The Extensis Community Blog
The next great type designer in our Font Founders series: William Addison Dwiggins, who designed the fonts Electra and Caledonia, among others. Dwiggins coined the term ‘graphic designer’ in 1922 to describe what he did, which included book design, typography, lettering, and calligraphy.
June 10th, 2016 by Extensis
Summertime means romance. Long walks on the beach, rooftop parties under the stars, outdoor concerts, hot days and warm nights. But when you’re just a lonely single font, all that can seem like more torture than treasure. That’s why we are introducing Fonter, the world’s first dating app for fonts. Let’s see who’s signed up so far.
Papyrus is an earnest, fun-loving gal with a big heart and a penchant for vegan cupcakes. Swipe right if you’re looking for a woman who will greet each day like a new beginning. Swipe left if you don’t have patience for people who are always running late.
Futura is kind of a bad-ass. He lives his own life and makes his own rules. Swipe right for late night bike rides and absinthe cocktails. Swipe left if you’re looking of a guy with a great sense of humor.
Stencil is a lovable bro. If you’re looking for someone to bring you to the next Rocky movie, go rock-climbing, or just chill and play video games, swipe right. If you’re more into museums, art films, and fine wines, swipe left.
Helvetica came to the States looking to launch a career in design. She wasn’t expecting to get so popular! Now her social life is so crazy, she can hardly keep track of all her invitations. Swipe right if you’re into glitz and business. Swipe left if you’re looking for a more intimate relationship.
If you’re a designer you know there are thousands of fonts out there to choose from. Whatever type you’re looking for, you’re sure to find one that meets your needs. Which way would you swipe on Papyrus, Futura, Stencil, and Helvetica? Tell us in the comments. And stay tuned for more profiles, coming soon.
Say you’ve got a project that calls for a font that’s elegant and fancy (wedding invitation, perhaps) but you can’t find any exciting, new options in your Microsoft Word library (apologies to overused workhorses like Brush Script and Monotype Corsiva).
No need to panic—as Agent Mulder might say, “The truth is out there.”
Pictured: Helvetica Neue Condensed Light, definitely NOT a cursive typeface. But I digress…
Cursive fonts (also known as script, calligraphy, or handwritten fonts) are readily available online for download. Here are some useful resources to help you find the right font for your design (and bolster your tired collection of Word options):
Kerry Hughes at Creative Bloq lists the 20 Best Free Cursive Fonts that are “free to use commercially, not just on personal projects.”
Pictured: Debby typeface, “works well for greeting cards” according to Hughes
Font Squirrel provides some Help Installing Fonts for Windows and Mac with instructions and video tutorials for desktop and web fonts.
Microsoft has some tips on how to Troubleshoot Font Problems in Microsoft Word and also created a quick and easy way to find out which fonts come installed with various Windows products that lets you sort by product or font name.
Nicole Martinez of eHow presents Common Cursive Fonts for Mac and PC.
Pictured: Edwardian Script, available on every version of Word
You might be interested in a previous blog post we did about how to choose the right cursive font that discusses the history of cursive fonts and why they’re so effective as a storytelling device.
Creative Bloq also did a comprehensive list of best places to find open source fonts that’s pretty useful but not specifically for Word so you might need to do some parsing.
Hopefully this helps you discover some exciting new typeface options for your special event. Or at the very least, gives you some alternatives to the ubiquitous options you see every day.
Happy hunting, type nerds! Enjoy your tour of the world’s finest pangrams, including my personal favorite, “Turgid saxophones blew over Mick’s jazzy quaff.”
1. How did you get into the business of type design?
I got interested in the idea of type design when I was studying graphic design at college in the mid-seventies. My first fonts were published by FontHaus in the mid-nineties. But I wasn’t really “in the type design business” until the early 2000s, when I started selling fonts on the web. I had quit a full-time position as a graphic designer in 2000 to go into business for myself, hoping to get freelance work doing design, illustration, lettering, and type design. I did do a bit of each of those at first, but my fonts started selling well enough that by 2005 I dropped all other work except type design.
2. What fonts or type design trends are you loving these days?
I was rather dismayed by the grunge and deconstructionist type design of the nineties. It went against everything I knew about design. I didn’t really get it, and I definitely couldn’t do it without pretense. It seemed very reactionary and anti-design. So the trend I’m happiest about is the return to well-designed, well-made fonts.
