underscore the power that a typeface can have. It’s understandable that many organizations work with type foundries to build their own custom typefaces.

Most people know Times New Roman as it’s pre-installed on most computers. Yet, originally it was created for the British newspaper, The Times as the distinctive typeface for the newspaper.

Some brands choose a typeface and own it for their branding. For example, it’s hard to separate Myriad Pro from the recent decade or more of Apple marketing.

If you’re interested in building your own custom typeface, while it doesn’t come cheap, it can definitely be worth it.

What typeface have you adopted as your own?

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extensis-portfolio-2016-portfolio-packagingA major feature introduced with Portfolio 2016 was the addition of the Vault Catalog type (check out our :60 video demo at the end of this post). Previous to the introduction of the Vault, assets lived within the server’s directory structure. Organizing assets into folders using the operating system’s file structure has some conveniences. For example, you can just grab a file and throw it on a flash drive right from the desktop of the server. However, you can just as easily grab a whole folder of assets and trash them too. Scary thought!

Organizing assets in this manner exposes your organization unnecessarily and creates the opportunity for a major disaster. Of course, you could always recover from a previous back-up (you are diligent about keeping back-ups, right?), but that is a lot of extra effort. Why put yourself through that? You’ve painstakingly curated your collection of assets and they have real value so take every precaution to make sure they are safe and secure.

In addition to having best practices in place to limit access to the server and keeping on top of back-ups, use Vault catalogs to add an extra layer of protection for your digital asset management system.

Below are the Top 5 Benefits you’ll gain by using a Vault catalog to store your digital assets.

If you’re interested in giving Portfolio 2016 a closer look, we’ve got a 45-Day Free Trial so you can give it a test run.

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Trends and observations from the Retail Business Technology Expo

Digital Retail

Last week I joined colleagues from our Northhampton office at the massive Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) in London to get an up-close-and-personal look at the future of global retail. The event was held at the Olympia London Conference Center, a stunning venue which was perfectly suited for showcasing the latest innovations and technology solutions. This included our latest Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, Portfolio 2016.

If you don’t know much about digital asset management, our DAM Best Practices Guide is a perfect place to start.

The RBTE partnered with the Retail Design Expo and Retail Digital Signage Expo to create a sensory overload of color, texture, motion, dimension, and gorgeous typography—paradise for any creative professional! A few of my favorite booths are included below.

I attended a multitude of sessions to see what industry experts were saying about the future of digital retail. These are my key takeaways:

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When Typography Talks

 

“THE SECRET OF TYPE IS THAT IT SPEAKS.” – French Poet Paul Claudel

 

Ever noticed how there’s something about emboldened Helvetica that makes you immediately shut your mouth and pay attention like a berated schoolchild? Or how Comic Sans makes your cheeks burn in mild embarrassment like your goofy and slightly tipsy uncle does when giving a toast at a dinner party?

Seasoned graphic designers and typographers are rolling their eyes as they read this, but from the perspective of an observer with no formal education on the matter, misused type is akin to someone talking on the phone in the next bathroom stall—impossible to ignore and mildly offensive.

When Typography Talks

 

The bare bones of it: identifying the ‘mood,’ the ‘flavor,’ or ‘feeling’ of a typeface starts with three things: classification, letter structure, and context. By no means is this a comprehensive list, and a well-educated graphic designer is keeper of sophisticated, nuanced insight into type choice, that’s what makes her a pro!

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When you make the choice to buy something for your organization, you’re not just buying a product, you’re also investing in a relationship.

We understand this, and have ensured that we’re not just building software for font management and digital asset management, we’re investing in a services & support team to ensure your success.

If you’ve made a choice with another software vendor, and are “underwhelmed” with their product and post-sales support, we invite you to check out what we have to offer:

  • Worldwide sales & support team
  • In-country support that speaks your language
  • Installation and customization services available in your office
  • Priority support ensures the fastest response times

We can assure you that you’re not the only one who’s had problems with products and support from other companies. We’ve heard it all before, and are here to help you get to a happier place.

Check out who else has made the switch to our font managers. You’ll be happy that you did.

 

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Extensis Volunteers at the Oregon Food Bank

Most people know Portland as a great city with great people, microbrews, coffee, and liquid sunshine (rain), but what makes Portland even better is our sense of community. For many years, Extensis has given employees paid time off for volunteering. On March 3rd, a group of about 20 Extensis employees decided to give back by volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank. Our tasks were divided into shifts.

The Oregon Food Bank

Shift 1: Put the lime in the coconut or perhaps just put the coconut in the bag.
We spent a couple hours packaging, labeling and repackaging 3,800 pounds of shredded coconut from 40 pound bales. We also may have had a few small food fights, created a mess and tried to have friendly competition to see who could package the coconut the fasted. All this activity led to creating 3,100 hundred meals for local families. What can you do with so much coconut? Make delicious, tropical granola, top off yogurt or eat it by hand as a mid-day snack. It sounds great, but many of us will be taking a few days off from anything coconut related.

 

 

Extensis at the Oregon Food Bank

Shift 2: It’s a myth. One bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch.
We took several 1,000 pound crates of apples and packaged them into individual mesh bags, which by the time you get to the bottom of the barrel – there were definitely some that were spoiled. Although mom is right about almost everything, she was wrong about one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch. We packaged over 15,500 pounds of apples which created over 13,000 meals for families in Oregon.

Both shifts generated over 16,100 meals and packaged a whooping 19,300 pounds of food!

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Thank you to the Oregon Food Bank for having us and thank you to those unheralded volunteers who help make Oregon special. Let’s all remember how blessed we are and be sure to give back more often.

For more information on the Oregon Food Bank, please visit www.oregonfoodbank.org

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