3. Which of your designs are you most proud of, and why?
Probably Proxima Nova, just because it has become so popular. You always hope when you design a typeface that it will catch on with designers, but you don’t seriously expect it to happen. I feel incredibly lucky.
4. What’s your dream project?
I don’t think I have a “dream project.” I’ve always tended to follow my interests wherever they might lead, without necessarily working toward some big goal. And I have a lot of different interests, mainly in the arts—cartooning, animation, filmmaking, music, graphic design, writing, type design. It’s not really the best strategy. You end up being kind of a dabbler, not really doing anything significant in any particular area. Better to focus on one thing and stick to it if you want to be successful. But somehow type design got traction for me. It wasn’t my only dream job, but, realistically, you’re lucky to get even one of those in life.
Learn more about Mark Simonson and check out his fonts at www.marksimonson.com.
On May 10th, Extensis released Suitcase Fusion 7, the font manager of choice for creative professionals worldwide. Reviews are in and critics are raving about the game-changing new features—and recommending it to designers who need to find, share, and distribute fonts from multiple computers/locations.
Macworld gave Suitcase Fusion 7 an impressive 4.5/5 mice! They appreciated the convenience and simplicity of the brand-new TypeSync feature which allows users to live-sync their entire font library:
“Many designers work on multiple computers and need to have access to the same fonts in multiple locations. TypeSync backs up all your fonts to a server hosted by Extensis and updates every 15 minutes. You can then access your library from any computer running Suitcase Fusion 7.”
And they loved that Suitcase Fusion 7 introduced an “important upgrade” with a new plug-in for Adobe After Effects:
“With this plug-in, you no longer need to remember which fonts were used in each composition, a giant benefit since After Effects on its own doesn’t help you determine which fonts are missing. Another benefit is that when you close the composition, the plug-in deactivates the fonts it auto-activated.”
June 1st, 2016 by Extensis
In honor of June we’re featuring five fonts that take their names from the first official month of summer.
1. You may think this month is going to be just like it was a year ago, but you’d better wipe away that June Gloom…
2. Because, as NewJune will assure you…
3. Summer’s the best time for barbecues, rooftop parties, weddings, and more. Say, what are you doing June 15?
4. For our parts, when we think about days at the beach, we get as excited as Junegull:
5. One pro tip for all that summer fun, though, from Junebug:
So enjoy the first month of summer. And if you use any of these fonts, let us know!
May 31st, 2016 by Extensis
Webcast Recording: What’s New In Suitcase Fusion 7
In a recent webcast, Jim Kidwell reviews the new features in Suitcase Fusion 7 and provides guidance on a number of how-to questions.
- The new Adobe® After Effects® font auto-activation plug-i;
- TypeSync – Online font storage & Syncing in the cloud;
- Stability and reliability improvements;
- Audience Q&A.
If you’ve got a few minutes sit down with a cup of coffee, learn about the new features in Suitcase Fusion 7 & see why it’s what Macworld calls “a powerhouse of a font manager.”
Extensis Bike Challenge
Right now, all over Portland, people are riding their bikes. Of course, some of those people are Extensis employees commuting to and from the office, biking around the waterfront on their lunch breaks or tearing through a nearby gravel trail on a Saturday morning. There could be a light drizzle or a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning, yet there would still be a significant amount of Portlanders peddling their way through downtown. “The big one” could occur, yet many would not put their kick stands down and run for cover (OK, maybe an earthquake would cause a few to pump their breaks …maybe).
What are we doing about all this cycling? In cooperation with the Extensis Fit Challenge, we’ve organized an Extensis May Bike Challenge!
Our bike challenge is led by Mark Murphy, Director of Information Systems at Extensis, who is an avid bike rider and the 2015 company bike challenge winner. Mark has been a cyclist for over 19 years. One aspect he loves about Extensis is it’s bike friendly culture and easy access to Portland’s waterfront park. Mark and many others enjoy the nearby biking trails, specifically the Spring Water Corridor – a 40 mile bicycle highway.
Extensis is competing with over 800 businesses across Oregon via lovetoride.net. This site gives businesses an opportunity to not only compete, but track their mileage and see how much their efforts are reducing CO2 emissions.
Prizes are awarded! Points are earned by tracking miles and encouraging people to ride. Winners who log their trips and “encouragements” are entered into a drawing each week in May. Prizes include everything from gift certificates to PDX hot spots like Tasty n Alder and Mississippi Studios to a wine tasting for eight at Willamette Valley Vineyards.
Whether you enjoy a leisurely bike stroll with granny gear or you are saddling up for the Tour de France, Extensis makes pushing pedals a bit easier by providing bike storage, showers, lockers, also a cash incentive for biking, walking or carpooling to work instead of driving.
The challenge ends at the end of this month. Who will be the winner this year? Will the reigning champ, Mark Murphy, reign supreme once more? We’ll find out next week!
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.
May 27th, 2016 by Extensis
The Indy 500 happens this weekend, and although we have to admit we’re amazed by the power and excitement these contemporary racing machines generate, we’ve found ourselves waxing nostalgic about a different kind of car, from a different kind of era.
Enter: Chromeography, a site so rich with classic typography that you could spend the better part of a day browsing its gorgeous images. Chromeography is run by Stephen Coles, an editor and typographer who literally wrote the book on The Anatomy of Type. (Coles also publishes Fonts In Use and Typographica.)
Say what you will about contemporary cars. They may be faster, louder, and more powerful. But there’s nothing like the feeling you get from these classic beauties. It’s a feeling that starts with the lettering of their logos. Because they were custom-designed for each car, each of these typographic logos cleverly embodies some aspect of the car itself. Here are some of our favorites, grouped by style and vibe.
With their long, connecting horizontals, these logos seem to reference the open road itself—that classic symbol of American possibility.
- The reverse italicization of the lettering on this 1955 DeSoto Fireflite Coronado gives it a windblown effect, reminiscent of driving with the top down.
- Note how cleverly the simple horizontal transforms the “444” in the logo for the 1957 Volvo 444 into an abstract pattern, the design of which recalls a truss or suspension bridge.
- You’d really feel like a Vagabond in this 1951 Frazer.
- The lettering of the 1962 Dodge Lancer is so mannered as to be almost abstract. But it doesn’t come close to as abstract as the logos that follow….
Some logos famously communicate rebellion. Others are so free and easy they’re essentially illegible.
- Nothing says “rebel” like the angular script of the old Mustang logo. Note how the final “g” is pushed up as if the lettering itself is coming to a screeching halt.
- Between 1957 and the 1960s, the Plymouth Fury got a little more… furious.
- This fabulous, nearly illegible logo is from a Polish car, the Jelcz Star 25 Fire Engine.
- This one is Dutch; it’s from the Daf 33.
- The logo for the Ford Zephyr Mark II Overdrive reads like a hastily scrawled signature—although the chrome lends it a timeless quality.
Not all signature-style logos communicate freedom and abandon. Some evoke the mannered, practiced signature on a check. These logos signify one thing above all: money.
- The ornate, luxuriating script in the Chrysler Fifth Avenue logo feels pretty dated today.
- So does the very ’60s cursive in logo for the 1962 Chrysler Imperial. Yet the long extender on the upper-case “I” and the tall verticals on the “I” and “l” lend it a certain character that’s missing in the Chrysler Fifth Avenue.
- Before it went tall, the Chrysler Imperial logo went wide. Here’s an earlier version, from the 1957-58 model. Love how the backslant from the upper-case “I” becomes the dot for the lower-case one.
- The underline in the signature-style logo for the 1968 Triumph Vitesse 2 Litre convertible communicates confidence, and formally echoes the bar across the “t”.
Beautiful, right? Let’s just say, while the fans at the Indy 500 are cheering on those monster machines of theirs, we’ll be over here quietly drooling over vintage automobile logos. In the words of typography enthusiasts Michael Banovsky and Laurent Nivalle, “If you love typography, go to car shows.“ Or, if you can’t get to a car show anytime soon, you can just visit our Pinterest collection.
“There is no harm in ‘novelty,’ indeed, novelty keeps things fresh & alive.” – Frederic Goudy
A “short, plump, pinkish, and puckish gentleman,” Frederic Goudy was not always a type designer. In fact, until the age of 40, he was a bookkeeper for a realtor in Chicago. But despite being a late bloomer, he never lost his taste for novelty.
Cheers, Goudy! Today we’re partying “Old Style” with you.